Lake Tahoe comedy scene with Howie Nave: Rocky LaPorte at The Improv; Bob Zany at Carson Comedy Club
Special to Lake Tahoe Action
He’s been my best buds for years and the only comedian I know who actually has to book time off work during the year. Yes, folks, Rocky LaPorte will overbook his dates and then forget he can’t run on all cylinders 24/7.
He’s back for the first time this year, I think, as he’s been doing theaters and concerts lately. His time is, well, at a premium these days. Rocky has always worked, but I think he would agree that after his appearance on NBC’s “Last Comic Standing,” which exposed him to a national audience over the course of two months, took his career to a much different place.
Funny how a little prolonged television exposure helps let people know you’re funny when you’ve already been funny for decades.
Rocky started out in Chicago honing his craft and slowly garnering a following, and winning accolades and comedy competitions along the way. It was just a matter of time before Rocky headed out to Los Angeles where he started getting booked for television and headlining some of the biggest rooms in Hollywood.
On the big screen Rocky was 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.
Rocky also was part of Showtime’s “The Godfathers of Comedy” along with four other comics of Italian descent (including another Chicago favorite, John Caponera) commenting on their Italian upbringing.
He also starred in his own one-hour Comedy Central special and received a standing ovation his very first time on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
I think “Rock” enjoys (when he can) getting to open for some major headliners because he gets to travel every now and then in a private jet, allowing him to bypass all that TSA stuff and have first class meals on his way to the show. Such was the case when he worked with “blue collar” comedian Ron White. That performance for a segment on Country Music Television led to even more television appearances.
Of all his credits (outside of family) if you ask Rock what has left the most lasting impression on him it would have to be performing for the troops in Kuwait, Afghanistan and Iraq.
I still crack up thinking about when Rock was best man at my wedding. Let’s just say he’s a man of few words … He did say on my morning radio show, “I’ll be best man at your next wedding, OK?”
When he has time he’ll perform for countless charitable organizations including Ronald McDonald House Charities of Northern Nevada, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, various NFL charities, benefits for the homeless and cancer research.
Of all his accomplishments, though, I can tell you that Rocky’s most impressive credit was when he received his GED in New York City. That was huge!
The Improv at Harveys takes place Wednesdays through Sundays at 9 p.m. Learn more at http://www.harveystahoe.com.
Zany at The Carson Comedy Club
Hey. Wasn’t Bob Zany just here? I teased him on my morning radio show that he needs to move up here since he’s getting more of a presence in the northern part of the state.
He’s back this weekend shooting another episode of “Carson City Tonight” on stage at the Carson Comedy Club inside the Carson Nugget Friday and Saturday.
Did you know Bob Zany was on the “Gong Show” (I think it was still in color)? Yes! He almost won, too. He would later wind up as a judge on that same show.
Bob has done so much, not just as a comedian but also as a writer, producer, author, actor and even a director? Well, sort of — he has told many a director how a shot should be blocked.
Most folks know of Zany from my morning radio show where he calls in every “Optimistic Tuesday” with The Zany Report. He’s been doing it for decades and I feel fortunate my show is the only one he calls in Northern Nevada/California. For that Bob has been dubbed a quasi local. He does The Zany Report coast to coast in much larger markets but has the most fun in our little market. Truth!
Bob’s newest show is “Carson City Tonight,” which I’ve been on. You also can see Bob in the television show, “Casino Boss” where they just finished shooting their third episode.
Shows at the Carson Comedy Club inside the Carson Nugget start at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday.