Lake Tahoe comedy scene with Howie Nave: Rocky LaPorte at The Improv; Key Lewis at Carson Comedy Club
Special to Lake Tahoe Action
Comedian Rocky LaPorte finally returns to the lake — it’s long overdue.
Rocky is a comic’s comic, a very down-to-earth guy who’s actually the same character off stage as he is on. That’s probably why he’s always been considered “real” and a favorite to virtually every comic out there.
I always joke on the radio that he was my best man at my wedding and told me if I ever marry again he would be best man at my next wedding. Say what?
Rocky really is one of the hardest working comedians in the business, having been on the road for over 28 years.
Now that he is getting the recognition he so deserves, going from the club circuit to major venues, hopefully he’ll be able to travel less and finally enjoy the fruits of his comedic efforts.
Rocky is always in-demand, which explains why he hasn’t been here in a while. His appearance on NBC’s “Last Comic Standing” introduced his comedy to millions of television viewers.
Because of his booking schedule (and now television exposure) Rocky doesn’t get to see his home in Chicago too much. That’s where he started honing his craft and slowly garnering a following. Eventually Rocky headed out 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. 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 Chicago.
After appearing on the very 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 on it (their loss) the pilot popped up years later on YouTube.
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.
He also does a lot of fundraisers and volunteers for a multitude of organizations, including St. Jude’s for Children, various NFL charities, and benefits for the homeless and cancer research.
Of all the gigs that Rocky has done, though, nothing compares to his overseas performances for the troops in Kuwait, Afghanistan and Iraq. His son was in the military, so performing for our troops was just a natural thing to do.
Along with “Rock,” we have Ron “The Monster” Morey performing this weekend. Ron was given that title years ago by other comics for his rapid-fire delivery and take-no-prisoners persona.
He also plays a mean air-trombone on stage that has attracted a huge following, from both trombone and non-trombone fans. (Let’s be honest here: Ron’s playing the trombone is a turn-on for the ladies, proving once and for all that it’s not just rock guitarists or swooning singers who get the ladies. Really?)
I believe Ron still wears a suit onstage — one of the few comics to still do so — just in case he’s called to accept another comedy award.
Ron does a number of celebrity impressions including two of my favorites: Johnny Carson and Jay Leno. Dead on, folks.
Ron has worked with D.L. Hughley and even appeared on the Snoop Dogg MTV show, “DoggyFizzle Televizzle.” Snoop was looking to cast a nerdy white guy for his music video and stopped immediately once he saw Ron Morey’s headshot. You think that would be enough, but no.
And like myself and Rocky, he too has performed overseas working for the USO in places such as Italy, Greece, Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait and Germany.
Rocky and Ron over at The Improv inside Harveys — don’t miss it.
The Improv at Harveys takes place Wednesdays through Sundays at 9 p.m. Learn more at http://www.harveystahoe.com.
Lewis at The Carson Comedy Club
Sacramento-born comedian Key Lewis is at The Carson Comedy Club this weekend. He is a high energy, improvisational, storytelling, multiple-personality nutcase.
Key’s comedic stories about his interracial childhood, family and unusual views on relationships make him a joy to watch. This up-and-coming comedian and actor has a remarkable ability to improvise and interact with all types of crowds.
Key appeared on Marlon Wayans’ “Funniest Wins” on TBS, Starz Networks “StaannDup,” Kevin Hart’s “One Mic Stand” and well as Bill Bellamy’s “Who’s Got Jokes!”
Key sums it up this way: “Chase your dream, always know your audience; don’t act funny, be funny; don’t be a dick; don’t worry about the quantity of your material but the quality; the sooner you create a relationship with your crowd, the better you will be.”
Shows at the Carson Comedy Club inside the Carson Nugget start at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday.