Rocky LaPorte and Larry ‘Bubbles’ Brown perform this week at South Shore’s Improv
Special to Lake Tahoe Action
It’s rare having one of your favorite comics up here more than twice in the same year. Rocky LaPorte has been doing stand-up comedy for a long time, but it took NBC’s “Last Comic Standing” to get him to the national level, appearing in people’s living rooms for over two months. It’s funny how a little prolonged television exposure helps to let people know you’re funny when you’ve already been doing it for years. He will perform with Larry “Bubbles” Brown this week on Tahoe’s South Shore.
Rocky started out in Chicago honing his craft and slowly garnering a following, winning accolades and comedy competitions along the way. It was just a matter of time before Rocky headed out to Los Angeles where he started getting booked for television and headlining some of the biggest rooms in Hollywood.
On the big screen Rocky was in the classic Disney remake of “The Shaggy Dog” and Tim Allen’s movie, “Crazy On the Outside,” which co-starred Sigourney Weaver, Ray Liotta and Kelsey Grammer and was Allen’s directorial debut. Rocky was also part of Showtime’s “The Godfathers of Comedy” along with four other comics of Italian descent commenting on their Italian upbringing. He additionally starred in his own one-hour Comedy Central special and received a standing ovation his very first time on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Last year Rocky was invited by blue-collar comedian Ron White to perform with him for a segment on Country Music Television, which led to even more television appearances.
LaPorte’s most memorable place to perform is Kuwait, Afghanistan and Iraq, entertaining our men and women in uniform. When he has time he will perform for countless charitable organizations, including Ronald McDonald House Charities of Northern Nevada, St. Jude’s for Children, various NFL charities, benefits for the homeless and cancer research. Of all his accomplishments though, Rocky’s most impressive credit is when he received his GED out of New York City. That was huge!
LARRY ‘BUBBLES’ BROWN
Bay Area funny man, Mr. Excitement himself, Larry “Bubbles” Brown, who is the epitome of self-loathing, is set to perform as well. If you’ve been feeling depressed or insecure about how life has been treating you, one night experiencing “Bubbles” will make you feel hope. I’m not kidding either, folks!
Larry got his nickname, “Bubbles,” years ago when he was sharing a hot tub with comedian Paula Poundstone and she commented that he was kind of like bubbles — and well, it stuck. “Bubbles” is what you’d call in the business a “comic’s comic,” which means other comics laugh at his stuff (which is huge). He is so well liked in the comedy world that big-name acts such as Dana Carvey and the late Robin Williams would often request him as their opening act. The first time I worked with him was back in the late 1990s in Santa Rosa, where we were booked together. I couldn’t believe how down on himself he was. I thought it was an act, but he’s the same offstage, too. I think that’s why the audience was laughing so hard. He’s not faking it.
Larry is an acquired taste and, as mentioned earlier, people who have low self esteem or feel that there’s no hope feel inspired to carry on with their own lives after seeing him perform. In all seriousness though, he’s one of the first comics to volunteer whenever there’s a charity event that involves another comedian.
When not doing television shows or the occasional benefits, Larry does movies such as “The Kite Runner” and filmmaker Roger Nygard’s movie, “Suckers.” He’s also in the documentary, “3 Still Standing,” which chronicles the career of three Bay Area comics — Johnny Steele, Will Durst and Larry ‘Bubbles’ Brown.
Howie Nave is the MC at the Improv at Harveys. The comedy club is inside Harveys Lake Tahoe. Shows begin at 9 p.m. on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, and tickets are $25 plus fees, except Saturdays. Tickets are $30 on Saturdays. The Improv is dark on Mondays and Tuesdays. Must be 21 or older to attend. More information is available by calling 775-586-6266.