Lake Tahoe comedy scene with Howie Nave: Bobby Collins and Avi Liberman at The Improv; Howie’s House of Comedy kicks off at The Loft |

Lake Tahoe comedy scene with Howie Nave: Bobby Collins and Avi Liberman at The Improv; Howie’s House of Comedy kicks off at The Loft

Howie Nave
Special to Lake Tahoe Action
Comedian Mark Pitta (right) kicks off Howie’s House of Comedy at The Loft on Sunday, March 3.

He only comes up here during the months where we have snow and boy do we have snow!

It’s a good thing, too, as comedian Bobby Collins usually makes his week here a family affair spending time on the slopes with them during the day and doing the shows at night.

A New Yorker through and through Bobby’s got that sarcastic edge that power points his jokes. He has a lot of credits, including several Showtime specials and being host of VH1’s “Stand-Up Spotlight.”

He’s opened for Cher, Dolly Parton, Julio Iglesias, Tony Bennett and scores of others. He was nominated for a CableACE Award as well as for the American Comedy Awards “Stand-up Comic of the Year.” He recently appeared on “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.”

Collins has a plethora of CDs and one of them, “Out of Bounds,” was nominated for a Grammy. His DVD, “Bobby Collins: Live from New York City” captures the best of his stand up performance.

Bobby also has appeared in five feature films and numerous other television shows. Now you have no excuse to check Bobby out this week.

Oh yeah, did I mention Bobby also is an author? His book is “On The Inside” and subtitled “Witisms and Wisdomisms.”

Performing with Bobby is Avi Liberman. Born in Israel, raised in Texas and educated in New York City, Avi eventually settled in Los Angeles working part-time as a substitute teacher during the day while honing his comedy chops at night.

It didn’t take long for him to get there appearing on CBS’ “Late Late Show” with Craig Ferguson, NBC’s “Friday Night!” and Comedy Central’s “Premium Blend” and “Make Me Laugh.”

His acting credits include “Dave’s World” on CBS, “Boston Common” on NBC and “Andytown U.S.A.” on Comedy Central. He’s also been heard on radio stations across the country.

In addition to his stand up, Avi has appeared in television spots for Mercedes, L.A. Cellular, Miller Lite, Starbucks and Net Zero.

His comedy has taken him to the prestigious Montreal Just for Laughs Festival and he himself books comics for tours to Israel donating all of the proceeds to different charities.

Bobby and Avi are over at The Improv inside Harveys.

The Improv at Harveys takes place Wednesdays through Sundays at 9 p.m. Learn more at

Howie’s House of Comedy at The Loft

Comedian Mark Pitta is here to launch Howie’s House of Comedy at The Loft Tahoe Sunday night.

Yes, it’s the same Howie whose column you’re reading right now. And yes, it may sound self-serving but since my radio and writing only happened because of stand up, I feel it is well deserved.

The Loft Tahoe (located in the Heavenly Village) has long been a staple for great magicians, so when co-owner Paul Reder approached me and asked if I wanted to do comedy in his showroom I jumped (OK, tripped first … it was icy) at the chance; hence Howie’s House of Comedy.

It will be every Sunday and I’ll be hosting all of the shows. We’ll have special guests drop in from time to time in The Loft’s first-class showroom.

I wanted Mark to be the opening headliner, as his comedy pretty much reaches everybody. Pitta rode the comedy wave that was the ‘80s and introduced the world to fellow SF Bay Area comics Robin Williams, Kevin Pollack, Dana Carvey, Rob Schneider and Will Durst, to name a few. Durst by the way is booked Sunday, April 7.

Mark made quite a name for himself in the San Francisco comedy scene but made the inevitable journey to Los Angeles where he made appearances on “The Tonight Show,” “3rd Rock From the Sun,” “Mad About You,” Fox’s “Totally Hidden Video” and on Comedy Central.

He did eventually tire (OK, burned out) being down there and moved back to Northern California where he landed a great gig being the entertainment reporter for FOX affiliate KTVU Channel 2 (seen here in the Lake Tahoe/Northern Nevada area on KXRI channel 11 out of Reno).

Mark loved the gig but hated getting up at 3 a.m. weekdays and, in true Pitta form, he decided to just sleep-in one day. It’s amazing he didn’t get fired. No, that would come later on when the television station changed management.

Pitta got a sweet gig booking the famed Throckmorton Theatre in Mill Valley every Tuesday night and word spread quickly. Back then part of the attraction going to “The Throc” on Tuesday night was seeing an unscheduled performance by the late Robin Williams or Dana Carvey (or comedic legend Mort Sahl) all who lived just minutes away from the theater.

In fact, one of the most memorable experiences of my comedy career happened when I was scheduled to perform with comedian Bob Zany and Robin Williams decided that night to make an impromptu appearance! That was one night of comedy I will never, ever forget.

So now I’ve got Pitta here and am really stoked. This first night we’ll have a few special drop-in comics pop by, including local guy Paul Bronken, who will be doing time after I get the crowd warmed up. Join me won’t you?

You can still get tickets by going to

C’mon, Tahoe! Take a break from the snow and thaw out with some great laughter.

Howie’s House of Comedy at The Loft starts at 9 p.m. Sundays.

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