South Shore’s prince of comedy releases DVD
It’s been seven years in the making, and what a seven years its been for the South Shore’s own prince of comedy, Howie Nave. Released this month, “Howie Nave: Live From Lake Tahoe” provides the kind of off-the-cuff comedy and improvisation that keeps the basin from taking itself too seriously. Wave after wave of jokes and music routines offer viewers a taste of this man’s comedic genius.
And Nave is arguably a comedy genius.
While his primary function as host and emcee at The Improv at Harveys Casino is to announce theater’s opening act and headliner, Nave’s infectious energy abounds to pump up Improv audiences with round after round of jokes. He likens what he does to hosting a dinner party.
“If you think about having a good dinner, the host is the person to make sure the table is set and everyone is comfortable,” he said. “That’s what I try to do every night. I warm them up for the main course.”
Yet it is often Nave who gets much of the audience’s attention and admiration. Not to say he outperforms the headliners, but Nave has the approachable warmth that often appears after the shows, when he mixes it up with the audience, takes pictures and signs autographs.
From his years on the road as a traveling funnyman to hosting The Improv at Harveys, “Howie Nave: Live From Lake Tahoe” is a must-have for your comedy DVD collection.
Nave has been doing the funny thing for years: While working the road, Howie has opened for a wide variety of artists, including Neil Young, Trisha Yearwood, Johnny Cash, Asleep At The Wheel, Kathy Mattea, Howie Mandell, Louie Anderson, Soupy Sales and “Weird Al” Yankovic.
The DVD gives viewers the unique experience of seeming to be in the audience, complete with the not-so-ambient sounds of the stage. Listeners will hear punchlines delivered and the accompanying gasps and belly laughs the lines evoke.
Howie’s personal history is rich with a mix of irony and humor. His parody songs can be heard across the country today but were first heard on the nationally syndicated “Dr. Demento” radio program.
Some of his original compositions include “Your Father Was Once my Mother,” “I was Born the Wrong Religion all Because of Circumcision,” “I Want a Part Time Girl for Christmas,” “It’s Hard to be a Jewish Cowboy When You Want to Date a Country Girl,” “Freaks on the Internet” and “Post Academia Blues.”
Howie, who graduated from Humboldt State University, is also a big sci-fi fan. He’s hosted numerous “Star Trek” conventions, in addition to the annual Roswell, N.M. Alien Encounter Extravaganza every Fourth of July weekend.
Nave has appeared on NBC’s “Last Comic Standing” and Comedy Central in addition to appearing at numerous comedy festivals in the United States and abroad. When not touring, Howie has hosted a series of benefit shows for the Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund, organized a comedy golf tournament (and comedy performances) for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, The Relay for Life American Cancer and Leukemia/Lymphoma Society and most recently for South Lake Tahoe Angora fire survivors.
Howie is also featured in the comic cookbook, “From the Stage to the Stove,” wherein comedians share their favorite recipes from all over the country while working the road. Howie makes a killer spaghetti sauce that is the envy of other comedians and even has a recipe for vegetarians, too.
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