Television veteran Adam Ferrara in Tahoe |

Television veteran Adam Ferrara in Tahoe

Howie Nave
Adam Ferrara returns a message about a job offer while Howie Nave makes his daily text to an Internet dating service in Placerville.

It’s been ages since New York native Adam Ferrara has visited us here at The Improv. The past two times he was booked here he had to cancel because of auditions. But we’ll forgive him, since he was also asked to be part of one of those Comedy Central roasts.

Adam was a featured performer at the Comedy Central roasts of Rob Reiner and Denis Leary, the latter who is a good friend. Adam received two American Comedy Award nominations for Best Stand-Up and two “Comedy Central Presents” half-hour specials not too long ago, and is a regular on that network. And it’s not just the comedy that people are talking about. Adam’s range as an actor has grown substantially from his early start way back when he appeared as the recurring role of Pete on NBC’s “Caroline in the City.”

Since then he has moved on to larger projects, such as the critically acclaimed ABC series, “The Job,” in which Adam co-starred opposite Leary. Adam played the role of Tommy Minetti, a young NYC detective in the prime-time series. Adam has also appeared as a guest lead on the NBC’s hit drama “Law and Order,” on the episode entitled, “Smoke.”

Most recently, Adam was a recurring guest star on CBS’s “King of Queens,” and is a regular on FX’s hit series “Rescue Me,” playing Chief ‘Needles’ Nelson.

Adam’s stellar list of television appearances runs the range from the dramatic to just being himself; a funny guy. In addition to his multiple appearances on Comedy Central, he’s been on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” “The Late Show with David Letterman” and yes, Adam even graced the stage over at “The View,” getting a word in between the non-stop Chatty Cathys.

Adam’s feature film debut, in “Ash Tuesday,” was well received at the Tribeca Film Festival. Additionally, Adam appeared in the feature “Dark Descends.” So I guess we can forgive him for being ‘Missing in Action,’ but now might be a good time to catch him just in case he bypasses us again.

Ferrara also likes getting his political points across and has appeared on comedian Bill Maher’s show. When Adam recently performed for the Democratic senators at the annual caucus (with special guest President Clinton), Adam was delayed in traffic on the way to the event. Later that evening, Adam was quoted as saying, “I’ve waited this long for health care, now they can wait for me.”

Connolly moves up ranks

Appearing with Ferrara every night this week through Sunday will be James P. Connolly, who has been described as a cross between a young Steve Martin and Ted Baxter, with a dose of Bobby Darin thrown in. Connolly was first runner up in the annual San Francisco International Stand Up Comedy Competition, and was a finalist at the Boston Comedy Festival. He’s been on Comedy Central, The Jerry Lewis Telethon, Ed McMahon’s “The Next Big Star” and played host to VH-1’s “Movie Obsessions.”

James will tell you, though, that his greatest achievement was entertaining our troops in Iraq over the past holiday season. An ex-Marine officer from Santa Monica, James was formerly with Camp Pendleton’s 1st Marine Expeditionary Force and is a veteran of Operation Desert Storm.

Ironically, it was the first Persian Gulf War that launched Connolly’s comedy career. In 1991, en route to the Persian Gulf, then Lieutenant Connolly was asked to write one-liners for a dinner roast hosted by his Commanding Officer.

“The next day I was called into his office, and I assumed I had crossed the line,” Connolly said. “I was bracing for an ass chewing. Instead, I found the Colonel laughing and asking me for suggestions on how to deliver the jokes.” After watching the Colonel’s success, Connolly knew he wanted to perform himself when his tour of duty was up. Fourteen years later, he officially traded in his M-16 for a microphone, barnstorming across the war zone in Iraq to entertain American troops, which included entertaining his former Marine unit in a way no other performer can.

When not overseas, James performs regularly in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York and throughout the country at such top clubs as The Improv and Catch A Rising Star. Called “an extraordinary talent” and “as funny, quick and fresh as any comedian around today,” by entertainment bookers, he has been seen on Comedy Central, HBO, Fox, PAX TV, UPN, SiTV, the Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon in addition to numerous other television appearances.

James recently performed at the Washington DC Area Military Bases touring the Nation’s Capitol Area from in October 2005 with the “Comics On Duty World Tour.” His other credits include national commercials, theater, voice-over, and headlining engagements across the country.

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