The duo is back again for its annual post-St. Patrick's Day visit. This is one of the few traditions that The Improv at Harveys has, and it's one that started pre-Improv back in '97 at the then Reno Hilton (now the Grand Sierra Resort). Jackie Flynn and Kevin Flynn were booked together the same week, and when I got the gig with the Improv in Tahoe 20 years ago I convinced both to keep it going — and here we are still doing it.
The unrelated Irish Catholic comedians are both headliners in their own right, and both are from back east: Jackie from Massachusetts and Kevin from Connecticut.
Jackie grew up in the Boston area and when he decided to become a comedian he couldn't have picked a better place, as the comedy boom was in full swing and he found himself working some of the best rooms in the area. He went on to win numerous comedy awards on both coasts of the U.S. and parlayed his comedy career into a successful film career. The Farrelly brothers took a liking to Jackie and directed him in some of their biggest hits, including "Kingpin," "There's Something About Mary," "Me, Myself & Irene," and "Shallow Hal."
When he's not acting or doing stand-up, you'll find Jackie out on the golf course. Actor/director Clint Eastwood invited him several times to play the annual AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am golf tournament.
Co-headlining with Jackie is Kevin Flynn, who has one of the most varied backgrounds ever and lettered in four different sports during high school (sports were Kevin's main focus long before comedy came into his life). He headed off to the University of Massachusetts on a soccer scholarship, and as two-time team captain won a variety of honors including New England College Player of the Year and a spot on the 1984 Olympic Development Team. He went on to play three years of professional soccer in the Major Indoor Soccer League, and at that point in his career Kevin started exploring being a sports announcer. He excelled in the field and was asked to cover events on networks such as FOX and ESPN.
During his stint as broadcaster by day, Kevin (with his ease talking to the camera) expanded his commentary in a funny format through comedy at night. He became an instant hit in New England, winning the Boston Comedy Riot award in 1988 and found himself on television again — this time for his stand-up work.
Kevin turned out to be a pretty good actor and moved into the world of theater before heading out west to do movies and television work. On the small screen he's played guest roles on NBC's "Law & Order" and HBO's "Sex and the City." He appeared in the Farrelly brothers movies "Me, Myself & Irene" (alongside Jackie), "The Heartbreak Kid" (with Ben and Jerry Stiller) and "Osmosis Jones" (with Bill Murray).
To have both Kevin and Jackie on the same bill this week is not only rare, but also a powerhouse of a line.
The Improv at Harveys takes place Wednesdays through Sundays at 9 p.m. Learn more at http://www.harveystahoe.com.