Howie’s best bud — Rocky LaPorte — returns to The Improv |

Howie’s best bud — Rocky LaPorte — returns to The Improv

Rocky LaPorte and Howie Nave are two-thirds of this week's Impov comedy team.

Rocky LaPorte returns to the lake for the second time this year. He loves performing here and we hope he continues to do so, but the big-time calls, so he may be spending more time in the southern half of California.

LaPorte signed a development deal with Disney/ABC, so we’re all crossing our fingers to see if the writers he meets can convey his unique style to the small screen. Rocky has shot a pilot before (for CBS), and has been seen on YouTube, so who knows? Maybe Disney saw it and said, “Sign this guy up quick!”

It won’t be long before you can say you saw him before things really happened for him. That’s one of the reasons we try to get him up here as often as possible, because his engagements lately have been making it tough to secure dates for him as he slowly becomes more and more in demand.

Last year was a pretty good one for Rock (that’s what we affectionately call him), appearing on Showtime in fellow comedian Jeffery Ross’ home journal entitled “Patriot Act,” where Rocky (along with Drew Carey and four other comics) entertained our troops overseas in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Before that Rocky was in the remake of Disney’s “The Shaggy Dog” with comic/actor Tim Allen. Before the movie and Showtime special Rocky was on the road as usual, performing in Canada for “The Just For Laughs Comedy Tour” and in Europe.

Oh yeah, he also did his first Comedy Central Special and was voted by viewers as the second most popular comic on that network (Dane Cook came in first). And before that Rocky did his very first Tonight Show appearance in which he received a standing ovation. Not bad. He’ll be on The Tonight Show again later this summer.

Rocky is one of the few comics who is a real friend, and is actually my best bud. Even though it’s not like we hang everyday (we do when he gets up here) we’ll stay in touch via e-mail and phone, exchanging tidbits back and forth.

Even though it’s been a slow burn for the Chicago native in just the past two years alone, it seems like things have finally started to pay big dividends. With his deadpan delivery (all comics try to mimic his voice inflections on a regular basis) and dry wit, Rocky LaPorte is by far one of the most sought after comics working the circuit today.

Some of Rocky’s other television credits are NBC’s “Cheers,” where he received his first exposure to the acting game. That soon lead to other prestigious guest appearances in between his stand up work on the road, including a very funny stint on “The Animal Planet,” where his humorous stories about animals was a very popular segment on the network’s “Comics Unleashed” show. Rocky has appeared on A&E’s “An Evening at The Improv,” “Comedy Central,” “VH-1,” “Late Friday on NBC,” “The Rocky LaPorte Show on CBS,” “The Magic Hour on Fox,” “The New Make Me Laugh Show on Comedy Central,” “Comic Strip Live on Fox,” “Stand Up Spotlight” and “The Last Laugh on BSB/London.”

Loni Love

Appearing with LaPorte at the Improv every night this week through Friday, comedienne Loni Love finally makes her way back to the lake this year and, well, it’s about time. She is one of the nicest people in the business and very funny, which is why we enjoy her presence.

People often ask, how does one get started in the comedy business? You never know where the next funny person will come from, and Loni’s beginnings are fascinating indeed.

A Detroit native, Loni was a successful engineer by day while pursuing her comedy dream at night. Would you believe she got it waiting in line for an audition? Yep. Loni got her first big break when she stood in line for five hours at an open call for the HBO “Aspen Comedy Festival.” Loni beat out six hundred comics to earn a spot in the festival. She was awarded the Jury Prize for best stand up at the festival and voted one of Variety’s 2003 “10 Comics to Watch.”

Since then Loni has appeared in numerous projects and continues to entertain people around the world. She’s been featured on Comedy Centrals “Premium Blend” several times, has done her own specials and regularly performs at the Laugh Factory, The Ice House and of course is a favorite on The Improv circuit coast to coast.

Loni further leaped into the national spotlight when she was a finalist on CBS’ “Star Search” and has since gone on to appear on “Comic View,” “The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn,” “The Best Damn Sports Show Period” and on the biggie, “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.” I still enjoyed her in MGM’s production of “Soulplane” where she played opposite Mo’Nique and Snoop Dogg.

Loni’s alias is “Love Boogie,” and she now resides in Los Angeles. She’s a quick wit: When asked ‘If you went to hell, what would you ask Satan when you arrived?’ her answer was “Was I that bad of a comic?

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