Hello Tahoenians and those up here for the 23rd Annual American Century Championship (ACC) at Edgewood Golf Course. Sure, there are many recreational activities to do in Tahoe -- hiking, biking and jet skiing, for example -- but for some of us they just sound like the opening line of an online dating profile. As a comic, I save my fun for the evening and hangin' with other comics since Tahoe has become one of the best places for comics to perform. As host/emcee of The Improv inside Harveys for the past 11 years, I have seen more and more establishments booking top-name acts up here that rival L.A. The mere fact that we are now the longest running revue in the history of the basin (almost 12 years and still going strong) only further proves that Tahoe and laughter are a natural mix.
When you're a well-known comic (and actor) who loves golf, the ultimate is being invited to participate in golf tournaments, especially those that benefit local community charities such as the ACC. Among the celebs teeing off this year, you'll find a pair of well-known comics: Kevin Nealon and Ray Romano. Kevin will tell you up front that every year he should be practicing before the tourney, but then waits until the last minute before heading out to the driving range and hoping for the best. Ray is a little more serious with his game, having had some professional assistance with one of the best: golf coach Hank Haney.
I was fortunate enough to chat with Kevin, Ray and Hank on my little radio show. Nealon, who can be seen on Showtime's final season of "Weeds," loves coming to Tahoe. "I used to live up here at the top of Kingsbury Grade, Howie, so coming back to Lake Tahoe is like homecoming for me." Kevin knows he should play better, but when people know you're a comedian, it's a little easier to explain away some of those drives that are shanked to the left. We can always say we were doing it on purpose just to generate a laugh.
Romano, on the other hand, has made time for his game even while he was on the set of "Everybody Loves Raymond." "After the second season of 'Raymond,' Warner Bros. gave me a membership to a nearby golf club so I could work on my game while shooting."
Check out both Kevin and Ray at this year's ACC tournament and drop by our comedy room because (spoiler alert!) Ray said he might drop by to do a guest set if his schedules allows.
Howie Nave is the host/emcee/manager of The Improv @ Harveys every Wednesday through Sunday and hosts his own morning radio show “Howie’s Morning Rush” on 93.9 FM KRLT in Tahoe Monday through Friday from 6 to 10 am. He also writes a weekly comedy column in the Tahoe Daily Tribune's Action Magazine and gets the same pay as he does here whoring himself out for the love of Lake Tahoe. 'Friend' him at Howie Nave Comedian on Facebook and stay tuned for the Howie Nave High Sierra Podcast debuting next month.