Man with a thousand voices, Kivi Rogers, makes comeback |

Man with a thousand voices, Kivi Rogers, makes comeback

Howie Nave

Kivi Rogers returns to The Improv for the first time this year a happier and healthy comic.

Rogers had a close call recently with a heart problem. It could have been fatal, so what does he do? He incorporates the medical exam and surgery into his act.

Kivi is a gifted individual with a quick wit and a thousand different voices; he says that was a part of his survival instinct, having to contend with five brothers as a child. Five brothers? Wow. After earning a degree in computer electronics, Kivi landed a secure position with a reputable law firm. So how did he go from executive material to writing comedy material? As with most comics it’s usually their friends or co-workers who talk them into getting on stage.

It’s much easier getting people who know you to laugh than absolute strangers, but Kivi had a knack for making everybody laugh so he gave it a shot. Friends, relatives and victims coaxed Kivi to try his comedy on stage. Well, he did and soon won his very first comedy competition that same year. It was soon goodbye to the nine-to-five job and hello to the comedy road.

Hit the road he did, and along the way Kivi has appeared at the prestigious Aspen Comedy Festival, where he showcased for HBO. His film credits are impressive, having starred in the Mira Sorvino, Lisa Kudrow feature film, “Romey And Michelle,” and “What I Did For Love.” Among his television credits are ABC’s “Home Improvement,” NBC’s “The West Wing,” CBS’s “Everybody Loves Raymond,” “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” and HBO’s “Not Necessarily The Elections with Dennis Miller.” Kivi has also appeared on A&E’s “Evening At The Improv,” “Comic Justice” on Comedy Central, “Def Comedy Jam” and The Improv comedy clubs.

He recently returned from performing overseas entertaining our troops which he found to be the most rewarding experience ever.

Michael Burton

Ask any comic about Michael Burton and they’ll have a story to tell. I look forward to a time when we can all roast him, because all of us have a special place for him in our hearts (some a pacemaker).

Burton returns after once again touring overseas for the USO, entertaining our young men and women in uniform. He not only performs overseas but also books other comics to play there as well. It’s kind of like being in a foxhole with your best buddy (but not your girlfriend).

Burton is a likable lug and I have learned over the years how a wingman should operate, because until I met him I didn’t even know what that term meant. In fact, one of Burton’s CDs is entitled, “The Ultimate Wingman.” The other is “I Haven’t Slept Since I Was 5.” When you see him it’ll all make sense.

His style is best described as a cross between personal experiences and audience improvisation, so one never knows what to expect from him on any given night. Case in point: If Burton doesn’t feel like the audience is “with him” on any particular night, he will stop the regularly planned show, sit down on the stool and ask the audience, “OK, so what is going on here, people?” It’s his improvisational skills that endear him to any crowd. No two shows are ever alike.

Mike was a regular on Comedy Central’s “Make Me Laugh,” in addition to being a regular on the late night talk show circuit. He’s appeared in several movies including “Stuck on You” starring Greg Kinnear and Matt Damon, and on television as well, including “The King of Queens.” Burton has also appeared in several TV commercials, including one with Jerry Seinfeld.

And get this: Burton was up for a role as a caveman in those Geico commercials. But after seeing the dumb TV show that is based on those spots I am glad he didn’t get it. Sorry, Mike.

As mentioned earlier, Burton has performed for the USO overseas in so many countries I lost count at 30. Proceeds from his latest CD go in part to benefit the troops. Burton says that performing overseas is one of the most gratifying experiences he has ever had.

Anthony Griffith and Michael Pace will be at The Improv from Oct. 23 to Oct. 28.

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