John Melendez and Frances Dilorinzo perform this week on Tahoe’s South Shore | TahoeDailyTribune.com

John Melendez and Frances Dilorinzo perform this week on Tahoe’s South Shore

Howie Nave
Special to Lake Tahoe Action

JOHN MELENDEZ

Fans of The Howard Stern Show pre-SiriusXM Satellite radio might remember one of his sidekicks, "Stuttering" John Melendez. He will perform with Frances Dilorinzo this week at the Improv.

Melendez was given that name when he was a regular on The Howard Stern Radio Show for 15 years while on FM. It was during that time John gained national notoriety with his daring and irreverent interview style (and weirdo personality) that sometimes got him hit by those lined up for interviews for his boss. In addition to interviewing countless celebrities on the radio, Melendez was simultaneously hired as a field reporter on Stern's nationally syndicated television show where he worked for two seasons as an interviewer and in sketch pieces for the show's popular man-on-the-street segments.

Melendez had a falling out with Stern over a number of things, but he got a major bump in his career — going from radio to the nightly announcer on "The Tonight Show" with Jay Leno." In addition to being the Tonight Show's announcer Melendez made regular appearances on the show in comedy sketches doing correspondent pieces for Jay. It's not bad for a guy who got Stern's gig as an intern while still in college. That was back in 1998, about the same time he started to develop a comedy act in the clubs. His comedy (as expected) is in your face, but he's been able to develop a loyal following separate from his radio and TV stints.

Melendez's feature film credits include "Private Parts" (1997), "Dude, Where's My Car?" (2000), "Meet Wally Sparks" (1997), "Airheads" (1994) and "Osmosis Jones" (2001). On television, he is credited with appearances on the reality series, "I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here!" (2003) and "Fear Factor: Celebrity Fear Factor" (2006), had guest-starring roles on "Wings" (1990) and "Baywatch Nights" (1995) and was the voice of 'Bob' in the animated series, "Tripping the Rift" (2004), on the Sci-Fi channel. More recently though Melendez starred in the full-length feature, "One, Two, Many," in which he also wrote and executive-produced.

FRANCES DILORINZO

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If anyone can hold her own working with Melendez it's Frances Dilorinzo. I remember vaguely the last time she was up here that she loved shopping at Ross. They loved it, too. The reality TV start has appeared in several such shows including "The Secret Life of a Soccer Mom," NBC's "Last Comic Standing" "The Real Housewives of Orange County" and has even had her sons go through the audition process for a potential reality TV show of their own. Frances appeared in non-reality shows, too, including those on Lifetime, Inside Joke on SiTV, "Funny Money" on The Game Show Network, "Que Loco" on Galavision, "Comic View" on BET, "South Coast Review" on Cox Cable and "Comedy Factory" on Netherlands TV. I think the best shows though that Frances has done are those entertaining our men and women in uniform.

Of all her credits the one that really put her on the map was the one online. She did a YouTube video called "Homemade Implants," which went viral garnering her millions of hits.

Her journey into the world of comedy is an interesting one. Frances credits one of her English professors, who encouraged his students to always add some humor when giving an assigned speech presentation in class. Frances took that advice to heart and it paid off because once she started adding jokes to her presentations everyone remembered the humor more than the assigned topic. Word spread quickly about this tall, intelligent, attractive coed who not only gave a smart presentation, but also kept their interest. She was also the first student at her university to win California's gold medal in the "Speech to Entertain" category two years in a row.

In addition to her stand up Frances has been able to juggle her career raising a family, which is a big part of her act. Her Facebook fan page on says it all: "Mommy by day, comedian by night!"

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.