Lake Tahoe comedy scene with Howie Nave: Full slate of laughs with Blair, Saad, Bronken on South Shore
Special to Lake Tahoe Action
We’ve got another full slate of the funny this week starting with Dennis Blair.
He’s not just a talented comedian but also an accomplished musician too. He’s a headliner sure, but major headliners, like the late George Carlin, have asked Blair to open for him because of his diversified talent. Blair opened for Carlin until the famed comedian passed away.
Other notable talents that have utilized Blair have included The Beach Boys, Tom Jones, Gloria Estefan and even the late Joan Rivers.
Jackie Mason and the legendary late, great, Rodney Dangerfield gave Blair his start.
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Back then Dangerfield was known for giving a lot of young comics their big break (Sam Kinison immediately comes to mind) so when Dangerfield was booked across North America playing to sold-out theaters, he asked Blair to open for him.
After that the doors opened almost immediately.
Blair got booked on “The Tonight Show” (multiple times), appeared on HBO and served as co-host on the “Stephanie Miller Radio Show” with comedic legend Elayne Boosler.
When Blair was finally in a position to give back, he co-wrote the movie, “Easy Money” for Dangerfield and he then returned the favor by having Blair make cameo appearances in some of his other movies.
On the small screen, Blair co-wrote and was a featured actor in two Dangerfield specials on ABC and was creative consultant for the album “Rappin’ Rodney.” The title song (which Blair also co-wrote) was nominated for a Grammy.
In addition to his comedy, writing and acting, Blair has a solid music background utilizing his comedy of course. He wrote and performed the song “Ordinary Man” which appeared on the “Easy Money” soundtrack album and also won the “Charlie”(Chaplin) Award for “Best Comedian in New York.”
Liz Smith of The New York Daily News once said, “This guy will soon be a household face and name.” Randolph Hogan of The New York Times echoed similar sentiments saying, “It wouldn’t be fair to call him an impressionist, because he’s more than that. He’s a parodist and a satirist and a singer … well, there’s no word to describe him.”
I believe Blair even has a jazz album out as well. I’d go see him for his stand up at The Improv inside Harveys Lake Tahoe and just let the wave overtake you.
The Improv at Harveys takes place at 9 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. For more information, visit http://www.harveystahoe.com.
Saad, Bronken at Riffs
Good news to those who’ve been frustrated trying to get comedy tickets at Riffs Comedy Club on Saturday nights. Every show has been sold out so starting this Sunday, in addition to the Saturday night show, Sundays will be a local’s night where every ticket purchased comes with a second ticket for free. Just show your local ID and get your two-for-one ticket.
Kicking off this special weekend offer is comedian Joby Saad who grew up in Nashville, Tennessee reading the works of Harry Houdini.
Saad caught on early performing at children’s magic shows most weekends by the age of 12. He says “Dad would build the props, and mom would give me props.”
His dad worked at WSM television building sets and his mother was the staff artist, assist art director at Opryland Theme park designing everything Opryland.
Saad started incorporating comedy when the magic wasn’t working as much as he hoped it would. Plus the comedy came in handy as his defense mechanism from bullies at his high school.
Saad’s big break came when comedy writer Mike Price and Disney Star Jim Varney encouraged him to leave Nashville to pursue his dream of stand up.
There’s a great comedy club in Nashville called Zanies and the manager, Lenny Sisselman, gave Saad the opportunity to perform with the top comedians at the time, Tim Allen, Jeff Foxworthy, Bill Engvall, Rob Schneider and Paula Poundstone.
Concert promoter Steve Moore hired Saad to open for his concerts. Soon Saad was headlining all the top comedy clubs and was a regular guest on Nashville Network’s Ralph Emery, Crook and Chase and many others.
His other break came on the west coast when George Shapiro of Shapiro/West Management (Jerry Seinfeld’s management) took notice of his talents at a performance at the Ice House in Pasadena, Calif.
“George made calls, and the next thing I know I’m auditioning for network sitcoms,” said Saad,
From that, Saad launched his own television series “Vidiots.” Known for his expressive, rubbery face, he credits the physical stylings of physical Steve Martin, Jim Carrey and Tim Conway for being his influences.
Appearing with Saad is special guest Paul Bronken.
Known as “That 70’s Guy,” Bronken was the 2017 FORTE Award Comedian of the Year. He’s been a long time local favorite with his distinctive sense of humor and remarkable timing.
As the character of ‘That 70s Guy,’ Bronken takes you on a lighthearted, musical journey through everything 70’s related. Hilariously choreographed to nostalgic soundtracks, it’s high energy, interactive entertainment.
See us all Saturday at Riffs inside the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Lake Tahoe Saturday and Sunday.
Riffs Comedy Club hosts shows at 8 p.m. on Saturdays. For more information, visit harveystahoe.com. Shows at the Carson Comedy Club in the Carson Nugget start at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
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