Lake Tahoe comedy scene with Howie Nave: David Spade at MontBleu, Bob Zany at The Improv
Special to Lake Tahoe Action
Comedian/actor David Spade hasn’t been up here in awhile so no doubt he’ll have plenty to talk about when he performs at MontBleu on Saturday. Spade’s big break happened when he got on “Saturday Night Live,” but did you know it was comedian Dennis Miller who got him his start on that show?
Oh, yeah. In 1989, Spade was one of six comics showcased on HBO’s 13th Annual Young Comedians Show. The show was hosted by Dennis Miller, and with his help, Spade made it onto SNL in April 1990.
It was during his early years on Saturday Night Live that Spade befriended fellow comedian Chris Farley. Their close friendship offstage made for great chemistry in front of the camera, earning them larger roles on the series. After a few bit parts in forgettable films, SNL producer Lorne Michaels got the idea to put Spade and Farley together on the big screen, capitalizing on the formula Spade called, “the age-old secret of fatty and skinny.”
Michaels produced 1995’s “Tommy Boy” as a vehicle for Farley, with Spade serving as straight man. Though the film received lukewarm reviews, it was a hit at the box office among the duo’s legions of SNL fans. In 1996, Spade teamed with Farley again for “Black Sheep,” and made his exit from SNL.
It was during this time of career highs that tragedy struck when Farley died of a drug overdose. Though the news couldn’t have come as a total surprise to those who knew of Farley’s excessive consumption of food, alcohol and controlled substances, the comic’s untimely death still devastated Spade, who didn’t attend the funeral.
Spade poured himself back into his work appearing in numerous films, including Joe Pesci’s “Eight Heads in a Duffel Bag” in 1997, “Senseless” in 1998, the romantic comedy “Lost & Found” in 1999 and “Joe Dirt” in 2001. He also supplied voice talent for the animated film “The Emperor’s New Groove” in 2000. It’s good to see him get back to his roots doing stand up.
Zany at The Improv
October seems to be Bob Zany month. I think he’s been up here in Northern Nevada more this month than in the past eight years. Hey, one can never get enough of the Bob.
Zany, a comedian and actor, is a one man promotional machine and utilizes both traditional, old school media as well as social media probably better than anyone.
There’s his podcast “The Bob Zany Show with Erin O’Conner,” Bob Zany on Twitter (@bobzany), Bob Zany on YouTube with his ongoing show, “Baggage Claim” (where he snags famous folks at airports as they wait for their baggage), ZanyBob on Instagram (because some loser took the “Bob Zany” name as their Instagram account) and of course all of his radio call-ins coast to coast including my little show.
Even before the internet Zany was expanding his vast horizons by performing in probably every venue in all 50 states, writing for other shows and producing his own comedy shows.
Some of the names that have found their way onto his shows include the late Garry Shandling, Yakov Smirnoff, Robert Wuhl, Kevin Nealon and actor Nia Peeples.
Bob’s a regular every Tuesday on my morning show with ‘The Zany Report’ where he delivers the latest news but with a comical twist. Oh sure he can be heard nationally on the syndicated “Bob & Tom Show,” but his greatest satisfaction comes from calling in every Tuesday on Howie’s Morning Rush here in South Lake Tahoe.
In addition to his comedy Bob is also an actor appearing on the big screen in such movies as Matt Damon’s “The Informant!” playing a lawyer, “23 Minutes To Sunrise,” “Up Your Alley” and recently on Showtime playing the Roast Master of Brace Land in the comedy “Gigolos.”
Bob also appeared in several documentaries and even made one himself called “Close But No Cigar,” which should be mandatory viewing for all those wanting to go into comedy as a career.
His latest venture was shot just down the mountain in Carson City inside the Nugget with comedian/actor Joe Piscopo. It’s a pilot called “Casino Boss” and we’re hoping it gets picked up to be a regular series.
Performing with Zany is Gary Cannon. Gary is a warm up comic who gets studio audiences all fired up so when the cameras roll the audience is pumped up.
He’s warmed up such shows as “The Late Late Show,” “Last Call w/ Carson Daly,” “Dancing with the Stars” and for Chelsea Handler on her show, “Chelsea Lately” on the E! network. He toured the country with the NBC television show, “America’s Got Talent” as their warm-up guy.
The Improv at Harveys takes place Wednesdays through Sundays at 9 p.m. Learn more at http://www.harveystahoe.com.