Lake Tahoe comedy scene with Howie Nave: John Henton at The Improv, Milt Abel at Carson Comedy Club |

Lake Tahoe comedy scene with Howie Nave: John Henton at The Improv, Milt Abel at Carson Comedy Club

Howie Nave
Special to Lake Tahoe Action
John Henton performs at The Improv inside Harveys.

John Henton from Cleveland is the best. When he’s on stage he makes it look so easy — engaging his audience and making them feel like they’ve been good friends for ages. He’s always been good at making you feel well, good.

Henton is best known for his sitcoms “The Hughleys” on ABC and “Living Single” on FOX. John is very unassuming and very patient. After a show he’ll listen to everybody, answer their questions and pose for photos. And he is always in good spirits.

He also has some very funny stories being on the road coast to coast. One of my favorites was when this very attractive woman in her 20s came up to him after a comedy show and asked if he would take a picture with her. John was more than happy to oblige and then she said, “You’re that guy who was on ‘Living Single’ right? Oh my, my mother loved that show!”

Her mother! Hahaha. Yeah, Henton played Overton ‘Obie’ Wakefield Jones on “Living Single.” He received a NAACP “Image Award” for his work on “The Hughleys” in addition to being nominated for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series, proving that Henton could cross boundaries with the roles he perfected.

John has appeared on many other television shows including ABC’s “The View,” “Late Night With Conan O’Brien” and numerous others. Henton also is one of but a handful of comedians who appeared on “The Tonight Show” both with Johnny Carson and Jay Leno.

On his first night with Johnny, the legendary late night host was so impressed with his set that he called him over to the couch — every comic dreamed of getting that affirmation from Johnny. When Carson asked him if he had an agent yet and Henton said, “No,” Carson said, “Well you will after tonight.”

It was a performance that John says gave his career “a serious jump-start.” Soon after John appeared on “The Bob Hope Young Comedian’s Special” and eventually got his own special, “John Henton: Comedy With An Attitude,” on Showtime.

In addition to performing in theaters and comedy clubs, Henton has been in demand on the high sea working cruise ships and has worked with some pretty good headliners, too, including Little Richard, Paul Rodriguez, The GAP Band, The Pointer Sisters, Kool & The Gang, Kenny Loggins and Kenny G.

One of John’s favorite gigs though has been performing overseas in Kuwait for our men and women in uniform. Check out Henton this week at The Improv.

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

Milt Abel at Carson Comedy Club

OK, so here’s a weird and ironic 3-degrees of separation for you: comedian Milt Abel and I not only went to the same high school (Leland High, San Jose) but we were both also on the track and field team.

What were the odds we’d both end up doing stand up, huh? Milt was an excellent runner. I pretty much threw the shot put and discus. Since then he’s developed an impressive career as a stand up with material focusing on everyday experiences about his wife and kids, travels and how we relate to the world around us.

Milt is a writer as well. He’s written for Dennis Miller’s television show and published a collection of humorous short stories called “Stories from the Delux.”

I remember when he was doing a lot of cruise ship work and then branched out to doing corporate events and colleges. But Milt cut his teeth doing the comedy club circuit, traveling the globe and making people from all over the world laugh.

He’s very likable and has always worked clean. People just like him and why not? He’s very funny and you can see him Nov. 16 and 17 down at the Carson Comedy Club inside the Carson City Nugget.

Shows at the Carson Comedy Club start at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Must be 21 or older.

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.