South Shore comedy scene with Howie Nave: Bobby Collins, The Tommy Lama perform this week | TahoeDailyTribune.com

South Shore comedy scene with Howie Nave: Bobby Collins, The Tommy Lama perform this week

Howie Nave
Special to Lake Tahoe Action

What can I say? The celebration continues this whole week — you can almost still smell the aftereffects of all the fireworks! At least we'll all continue to have something to laugh about because there's plenty of humor to go around.

Bobby Collins is up here fresh off the boat from New York City. If you close your eyes listening to his act you can almost picture him getting into a scuffle with someone trying to challenge him, which one should never do to an individual from the Big Apple. Collins was named after his father's favorite comedian, Bob Hope. Collins told me he had never seen the legendary comedian perform, but as he puts it: "When I was appearing in Philadelphia for the first time a newspaper reporter from New York City caught my act and liked it so much [he] put me on the cover of the paper's weekend section. Lost in the cover's corner was a tiny picture of Bob Hope. While I was visiting with friends at the club, a black limousine pulled up and the driver handed me a manila envelope. There was a signed photo of Bob Hope inside along with a handwritten note saying, 'How dare you get top billing on a weekend' with a happy face drawn at the bottom." Now that's a great comedic story.

Collins' credits include several Showtime specials and VH1's "Stand-Up Spotlight." He's also opened for Cher, Dolly Parton, Julio Iglesias, Tony Bennett and was nominated for a Cable ACE Award as well as for the American Comedy Awards' Stand-up Comic of the Year. Collins appeared on "The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon" and is an author, too. His book, "On The Inside: Witisms & Wisdomisms," is all about things people can relate to —you'll find yourself laughing and at times tearing up. At last count he had 6 CDs out, one of which earned him a Grammy nomination. His DVD, "Bobby Collins: Live from New York City," captures the best of his stand-up performances. Collins has also appeared in five feature films and numerous other television shows.

The Improv at Harveys takes place Wednesdays through Sundays at 9 p.m. Learn more at http://www.harveystahoe.com.

The Tommy Lama

Okay, look: He may be a wee bit down the mountain, but because he's a regular every Thursday on my morning radio show and has a substantial following up here (and he's a friend) I'm shamelessly plugging The Tommy Lama (formerly comedian Tommy Savitt) who's performing at the Carson Nugget Saturday, July 7, at 8 p.m.

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I first met Savitt at the Boston Comedy Festival 10 years ago when he was part of the Best New Comedians competition and beat out some pretty good acts. The following year Savitt won top honors at the Seattle International Comedy Competition and was honored for Best In Comedy twice at the LA Comedy Awards.

Savitt has appeared on WGN's "The Bob & Tom Show," SiTV's "Funny is Funny" and on JLTV's "The James & Sunda Show." He really "made it" when he, as The Tommy Lama, was given his own show in Las Vegas at Laugh Factory Comedy Club. To no one's surprise, he received some cool reviews, and that's when the transformation happened: Savitt gave up the material and went spiritual with his shows. What with all the madness going on around our planet I can't think of a better comedian/guru who not only makes people laugh, but also feels self-fulfilled — and no calories, either! As The Tommy Lama, the comic formerly known as Savitt has created one of the most unique shows ever.