Pit Bull of Comedy lights up a room | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Pit Bull of Comedy lights up a room

Howie Nave

Bibliophile Howie Nave at the Improv this week goes head to head with Bobby Slayton, who we dare not tease. He might bite.

Nothing makes Bobby Slayton happy.

No matter what I do, be it getting him booked up here, supplying him with openers for when he was doing his one-man show in Vegas or trying to weasel out of being on my radio show Bobby is never satisfied. I even gave him one of my jokes for last year’s Showtime special and was he grateful? No.

I suppose I should be grateful because if he was happy he probably wouldn’t have an act. How can one be considered happy and be labeled as “the Pit Bull of Comedy?”

He’s also referred to as Yid Vicious.

Slayton has a love-hate relationship with Tahoe. He was married here, and his daughter was born when he was performing at then Caesars Tahoe. It’s bittersweet, he said, being here because although it is so beautiful it reminds him of is wife.

I asked Bobby if he will bring his wife this trip.

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“No, Howie,” he said. “I would like to have a good time and keep the memories intact, so why ruin them by having her up here?”

His daughter Natasha is an accomplished singer and I’ve played tracks from her CD on my radio show. How can both she and her mother be so sweet and Bobby the Grim Reaper?

The good news is that “The Pit Bull of Comedy” hasn’t changed much over the years, which means he’s still edgy as hell and always politically incorrect. Suffice it to say if you offend easy this will be the show to miss but if you like your comedy served up brutally honest from someone who can say stuff that you can’t, then Bobby’s your man.

Bobby’s resume of movie roles, comedy specials and television credits never ceases to amaze me. It just keeps growing. Some of that list includes “Get Shorty,” “Ed Wood,” “Bandits,” “Loser” (directed by Amy Heckerling and starring Jason Biggs and Mena Suvari ), “Dreamgirls,” the Paul Provenza/ Penn Jillette movie, “The Aristocrats” along with so many others.

Some of the television work includes his Showtime special, “Born to be Bobby” (where he made my joke funnier) and played Rat Pack comic Joey Bishop in HBO’s the critically acclaimed film, “The Rat Pack” opposite Ray Liotta and Joe Mantegna not to mention the HBO series, “The Mind of a Married Man.” He’s also appeared on “The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson” (where Carson literally was bowled over with laughter),”Comic Relief”appearing with other major headliners, and my favorite show, Showtime’s “Penn & Teller’s Bull**it: Season 6” where Bobby was featured in the “Sensitivity Training” episode of that series.

So appropriate, so Bobby. Now let’s just hope I can convince him to get up to be on my little, I mean very important, radio show.

As the founder and produce of the Boston Comedy Festival, comedian Jim McCue knows how to spot good comedians. So he can get pretty tough on himself if he doesn’t think he’s up to par given the hundreds of comics who have performed at his festival over the years. Make that thousands because it’s only the few hundred that get cut down to who compete for the top prize as Boston’s funniest.

The 6-foot-6 maker of laughs stands head and shoulders above other the comics with the possible exception of New York’s Judy Gold who was here a month ago.

Featured on Comedy Central, Comcast Comedy Spotlight and The Boston Comedy Festival Jim likes to invite the audience to be part of his show, blending thought-provoking material and utilizing his improvisational skills.

I’ve read his book. (Editor’s note: We buried the lead: Howie read a book!) “Embedded Comedian,” chronicles his experience entertaining our troops in Iraq and how such being over there has humbled him immensely keeping things in perspective .

Pretty much with Jim, it’s your classic, “What you see is what you get” kind of a guy. Nothing pretentious about him but very funny.