Lake Tahoe comedy scene with Howie Nave: Political humorist Will Durst at Improv; Norris Townsend at Carson Comedy Club |

Lake Tahoe comedy scene with Howie Nave: Political humorist Will Durst at Improv; Norris Townsend at Carson Comedy Club

Howie Nave | Special to Lake Tahoe Action

He’s one of my favorite political humorists working today and, wow, he sure doesn’t have to worry about a shortage of relevant material.

I’m talkin’ Will Durst here folks.

With all of the rhetoric coming from both sides of the political aisle, Durst is without a doubt the only voice of reason in this otherwise crazy arena known as politics.

But how does Durst keep an audience from turning on him given the climate we’re currently living in?

Well, he fortunately finds wackiness from all sides. Yes, he’s a proud liberal but he’s gone after them on numerous occasions.

Durst, who started out in the early ’80s, has so much material, he’s written, produced and starred in several one-man shows, his most recent being “Durst Case Scenario” which expands his talent.

But, they’re not all political. One of his most popular one-man shows (I believe) is his “BoomeRaging: From LSD to OMG” that makes the Boomer Generation look not so important and special as they think they are.

And yet those of the Millennial sect (sometimes referred to as Generation Y) will also find non-stop humor that is very relatable.

His other one-man show, “The All-American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing: Common Sense Rantings from a Raging Moderate” played Off-Broadway and came with an accompanying book.

Durst is also a columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle and is just another extension of his non-stop mind.

And hey, if that wasn’t enough, he’s also in the comedy documentary, “3 Still Standing” which follows the career of three San Francisco Bay Area comedians: Johnny Steele, Larry “Bubbles” Brown and Durst that chronicles their career during the boom of the comedy scene to where they are in the now.

Apparently filmmakers Robert Campos and Donna LoCicero were huge fans of the San Francisco comedy scene when it exploded back in the ’80s and chose Durst, Bubbles and Steele for a particular reason.

They wanted to know why better known acts such Dana Carvey, Robin Williams and Rob Schneider (all Bay Area acts) were getting television and movie deals while Durst, Bubbles and Steele (all three just as funny) didn’t seem to be getting the same breaks.

The documentary has been seen at the Sundance, Tribeca and Austin’s SXSW film festivals. It was also screened during a 10-city launch, which included Pittsburg (Steele’s hometown), San Francisco (Brown’s hometown), Chicago, Milwaukee (Durst’s hometown), New York, Boston, San Diego, Los Angeles, Seattle and Denver.

Durst has an amazing list of credits which are too lengthy to list here but some highlights include The New York Times calling Durst, “quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.”

The Los Angeles Times called him, “A modern day Will Rogers,” and The San Francisco Examiner stated that he’s “the heir apparent to Mort Sahl and Dick Gregory” while The Chicago Tribune hailed Durst as a “hysterical hybrid of Hunter S. Thompson and Charles Osgood.”

Durst is the author of several books with my personal favorite being, “Elect to Laugh! A Hilarious, Common Sense Guide to American Politics 2012 Election Edition” which actually gave me a better insight into the last elections.

Those familiar with Durst know that every Friday morning on my radio show, “A Burst of Durst” is one of the programming highlights where he gets the last word offering up some of the best commentary (and rantings) that you’ll ever hear over the airwaves and streamed “live” online.

Durst’s down-to-earth roots were harvested from his home state of Wisconsin even though he has called San Francisco home for quite a while now.

The five-time Emmy nominee and recipient of seven consecutive nominations for the American Comedy Awards Stand Up of the Year, was also the first American to be nominated for the prestigious Perrier Award at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival for his one man show “You Can’t Make Stuff Up Like This.”

By the way, a lot of folks might be interested in knowing that when he ran for mayor of San Francisco Durst took no PAC funding coming in fourth out of 11. Durst spent a total of $1,200 and got 2% of the vote.

Catch him at The Improv inside Harveys this week with comedian Rick D’Elia who’s also pretty solid.

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

Norris Townsend at The Carson Comedy Club

Leslie Norris Townsend is another first rate act.

She’s got over two decades of experience working rooms coast to coast and is easily one of the funniest, most entertaining acts working today.

Norris Townsend blends elements of her stand-up with music and audience participation tossed in so no two shows are really alike.

Norris Townsend to me is the total plow ahead, take-no-prisoners, positive force who has overcome quite a bit in life (an understatement) and turned it into a revelation of sorts through her hilarity of the craft.

She’s done everything from the clubs, corporate engagements and has opened for superstars like Neal McCoy, Lonestar and Dwight Yoakam. And yes, she does all this without having to use offensive language as a crutch like most comics do thinking it’s funny. It’s not.

Norris Townsend has made numerous television appearances include Comedy Central, A&E’s “An Evening at the Improv” and sketches seen on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” and was a Grand Finalist on “Star Search.”

Go see her!

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

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