Lake Tahoe comedy scene with Howie Nave: Tony Baker makes debut at The Improv |

Lake Tahoe comedy scene with Howie Nave: Tony Baker makes debut at The Improv

Howie Nave
Special to Lake Tahoe Action
Kathleen Dunbar headlines the Carson Comedy Club inside the Carson Nugget this weekend.

Tony Baker is making his debut up here. Based in Los Angeles, Baker is a comedian, television/film writer and actor who was featured on NBC’s “Last Comic Standing” and the second season of Comedy Central’s “Gabriel Iglesias Presents Stand-up Revolution.”

He also has won several stand up comedy competitions.

He is definitely a fixture on the comedy scene being a regular at The Comedy Store, The Laugh Factory, The Comedy and Magic Club and the Comedy Union. He also has been featured at Flappers, Pepper Belly’s, The Punch Line, The Ha Ha Cafe, The Ice House & The Improv Comedy clubs and is a crowd favorite on the college circuit nationwide.

Tony also has co-written and has been featured in numerous comedy sketches and short films. Welcome to our tiny part of the globe, Tony.

Also from Southern California, but a little farther south than Tony, is Billy Bonnell who calls San Diego home. Billy spent the better portion of his 20s serving as an electrical technician in the U.S. Navy.

After graduating from Cleburne High School in 2001, Bonnell took a year off to, as he likes to say, “find himself.”

“I went to Nashville and tried to get into college there, but was unsuccessful due to being lazy as s@#$,” he said.

He became motivated though when he ran out of money, forcing him to move back in with his mom. Before becoming a stand up traveling the world, Billy joined the Navy, which is kind of how he got hooked into comedy. That’s where he was first exposed to stand-up legend Mitch Hedberg through a fellow sailor who had Hedberg’s album.

“I didn’t realize people could be funny like that,” Bonnell says of his first time listening to Hedberg. “It kind of blew my mind. The things he was saying; I didn’t know what one-liners were.”

After that Bonnell was motivated to make the rounds on the San Diego open mic circuit, quickly making a name.

He started entering various comedy competitions, which culminated in him winning 2010’s San Diego’s Funniest Person Contest.

Since winning Bonnell has gone on to perform at clubs and colleges in Arizona, Las Vegas, Texas and New York, and also was made a regular member of The La Jolla Comedy Store’s Best of San Diego.

Nobody was more happier for his success than his mom in part so she could rent his room out and pay off some of the debts she had acquired having Billy around.

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

Dunbar at the Carson Nugget

Winner of the Las Vegas Comedy Festival, Kathleen Dunbar headlines the Carson Comedy Club inside the Carson Nugget.

Kathleen was up here performing last year at the lake and wasn’t used to being in such a cool climate. That was in September of last year folks. Then again, pretty much any place is cooler than Las Vegas during the summer months.

She doesn’t mind it when she is referred to at times as a “classy broad” probably because she hails from Vegas. In 2005 the Entertainment Consumers Exchange awarded her the “Excellence in Entertainment Sunrise Award” and was again given the same award in 2006 and 2007 with the “Favorite Comedian” award.

Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin this comic has Midwest values and ideals. I can only imagine what a culture shock it must have been for her relocating to Las Vegas. But that was probably one of the smartest moves she’s made, as her name pops up virtually everywhere in the land of all things entertainment related.

Dunbar has a sarcastic edginess to her, bringing up her life experiences such as being a divorced mother, which provides her with plenty of material. See her Friday, Aug. 31, and Saturday, Sept. 1.

Shows start at 8 p.m. Visit for more information on the Carson Comedy Club.

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