Maine man Marley makes Tahoe laugh |

Maine man Marley makes Tahoe laugh

Howie Nave
Mild-mannered Brent Weinback transforms to funnyman this week at the Improv

Bob Marley is celebrating 15 years as a stand-up comic and to this day he is one of the most sought-after comedians in the country. Oh sure, he’s done the slew of late night talk shows including Letterman, Leno, Conan, Ferguson and also had his own special on Comedy Central, but to me he will always be known as “Mr. Maine.” Marley, a Maine native and University of Maine at Farmington graduate, uses biographical and observational material for his high-energy routines.

He began his career in his hometown of Portland, and then moved to Boston to gain experience in a city known for spawning comedy all-stars. A regular at the Aspen and Montreal comedy festivals, Marley was named one of Variety’s “10 Comics to Watch.” He has also appeared in several films, including the cult favorite, “Boondock Saints.” The peripatetic Marley works nonstop throughout the country in such cities as Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Washington, D.C., Boston, New York and Denver. OK add to that Lake Tahoe but he doesn’t get up here enough. He will headline at the Improv at Harveys through Sunday.

One of the best things I admire about Marley is the advice he gives to young comedians starting out in this business. When they ask him what should they do first to launch their career and get better at it? Marley simply says, “Learn how to manage your finances first.” After that he shares with them the ins and outs of working on stage and on the road. Bob moved to Los Angeles (with his wife and three kids) to make the audition rounds for television sitcoms, movies, appearances in other celeb’s specials before moving back to Maine. He stayed out there for several years and simply decided, “Why bother? What’s the big deal being out here?” So he and the family returned to Maine to live where they live on a nice farm free from the polluted distraction that is Southern California. To this day he remains an overwhelming favorite and local celebrity in his native Maine breaking a New England Comedy club record by selling out 400 consecutive shows.

Oh boy, we not only have a new face up here in the world of comedy we have a real quirky, off-beat talent which fits in perfectly with all things native to Tahoe! Brent Weinbach’s standup comedy is weird; plain and simple. He does a lot of characters, he’s physical, and his humor is absurd. Some of the words that I’ve often heard that describe Brent include deadpan, silly, obscure, unconventional, smart, stupid, post-modern, grass roots, Berlin, 1980s, tennis, bike riding, Virgo, Rygar and well, you get the drift.

Brent began his comedy career in the underground San Francisco scene, but now tours all over the United States at clubs, colleges, festivals, theaters, music venues, living rooms, tennis, bike riding, Virgo, and well, ditto from before. In fact, you may have noticed someone wearing the increasingly fashionable Weinbach T-shirt. Brent is good and getting his brand across and I can’t wait for others up here to experience him as well.

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