Native comedians bring the laughs

The ‘49 Laughs’ Comedy Show
Andrianne Chalepah squints
Durango hitchhike
Pax Harvey
Tatanka Means
James June
Ernest Tsosie III
comedians take center stage
Virginia Sage gets an autograph
Krislynn Thompson
autographs for the youth
The ‘49 Laughs’ Comedy Show (l-r) James June, Pax Harvey, Tatanka Means, Adrianne Chalepah and Ernest Tsosie II, performed to a packed house at the Sky Ute Casino resort, Saturday, Jan. 20, bringing a ‘Native’ insight to their brand of comedy.
Andrianne Chalepah squints as she checks the man whom she was not to show interest in, as warned by a jealous girlfriend. Chalepah starred with her husband, Waylon Plentyholes in ‘Bridezillas’.
Adrianne Chalepah demonstrates how hippies in Durango hitchhike, as compared to natives from her hometown in Anadarko, OK.
Pax Harvey brought laughter of his no ‘high-tech’ youth. He pokes fun at being a Navajo from the ‘rez’. Harvey recently made his acting debut in the movie ‘More than Frybread.’
Tatanka Means jokes about being in the club, dancing and being ‘taken advatage of’ by another male dancer, mistaking him for a female with his long braids. Albuquerque The Magazine voted 2013’s Comedian of the Year means.
James June brought laughs of him always being mistaken as Chinese and wherever he goes, there is always a Navajo there. Junes starred in George Lucas’ Navajo-dubbed Star Wars.
Ernest Tsosie III, points the direction to success, his brand of humor talks about his recent weight loss and the traditional ways of his upbringing. Tsosie III is the co-winner of the 2009 North American Indigenous Image Award.
The '49 Laughs' comedians take center stage during their finale to close the show with a group interaction with the Sky Ute Casino Resort audience.
Southern Ute Tribal member, Virginia Sage gets an autograph from tatanka Means during the meet-and-greet after the '49 Laughs' show at the casino.
The comedians took time to talk and meet with fans of the show and sign autographs. Pax Harvey gives a thumbs up with Krislynn Thompson after the ‘49 Laughs’ show at the casino.
Tatanka Means (above) signs autographs for the youth and others after the ‘49 Laughs’ Comedy Show at the casino.
Robert L. Ortiz | The Southern Ute Drum
Robert L. Ortiz | The Southern Ute Drum
Robert L. Ortiz | The Southern Ute Drum
Robert L. Ortiz | The Southern Ute Drum
Robert L. Ortiz | The Southern Ute Drum
Robert L. Ortiz | The Southern Ute Drum
Robert L. Ortiz | The Southern Ute Drum
Robert L. Ortiz | The Southern Ute Drum
Robert L. Ortiz | The Southern Ute Drum
Robert L. Ortiz | The Southern Ute Drum
Robert L. Ortiz | The Southern Ute Drum

The 49 Laughs crew treated a sold out crowd to some hysterical “rez jokes” Saturday, Jan. 10 at the Sky Ute Casino Resort Event Center.

The crew isn’t the first Native comedy troupe to visit the Sky Ute Casino Resort, but their show may have been the most successful.

“We have done quite a few Native comics in the past, but have never had that kind of response, so we were very pleased,” Tracy Leppert, Sky Ute Casino marketing coordinator said.

The 49 Laughs crew consists of the award winning Navajo comedy duo “James and Ernie,”; Adrianne Chalepah (Kiowa and Apache); Pax Harvey (Navajo); and Tatanka Means (Omaha, Lakota and Navajo).

The female voice of the crew, Chalepah, said she was beyond pleased with the turnout at the show.

“It was a really good turnout, especially since it was our first time preforming at the Sky Ute Casino,” Chalepah said. “I hope that they bring us back.”

In addition to joke telling, the members of the group are also motivational speakers and are often viewed as positive role models for Native communities to look up to.

“I really honor being a role model; it has made me mindful. It’s about being respectful. I act like how I would act in front of my grandmother,”Chalepah said. “I’m very fortunate to be apart of a group that is all native and all sober. We motivate each other to be healthy, mentally, physically and spiritually.”

Chalepah started her comedic career after a successful open mic session held at Ft. Lewis College. She later began opening up for other comedians before she was asked to join the 49 Laughs crew. She quit her well-paying job at a bank to pursue being a full-time stand up comedian.

“It’s the craziest thing I’ve ever done … I was four months pregnant at the time too,” she said.

Luckily, Chalepah has proven to be a natural at making audiences laugh.

If you missed the show, you should be able to catch them back here in the near future.

“As well as they did we are looking to bring them in at least once a year, if not twice a year,” Leppert said.


Like it? Share it!