Have a double St. Paddy’s week with the Flynns | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Have a double St. Paddy’s week with the Flynns

Howie Nave
So two Irish Catholics and a Jew walk into a comedy club. The St. Patrick's week lineup at Harveys Improv, from left, Jackie Flynn, Howie Nave and Kevin Flynn.

This week it’s all about being green. You can interpret that to mean being of Irish descent and St. Paddy’s Day and all things green that come with it – although I still don’t get the whole green beer thing.

Being green is also a pro-environmental trait and leaving behind no carbon footprint. Then there are those who consider themselves being green because of their smoking habits. The point is the Improv has been green ever since they’ve been up here by booking not one, but two Irish Catholic comedians who just happen to have the same last name but are of no relation. This marks Year 18 both Jackie and Kevin Flynn (aka the Flynn Boys) have been doing the annual co-headlining thing (four years before I was even associated with the Improv). They both get along and like to use this time to hit the slopes (since coming to Tahoe 11 years ago) as it is the only time they work together.

It’s also a rare treat for folks to see two incredible headliners on the same bill in the same week. They don’t do this anywhere else but Tahoe.

Both Jackie and Kevin will be flip-flopping (sounds like a Mitt Romney bit) each night, giving them both an opportunity to close the show the week that they’re here. Both hail from the East Coast – Jackie from Massachusetts, Kevin from Connecticut.

Jackie grew up in the Boston area and early on knew comedy was going to be his career path. Boston is a very tight-knit circle when it comes to standup and he was accepted almost immediately. He won numerous comedy awards all across the nation, including the prestigious San Francisco Comedy Competition. He has parlayed his comedy into a very successful film career.

The Farrelly brothers heard about Jackie through his comedy and immediately started casting him in most all of their movies. Those include “Kingpin” back in 1996 as the character Dog Boy, “There’s Something About Mary” in ’98 as a South Carolina cop, “Me, Myself & Irene” in 2000 as a state trooper, played the Fuel Pizza Manager in 2001’s “Shallow Hal” and as Cher’s manager in 2003’s “Stuck on You.” He’s appeared in non-Farrelly Brothers movies too, including “Game Plan” and the comedy “Hall Pass.” When he’s not on the big screen or on the stage, you’ll probably catch Jackie out on the golf course (weather permitting). He loves golf and in fact has been invited several times by Clint Eastwood to play the annual AT&T Pebble Beach ProAm Golf Tournament out in Monterey. Not bad, huh?

Kevin, after lettering in four different sports during high school, headed off to the University of Massachusetts on a soccer scholarship. As two-time team captain, he won a variety of honors including a silver medal in the National Sports Festival, New England College Player of the Year and a spot on the 1984 Olympic Development Team. He went on to play three years of professional soccer in the Major Indoor Soccer League.

It was at this point in his sports career that Kevin started exploring being a sports announcer. Apparently he excelled in the field as he was picked to cover different events on different networks including covering the World Cup for Fox Television, ESPN and ABC. He soon became well-known by soccer fans as “The Halftime Guy” for his internationally broadcast halftime show during the 1994 World Cup.

During his stint as broadcaster by day Kevin, with his ease talking to the camera, wanted to continue doing the same but for a live audience. He found his path (Oprah would say, “spirit”) through comedy.

Well, wouldn’t you know it? Kevin became an instant hit in New England, winning The Boston Comedy Riot award in 1988, found himself on television again, but this time for his standup work including NBC’s “Friday Night Videos,” A&E’s “Evening at the Improv,” Canada’s “Open Mike” and numerous MTV comedy shows.

Kevin did so well on stage that he moved into the world of theater before heading out west to do movies and more television work. On the small screen, you’ve seen Kevin playing guest roles on NBC’s “Law & Order” and HBO’s “Sex and the City.” He appeared in the Farrelly Brothers movie “Me, Myself & Irene” (with his good buddy, Jackie), “Osmosis Jones” with Bill Murray, “Seven Day Itch” with Ben Stiller and the Farrelly brothers’ “The Heartbreak Kid” with Ben Stiller and Ben’s legendary dad, Jerry Stiller.

In a cool twist of irony, when Kevin co-produced (and also co-created) the very successful Nantucket Comedy Festival in Massachusetts, his first special guests in their first festival were none other than Jerry and Meara Stiller (and later Ben as well). His comedy festival out there on Nantucket has now grown into one of the most popular events on the eastern seaboard!

So, as you can see it’s very rare having both these headliners on the same bill in the same town for a whole week! That’s why we’re very excited at this time of year having both Jackie Flynn and Kevin Flynn in Tahoe on the same bill.

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