Q&A with Howie Nave
The host and MC of the Improv Comedy Club at Harveys Resort and Casino, Howie Nave recently attended the Boston Comedy Festival where he was both a host and a performer.
Q: What was your first indication that Boston might be different from Tahoe?
A: The way they drive. They actually have signs there in the street that say “It is a penalty if you hit a pedestrian in a crosswalk.”
Q: What makes a Boston audience unique?
A: They’re really hip and intellectual. A lot of times when you’re on the road, depending on where you are, you sometimes have to dumb things down in some cities. But in most big metropolitan cities — Chicago, Boston, L.A. — they get the cool, obscure references, which I think is really awesome. And the more topical you are, the more they tend to like you.
Q: Any good lines that stand out?
A: I wish I could remember the comedian who said it, but he was telling about the time that a visitor asked him about his accent: “The guy asked me ‘Do you in Boston say, I like to pahk my cah in Boston Yahd?’ And I said ‘No. We say, I like to muhduh strangahs.'”
Q: It must be crazy there now with the Patriots and Red Sox doing so well.
A: There’s something about watching sports in a sports town. Out there they live and die by the Red Sox. Next year they’re pushing the festival back to September to avoid the baseball playoffs. One of the places that the comics hang out is a place called Remingtons. It only holds about 70 people, it’s all brick, really cool. We were sitting in a booth, and it was like comedians Anthony Clark and Lewis Black and myself, just drinking beers and watching the Red Sox. And we didn’t care who anybody was, we were just guys watching the game. It was great.
Q: What’s it like being away from Tahoe?
A: You get so comfortable being on this same stage out here night after night, it’s like your home. Out there, you find yourself saying “Where’s all the gambling?” I did make a West Coast-East Coast reference. I was doing the bit about dogs and cats, and I asked “OK, who has a cat?” And a guy in the front row raised his hand, and I said “You have a cat? You must be from L.A.” And sure enough, the guy was from Los Angeles. You couldn’t have asked for a better setup. I asked “Do you have a fanny pack, too?” And he did.
Q: Did you get to see the sights?
A: I was actually sitting in a bar across the street from where Paul Revere and Samuel Adams were buried. So you know what? I was actually drinking a Sam Adams and looking at Sam Adams’ grave at the same time. You can’t do that anywhere else, folks.