By Jason Tanamor
Carl LaBove describes his act in two words: “Christian comedy.”
He’s joking, of course.
After all, LaBove is an alum of The Outlaws of Comedy, the comics’ group that included Sam Kinison that wreaked havoc throughout clubs during the ‘80's. And while his work still has that edge to it, there’s a method behind the madness.
“I love what I do. I eat it, I breathe it, I enjoy the moment,” LaBove said. “I plan all day being in tune, checking things out, writing things down in a notepad, watching people interact with each other. Then when I’m on stage, I want people to forget about the bill collectors, the screaming kids, their jobs - all that stuff is not allowed.”
The comedian started his career in Texas at the age of 19. He was helping his father start a gas-station business almost two hours away from Houston, when he finally bought a station wagon, put curtains up on his windows and lived in his car while doing stand-up comedy. “I was enthralled by stand-up,” he says. “It took two weeks to get rid of the high of being around a microphone and crowd.”
On the way up, he and another comic, Sam Kinison, started the Outlaws of Comedy. “It was a group Sam and I (as well as other comedians) started because we thought we would never be on regular network TV,” LaBove said. “The subject matters were not safe. It was a payback to those who helped us on the way because we starved for seven years. We put those guys on tour, the ones that helped us out. We opened doors for them. The Outlaws were outrageous guys that wouldn’t play by the rules.”
LaBove has performed with greats Robin Williams and Damon Wayans, be he credits Red Skelton for “quote unquote” helping him out the most. “I look back a lot, when I was younger, (Red) Skelton came on every Sunday night. I watched with my mom, dad, brother, grandparents, and was amazed that he made all of us laugh. The fact we were all generations apart,” said LaBove.
These Sunday-night shows were a foundation or building block for what LaBove does today.
LaBove has performed on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” had guest spots on “Seinfeld,” and “Roseanne,” and had roles in “Parenthood,” and “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective.” He was also in the Pauly Shore movie “Pauly is Dead,” where he played Pauly Shore’s insincere agent.
Jason Tanamor is the Editor of Zoiks! Online. He is also the author of the novels, "Hello Lesbian!" and "Anonymous."
By Jason Tanamor