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Jim David and Suli McCullough perform at South Lake Tahoe’s Improv

Howie Nave
Special to Lake Tahoe Action
Suli McCullough is pictured with Howi Nave. This week he'll perform at the Improv with Jim David.
Courtesy photo |

Jim David

Making his debut at the lake and the Improv, we have newbie headliner Jim David this week. I’ve heard him referred to as the “Mouth Of The South;” and after seeing some of his shows I can say he fits that brand. The North Carolina native claims that his family got him involved in community theatre early on in life. This week he’s be performing with another comic, Suli McCullough.

“I’m not sure if they knew I was gay, but when I was in fifth grade, they made me audition for The Wizard of Oz,” he said.

As a Munchkin with a rose on his head, David uttered the line, “We thank you very sweetly for doing it so neatly,” and a star was born. Sort of.

“Twenty years ago, I decided to be a New York actor, but the theatre said, ‘We don’t see you as an actor, we see you as an usher.’”

On a bet from a friend, David talked about his family for five minutes at open mic night, got laughs and discovered his comic calling.

Jim has a boatload of credits over the years ranging from his own half-hour special “Comedy Central Presents Jim David,” as a comic pundit on Comedy Central’s “Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn” to Comedy Central’s USO Tour. He was a guest “comedy consultant” on Bravo’s “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” and appeared on that network’s “Greatest Things About Being … .” He has also appeared on ABC’s The View, Comedy Central’s “Comic Cabana,” “New Joke City” with Robert Klein, NBC’s “Comedy Showcase with Louie Anderson,” A&E’s “Caroline’s” and “Evening at the Improv.” He performed on Comedy Central’s “Friar’s Club Roast of Rob Reiner” and hosted the backstage interviews of Comedy Central’s “Friars Club Roast of Hugh Hefner.” It’ll be nice having a seasoned veteran comic up here, especially since he’s never performed at our room.

Over the years I have known a lot of gay comics — some who remained in the closet, not talking about it on stage. I was curious if Jim talked about being gay as part of his act.

“I always did jokes about gay topics, making fun of homophobia; and I often had to follow homophobic comics,” David explained. “But I got tired of other comics joking about their girlfriends and I couldn’t talk about my partner. Since I came out 10 years ago, my act just got better.”

David spoofs common misconceptions, such as the idea that being gay is a choice — “You don’t wake up one morning and say, ‘I’m tired of corn flakes, I think I’ll have a penis.’”

Suli McCullough

Suli McCullough is another seasoned comic who returns after a long absence. You know you’re a good comedian when other proven acts hire you to help write their material. When comedian (and Oscar-winning actor) Jaime Foxx was asked to host “Saturday Night Live,” guess who he called to write some sketches for him? Suli McCullough, that’s who. Suli was also a writer for Jay Leno of “The Tonight Show” for comedian George Lopez when he had his show, “Lopez Tonight.”

In addition to his comedic and writing skills, Suli is a fine actor. He played the character of Mouse on “The Jamie Foxx Show” and worked alongside Charlie Sheen, James Gandolfini and Nastassja Kinski in “Terminal Velocity.” However, it was his character known as “Crazy Legs” (the dude in the wheelchair) in the cult classic Wayans Bros. movie, “Don’t be a Menace to South Central while Drinking your Juice in The Hood,” that Suli will forever be identified as (which Suli embraces).

Suli told me that “fans still come up to me and ask, “Where’s my wheelchair? or if I’ll do a ‘Crazy Legs’ laugh for them. It’s one of those comedies people love to watch over and over again. I had a blast making that movie.”

Suli‘s been featured on Comedy Central, late-night talk shows, NBC’s “Last Comic Standing” and he even appeared on an episode of “Seinfeld” in the late 90s.

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.


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