Lake Tahoe comedy scene with Howie Nave: Mencarelli at Riffs, Burrow at Improv and St. Paul in Carson |

Lake Tahoe comedy scene with Howie Nave: Mencarelli at Riffs, Burrow at Improv and St. Paul in Carson

Howie Nave
Special to Lake Tahoe Action
Howie Nave (right) with this week's performer at Riffs, Dave Mencarelli.

A lot of comedians have an energetic style and are happy to be onstage performing in front of a grateful audience.

Not so with comedian Dave Mencarelli. I’ve known him for years and his talent is based (in part) from having low self esteem, being anxiety prone with a tad of mild narcissism thrown in. The result is a decidedly twisted view of life that makes him pretty funny.

Mencarelli is kind of like that odd member of the family who no one wants to hang out with over the holidays because he might say something inappropriate. As a working professional comedian he touches on topics that are universal. He’ll openly talk about subjects that some would rather pass on like his journey from marriage to divorce (and the sequels), raising kids and dealing with his difficult family members. Mencarelli is also the afternoon guy over at Truckee’s 101.5 FM.

He likes doing the gig because he can sleep until noon, not have to book guests and locks the entrance to the radio station’s studio so he doesn’t have to see anybody. Mencarelli’s a people-person and well worth seeing because, if anything, he will make you feel better about yourself.

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

Burrow prOvides laughs at The Improv

Over at The Improv inside Harveys it’s comedian Mitch Burrow who placed second at the 2015 Seattle International Comedy Competition and was the winner of the 2015 Trial By Laughter Competition.

Burrow is a Marine Corps veteran who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003. He then started a career in manufacturing before realizing that it sucked.

Now, Burrow has found his true calling in acting silly on a stage in front of strangers on a nightly basis. He’s appeared on six episodes of the Fox show “Laughs” where he was listed as “The Next Big Thing” on his first appearance.

He’s been heard on the Bob and Tom show which is syndicated to over 100 cities as well as overseas on the Armed Forces Network.

Burrow performed in the Great American Comedy Festival (a tribute to Johnny Carson in his hometown), was a semifinalist in the Laughing Skull Festival and has performed in many other festivals such as Bumbershoot in Seattle, Laughing Derby in Louisville and the Rocky Mountain Comedy Festival in Salt Lake City.

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

St. Paul at Carson Comedy Club

One of longtime buds, Dan St. Paul, is in Carson City this weekend.

I almost forgot that he started out as a comedy duo with the very funny Sue Murphy in a classic he-said/she-said act called Murphy-St. Paul.

The team was very successful for seven years and both went solo pursuing their comedic dreams on their own.

St. Paul’s solo act landed him in the finals of the nation’s toughest comedy event, The San Francisco International Stand-Up Comedy Competition. After doing well there, St. Paul moved to Los Angeles and appeared on several episodes of “An Evening at the Improv,” VH-1, MTV and “Comic Strip Live.”

St. Paul has opened for such superstars as Jerry Seinfeld, Natalie Cole, Smokey Robinson and Vince Gill. And in a testament to the classiness of his act, he opened for the San Francisco Symphony.

He appeared in the movie “Flubber” with Robin Williams, and signed a recording deal with MCA records. His “First Baseball Game” is the most requested comedy piece on the nationally syndicated “Bob and Tom Show.” He also stars in his own one-man play, “Outer Mission, Middle Class.”

Armed with a Bachelors Degree in Italian from UC Berkeley, a teaching credential from San Francisco State and a Masters Degree in special education, the majority of St. Paul’s material comes from being a suburban husband and father and dealing with the frustrations of everyday life. He’s certainly got a lot to draw from.

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

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