Tahoe comedy scene with Howie Nave: Don McMillan, Jimmy DellaValle perform this week
Special to Lake Tahoe Action
It’s not often you get a comedian with a background in electrical engineering who references Avogadro’s number, XML (a programming language) and beta tests as part of his material. But that’s Don McMillan.
He may not work in the high tech arena anymore, but he still utilizes his graduate degree every night when he performs. McMillan graduated from Stanford University with a master’s degree in electrical engineering; he has a BSEE from Lehigh University and went to work for AT&T Bell Laboratories, where he worked as part of the team that designed the world’s first 32-bit microprocessor. He then moved to Silicon Valley, where he worked at VLSI Technology as a computer chip designer. So why stand-up comedy?
After winning the 16th Annual San Francisco International Comedy Competition in 1991, McMillan turned in his chips for a microphone. He went on to be the grand champion on “Star Search” in 1993, which launched him into numerous television appearances including “The Tonight Show” on NBC, CNN’s “Larry King Show,” MTV’s “The ½ Hour Comedy Hour” and A&E’s “An Evening at the Improv.”
McMillan started getting recognized when he began doing commercials for Budweiser. He played the Bud delivery guy who mans the “freshness hotline” and protects the world against “skunky” beer. That put him on the map in the visibility department, and he went on to appear in numerous other commercials. McMillan was also in the movie “Don: Plain & Tall,” an independent film that was awarded Best Feature (Comedy) at the Back East Picture Show and the Breckenridge Film Festival, and in the feature length films “Air Bud III: World Pup,” “Life Without Dick,” “Macon County Jail,” and “The Fanatics.” On the small screen he has guest-starred on series like “Star Trek: Voyager,” “Babylon 5,” “City Guys” and “Step by Step.” You can see him online in mega YouTube hits “Life After Death by PowerPoint” and “Live from My Cubicle,” among others.
The Improv at Harveys takes place Wednesdays through Sundays at 9 p.m. Learn more at http://www.harveystahoe.com.
Comedian Jimmy DellaValle is at the Carson Nugget Comedy Club on Friday and Saturday, Aug. 3-4. He’s one of the personalities of the viral videos known as “Channel 3 No Witness News,” which have over 30 million views worldwide and are produced by Damon Wayans Jr. The Italian-Irish-American comic is high energy and mixes both hilarious stories with one-liners and even riffs with his audience, producing an entertaining set.
DellaValle was born in Syracuse, New York, then moved to Brooklyn. He is now living and happily married in Los Angeles. His Carson City shows start at 8 p.m. both nights.