Howie Nave’s Comedy at the Improv: Bob Zany and Wendi Starling perform this week
Special to Lake Tahoe Action
For the second year in a row comedian Bob Zany is in the running to be the World’s Funniest Person. He scored enough votes to be America’s Funniest Person, so now it’s on to world status. He’ll perform this week with Wendi Starling.
We’ll let you know what the outcome is. Better yet, Bob will be letting everybody know first! He placed 19th worldwide last year, so let’s see if he can top that. Nobody promotes themselves better in the business of comedy than Bob Zany; that’s for sure.
Bob is also a quasi-local, being on my morning radio show every Tuesday with “The Zany Report,” and he always visits several South Lake Tahoe businesses when up here performing.
In addition to call-ins to countless radio stations around the country, Bob also has a podcast: “The Bob Zany Show with Erin O’Conner,” an active Twitter account (@bobzany), an Instagram account, ZanyBob (because some loser took “Bob Zany”) and a YouTube channel for his show, “Baggage Claim,” where he snags famous folks at airports as they wait for their baggage.
Even before all things social media, Zany was expanding his vast horizons — not only performing in probably every venue in all 50 states, but also as a writer for other shows and as a producer for his own self-produced comedy shows. Some of the names that have found their way on his shows included such stalwarts as the late Garry Shandling, Yakov Smirnoff, Robert Wuhl, Kevin Nealon and actor Nia Peeples.
In addition to his comedy, Bob is an accomplished actor, appearing on the big screen in such movies as Matt Damon’s “The Informant!,” “23 Minutes To Sunrise,” performing opposite Linda Blair in “Up Your Alley” and on Showtime playing the Roast Master of Brace Land in the comedy, “Gigolos.” Bob has also appeared in several documentaries and even made one himself called “Close But No Cigar.” The documentary is an autobiographical journey chronicling Bob Zany’s professional life, which includes numerous interviews from those Bob met over the years and some who have become major players in the comedy business. It’s pretty sobering seeing one individual working a sweet gig as one of the top writers for SNL and than cut to Bob leaving a one-nighter he just performed at somewhere in the Midwest. As Steve Martin once said, “Comedy isn’t pretty.” Will there be a sequel? I’m not sure but definitely a book in the works.
Going back to his radio work, Bob at one time used to have his own radio show — and because of this Zany was approached by longtime Southern California radio legend (is that a stretch?) Frazer Smith, who is also a comedian (and has performed up here as well) on the very popular Los Angeles station, KLOS. He asked Bob to do regular guest spots on his show, which led to his own radio show on Saturday mornings. Bob is a natural for radio, always having something funny to say. He’s additionally a roast master of the highest order, which is evidenced every Tuesday on my morning radio show, when Bob roasts me.
Making her debut to our room is comedian/actress Wendi Starling. A Los Angeles native, Wendi relocated to New York City, where she really took off. She has been featured on Fuse TV and Playboy Radio and co-produces a monthly variety show,“Glamourpuss.” She is the co-creator of “Our Big Apartment Show!” as well.
As an actress and writer, Wendi has appeared in the television series “Critical Darlings (2016),” “Meet the Babies (2015)” and “Recycled Babies (2013).” She’s also a director and producer too so looking forward to this talented individual.
Howie Nave is the MC at the Improv at Harveys. The comedy club is inside Harveys Lake Tahoe. Shows begin at 9 p.m. on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, and tickets are $25 plus fees, except Saturdays. Tickets are $30 on Saturdays. The Improv is dark on Mondays and Tuesdays. Must be 21 or older to attend. More information is available by calling 775-586-6266.