Lake Tahoe comedy scene with Howie Nave: Caponera at Improv; Alvarado hits Riffs, Carson Club |

Lake Tahoe comedy scene with Howie Nave: Caponera at Improv; Alvarado hits Riffs, Carson Club

Howie Nave (left) with this weekend's Improv performer John Caponera.

Happy belated New Year!

I hope in this short amount of time you’ve kept at least two of New Year’s resolutions.

One resolution you should have is more laughter in 2020 and you can start by seeing Chicago comedian John Caponera this weekend. He’s been doing the funny since the 70’s and has been a solid act (and a good guy) ever since.

We’re fortunate to have him up here kicking off the New Year and touches on topics I think many can identify with. He incorporates a lot of his family and Italian upbringing into the act that most folks can relate to.

He was in a Showtime special called “The Godfathers of Comedy” which also starred fellow Italian comedians Willie Fratto, Rocky LaPorte, Paul D’Angelo and Frank Santorelli.

Caponera has also starred in “The Good Life” and was the host of Comedy Central’s “Jocks” and ESPN’s “Talk II.”

He guest-starred on NBC’s long-running hospital drama, “ER,“ in addition to “Love & War,” “Blossom” and one of my favorite cable horror shows of all time, “Tales From The Crypt” on HBO.

The best part of any Caponera show is his signature closer of the late great Harry Caray, the voice of the Chicago Cubs. He slots him into these crazy situations as if he were broadcasting the game while telling the listeners what happened to him the night before. Good stuff.

Howell J. Jr. of The Chicago Tribune wrote of Caponera, “Every so often the kingdom of comedy is graced with a gifted, naturally refined performer who can effectively demonstrate the transcendental powers of the medium while making it look deceptively easy.”

Caponera is a Chicago native and always will be even though he now resides in Southern California.

Michael Paskevich of The Las Vegas Review-Journal calls Caponera, “Unafraid of letting a room grow quiet Caponera sets his own intentionally erratic pace, pausing to perfection to complement his oddly timed but rewarding comic insights. The jokes are further bolstered by his talent for facial gestures that range from goofy to arrogant, making Caponera arguably the hottest club headliner going at present.”

Caponera says that one of his greatest experiences as a comedian was when he was overseas entertaining the troops in the Middle East and still believes (as do I) that there has never been a more appreciative audience than that of our military. Check him out over at The Improv.

The Improv at Harveys takes place at 9 p.m. Wednesday through Sundays. For more information, visit

Alvarado at Riffs and Carson club

Here’s one act I can’t wait to work with: Lisa Alvarado. She headlines Riffs Comedy Club inside the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe Saturday night.

Before that she headlines the Carson Comedy Club inside the Nugget Friday night.

Alvarado is known as “The Latin Queen of Comedy” and brandishes a funny and clever wit possessing a sassy fun attitude using her own life as the punchline. Born to Peruvian parents, Alvarado has been described as Tina Fey meets Sophia Vergara.

She specializes in targeting her humor to her audience through written material and a timely amount of improvisational skills acquired at her time spent at Second City and Comedy Sportz.

Alvarado has headlined theaters, clubs, colleges, corporate events and military tours. Television appearances include, NBC’s “Last Comic Standing,” Nick at Nite’s “Funniest Mom in America 2,” Harry Connick, Jr’s Talk Show, “Comics Unleashed,” “Stand Up in Stilettos” on TV Guide Network, NuvoTV, Comedy TV and many more.

Alvarado also played Paul Rodriguez’s sidekick on 20 episodes of “Mis Videos Locos” on the MTV Network. She was voted “Best Up & Coming Latino Comedian” by the LA Comedy Festival and her jokes have been quoted in The New York Times. She was a staff writer on two different TV shows including a game show entitled “Funny You Should Ask.”

Alvarado is the creator and producer of two original web series and started her own production company called LA Amigas. In 2018, her second web series won Finalist in the Original Latino Short Film Festival.

Alvarado’s goal with LA Amigas Production is to empower women and ethnically diverse writers, producers, editors and actors while delivering excellent content with a decisive point of view. Good stuff for launching this New Year.

Riffs Comedy Club hosts shows on Saturdays at 8 p.m. For more information visit

Shows at the Carson Comedy Club in the Carson Nugget start at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

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