Lake Tahoe comedy scene with Howie Nave: Griffin back at The Improv, Elkin makes Riffs debut |

Lake Tahoe comedy scene with Howie Nave: Griffin back at The Improv, Elkin makes Riffs debut

Howie Nave
Special to Lake Tahoe Action
Howie Nave with comedian Nick Griffin (left).

He’s baaaaaaacccck! Comedian Nick Griffin from New York City is here this week at The Improv inside Harvey’s Lake Tahoe at Stateline, Nev.

In addition to being hilarious he’s coronavirus-free. That’s a big draw right there folks. Griffin used to be based out of Los Angeles and his career was progressing nicely but once he relocated east and became a New Yorker, things really took off. Soon he was appearing on the late night talk show circuit becoming a regular at The Comedy Cellar, Stand Up NY and Gotham Comedy Club when not out on the road spreading his comedy cheer.

‘Cheer’ is probably not the best word to describe a Nick Griffin show. Since he draws a lot of his material from his life experience, well, it’s anything but cheery. But it’s hilarious the end result.

Yes, I know it sounds mean to be laughing at somebody else’s misery, but I like to think it’s a form of therapy for Griffin and in the process a great evening for those who come out to see his show.

Griffin has numerous comedy credentials, including an impressive 12 times appearing on The Late Show with David Letterman. Twelve times people.

Griffin also had his own special on Comedy Central, appeared on the national syndicated Bob & Tom Show and on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. Griffin’s latest comedy special, Nick Griffin: Cheer Up (released by Comedy Dynamics) is his funniest piece of work to date. It’s funny though when you comment to Griffin about appearing on all these well-respected shows, he’ll tell you it really hasn’t helped him that much.

I believe though there’s a vast undercurrent of people who are just now discovering Griffin. There are many things that come to mind when watching his show — insightful, observational and a touch of brilliance.

I don’t know why but I never tire of watching his act. Probably because it’s not an act, it’s merely what others get to hear onstage that he regularly comments to the rest of us offstage. I’m a bit biased because there’s only a handful of comics that share the same passion about movies (horror, sci-fi and cult being favorite discussions).

Griffin is pretty prophetic writing a plethora of scripts, treatments and full blown screenplays on his favorite topics with the best stuff being that of a darkish nature and not everyday stories.

Sometimes Griffin will text me late at night asking how many bagels I gave a certain movie (I rate movies by bagels with five being the best) and why I liked or disliked it.

Some of those texts are pretty funny now that I think of it. I don’t want to say things have been looking up for Griffin because then he would question what went wrong and that wouldn’t be good.

I just tell him he’s been adequate so he doesn’t have to decide which direction to go.

Griffin said he really enjoys performing and spending time here in Tahoe in part because he said he feels safe which allows him to concentrate more on his writing and less on having to worry about making bad decisions.

When I asked him how things were going he said, “Things have been okay lately, which is huge for me because I always expect the worst.”

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


Making his debut up here at Riffs Comedy Club inside the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino is comedian Alex Elkin.

In the relatively short amount of time Elkin has been doing stand up he’s appeared on Inside Edition, CNN, E!’s The Simple Life (Season 5), TNT’s Leverage, NBC’s Grimm as well as heard regularly on XM Sirius’ Raw Dog comedy channel.

Oh yeah, and in 2016 he won the 2016 San Francisco Comedy Competition, not too shabby. He was selected as a finalist in the Laugh Factory’s International Donald Trump Impersonator contest too.

Elkin has headlined clubs alongside national acts such as Joe Rogan, Judd Apatow and Bill Burr.

In July 2018, he performed for our troops in Iraq. Ironically, Elkin is performing on the same stage where he won the Hard Rock Casino’s Annual Comedy Cage Match. Full circle.

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

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around the Lake Tahoe Basin and beyond make the Tahoe Tribune's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.