Lake Tahoe comedy scene with Howie Nave: LaPorte, Morey coming to Improv; Sherwood headlines Carson club
Special to Lake Tahoe Action
Two of my personal favorite comedians return this week to Lake Tahoe — Rocky LaPorte and Ron Morey.
LaPorte is one of the hardest working comedians in the business over the last three decades. He’s a true road warrior and the demand for him never lets up.
His professional credits are pretty amazing but his long run on NBC’s “Last Comic Standing” and “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” was pretty big in introducing his comedy to millions of television viewers.
LaPorte lives in Chicago but never seems to spend much time at home because of his grueling schedule. Chicago is where he started out honing his craft and slowly garnering a following by winning comedy competitions.
It was just a matter of time before he headed to Los Angeles where he started getting booked for television and headlining some of the biggest rooms in Hollywood.
He had a small role in the classic Disney remake of “The Shaggy Dog” and Tim Allen’s movie, “Crazy On the Outside” which co-starred Sigourney Weaver, Ray Liotta and Kelsey Grammer and was Allen’s directorial debut. He appeared on Showtime’s “The Godfathers of Comedy” along with four other comics of Italian descent commenting on their Italian upbringing.
He also starred in his own one-hour Comedy Central special. Not bad for a guy who started out as a truck driver and dock worker in the windy city.
After appearing on the short-lived “The Pat Sajack Show” and “Comic Strip Live” he got a nice shot on “Cheers” before shooting his own television sitcom pilot called appropriately enough, “The Rocky Laporte Show” on CBS.
Although the network passed (their loss) the pilot popped up when YouTube was invented. He’s opened for Louie Anderson, Garry Shandling, Drew Carey, Tim Allen, Hootie and the Blowfish and the Righteous Brothers just to name a few.
LaPorte also does a lot of fundraisers when not on the road so much and volunteers for a multitude of organizations including St. Jude’s for Children, various NFL charities, benefits for the homeless and cancer research. When he appeared on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” he received a standing ovation. I remember watching that night too and it was pretty impressive. I think it took Leno by surprise.
Still, of all the gigs he’s done over the years, nothing compares to performing overseas for the troops in Kuwait, Afghanistan and Iraq. LaPorte said those were the best shows. His son was in the military so performing for our troops overseas was just a natural thing to do.
Appearing with “Rock” we have Ron “The Monster” Morey. He was given that title years ago by other comics for his rapid-fire delivery and take-no-prisoners persona. Morey also plays a mean air-trombone on stage that has attracted a huge following (from both trombone and non-trombone fans.
Morey is an inspiration for brass players worldwide. He’s also one of the few comics that still wears a suit on stage. It’s fun watching a guy like Morey perform. He’s worked with D.L. Hughley and even appeared on the Snoop Dogg MTV show, “DoggyFizzle Televizzle.” Snoop is also a Morey convert.
When Snoop Dogg was looking to cast a nerdy white guy for one of his music videos he stopped immediately once he saw Ron Morey’s headshot. You think that’d be enough but wait, there’s more.
Like myself and LaPorte, he too has performed overseas working for the USO in places such as Italy, Greece, Bahrain, Iraq, Bahrain, Kuwait and Germany. And now you too can see them both this week at The Improv.
The Improv at Harveys takes place Wednesdays through Sundays at 9 p.m. Learn more at http://www.harveystahoe.com.
Sherwood at Carson Comedy Club
Rob Sherwood will headline the Carson Comedy Club at the Nugget in Carson City.
He currently resides in Las Vegas but was born in New York.
Sherwood has a great stage presence so the audience already likes the guy (which is very important in stand up).
Like many, Sherwood draws from personal experiences and shares them in a way that everyone can relate to. Add in the fact that he’s also the father of four and well, the material never ends.
I used to joke that some comedians had children so they could get more material. His Vegas material is pretty spot-on given the party background that Vegas is known for.
Sherwood is also an accomplished drummer and joined his first band at the age of 11.
He spent many years behind-the-scenes as a light and sound technician so the crew loves him too. This backstage experience has given Sherwood a unique comedic insight to show business on the Las Vegas Strip and is the host of the syndicated radio show, “Coast to Coast from Las Vegas” that includes guests ranging from sports professionals, comedians to a wide range of entertainers. Check him out Nov. 15 and 16.
Shows at the Carson Comedy Club inside the Carson Nugget start at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday.