Blue Ash Tenant Spotlight: Lenny Dave

The Perfect Small Office – Blue Ash has a nationally recognized comedy historian (not a comedian) that has been a tenant in our business community since 1983.  Lenny Dave is well known for his shows, “100 Years of Comedy!” They are a fun, entertaining, informative and interactive experience that takes his mostly senior (“Over 55”) audiences on a nostalgic trip down comedy’s Memory Lane – back to a time when the best comedy was funny and clean!  Lenny’s shows also have a remarkable effect on improving seniors’ cognitive recall of the people, places and comedy milestones with which they grew up.  He spotlights laugh-makers of the past 100 years such as Charlie Chaplin, Laurel & Hardy, Jack Benny, Bob Hope, the Marx Brothers, Lucy, Milton Berle, Sid Caesar, Carol Burnett and so many more.

How Did Lenny Get Started?

Lenny was raised watching the great comedians on TV and at the movies.  His interest and curiosity led him to start researching their lives, their careers and the times in which they flourished.  He realized that there was a disappearing generation out there who needed to be reminded of these comedy greats and why we loved them.  Starting locally, he began by taking his show to area senior communities and civic groups.  It caught on quickly and he then took his show around the country.  Over the past several years, he has spent a great deal of time in Florida, the mother lode of senior communities.  His one show has now evolved into an extensive repertoire of eight different shows, all based on the same theme – the history of comedy.  One show features just the great ladies of comedy.  Another show features the great comic actors.  Other shows are presented chronologically.  And, still another show focuses on theme songs of the great comedians.  For that show, Lenny brings in his Musical Director, Bob Vogel, to play piano.

A Powerful Moment

It was an otherwise normal show at a retirement community in Florida recently when Lenny noticed an older woman in a wheelchair.  She had been unusually non-responsive before and during the show.  Lenny knew something was not quite right.  He also sensed that her days were rapidly drawing to a close.  Lenny wasn’t going to let her condition and predicament stop him from making sure she had an enjoyable, memorable experience.  At the end of the show, Lenny approached her, knelt down on one knee and began to sing to her – only to her.  At the end of his song, he leaned and quietly said, “I love you.”  In the faintest of whispers, she responded, “I love you, too.”  Lenny has actually preserved that moment in much greater detail in his new book, “Infinite Inspirations.”

Favorite Part of Being a Comedy Historian

Lenny loves seeing his audiences respond enthusiastically, light up and lighten up during his shows.  Often, they enter the theater thinking they are just going to see another lousy comedian (“OK, funny boy – make me laugh!”)  But, right from the start, Lenny involves them in the show, almost like a game show where their input is essential to the show moving forward (which it always does).  In one word. the essence of Lenny’s work is all about nostalgia.  He concludes every show by reminding his audience to never lose their sense of humor.  The moments right after the show are Lenny’s favorite, as people come up to talk with him, to reminisce and to share their gratitude with a heartfelt smile.

Click here and make sure to check out Lenny Dave’s website!