Whether you want entertaining writing, clever comedy, or some good history stories, Mike Vance is the guy for you. He is one of the best history storytellers in Texas. Mike also speaks and lectures on a wide variety of topics. He can provide turn-key production through his company, Dos Dogs Creative or through Night Heron Media, a non-profit that can create your book or video. You might have seen him on TV, heard him on the radio, or read about his Texas history work in the newspaper, but there are other stories and images to explore. So make yourself at home and browse around the site to learn more.
Mike has been creative for money for over thirty years. Shucks, since he left college, he's never had a "real" job, unless you count getting paid to play around on TV and radio or make movies about our state and local history. Now, you wouldn't want to break that streak, would you? Buy a few books or support him via Patreon. Mike can do all sorts of things for you in the most fun and professional manner. Contact him to find out more.
Mike started comedy professionally when he was only seventeen. He was the first comedian ever on stage at Houston's famous Comedy Workshop's stand up night, staying there from 1978 till the joint closed in 1990. Over the years, Mike appeared nationally on Showtime, A&E and ComedyCentral and headlined clubs in thirty something states and five countries. He opened for scores of big acts like The Temptations, Chet Atkins, Stephane Grappelli, Maynard Ferguson, The Kingston Trio and The Righteous Brothers. Today, he still occasionally does a gig here and there. He is now making a documentary about the legendary Comix Annex, The Workshop's home for stand up. There is also a new book filled with dozens of hysterical stories from the raucous comedy scene of the 1980s. Sign up for Mike's monthly newsletter to make sure you don't miss it.
What Comedy Theatre
In the early 1990's, Mike founded the improv group, What Comedy Theatre, along with Dee Macaluso, Deb Hope and John Swasey. Their regular Sunday night shows at the old Boatyard became almost a cult event. With piano genius Jonathan Benjamin providing the music, they made up some top-notch songs to go with the always hysterical comedy. His improvisational skills were a trademark in his stand-up and in the band performances, too. There's no one better at talking to the crowd. That, combined with his ability to incorporate information about companies, bosses and employees made him a sought after speaker and entertainer at of business functions for years.
Mike started as a professional voice over talent back in 1980. Versatility is his trademark. You've likely heard his voice narrating Texas history documentaries and shorts. He is terrific as a friendly, everyman sort of spokesperson. He has on air experience as a sports announcer, if that's what you're after. He voiced anime characters for over 20 years. His accents and dialects are stellar. But it doesn't stop there. If you need a male voice actor to do narration, commercials, characters, comedy or pathos, contact Mike Vance.
The PC Cowboys
Originally a by-product of the improv shows, The Politically Correct Cowboys quickly took on a life of their own. The act mixed original funny music with comedy bits, both written and not. The band produced two CDs that sold enough to go wood on the Billboard charts, and they were lucky enough to get some nice radio airplay in remote parts of Norway and Czechia. Of course, doing this material, they aren't going to use their real names. Mike's alter ego was Hamshire Fannett, the lead singer. Willie Nelson loved the Boys enough to book them at his Fourth of July Picnic in Luckenbach. The band is on permanent hiatus, but you can read about them in The PC Cowboy book that Mike wrote. And though the PC website has been taken down, you're still in luck! Visit this website's store to purchase the book and more remaining merchandise. Visit your music app or website to find PC Cowboys songs.
On the Air: Television and Radio
Mike's first regular TV gig was doing comedy bits for Sports Sunday with Craig Roberts at KPRC-TV. The show was so funny, that the duo brought it back in an even more humor-oriented version called Sports Off Center at KTBU-TV, Houston's 55. There were Mike's popular characters like Coach Leon Springs, basketball expert Jacques Layuppe, NASCAR Kenny, and the ghost of Harry Caray, plus other hijinks throughout the years. Between those two local TV gigs, Mike did afternoon drive radio on FM 97Talk, co-hosting with Roger Gray. The two talked politics and sports and interviewed everyone from Lauren Bacall to Lou Holtz. There were lesser known stints, too, like playing George HW Bush on Jim Hightower's radio show and doing some wickedly funny NPR-parody features on FM News Radio. And no one should forget the Rumor Has It features with Ron Crick on Roger Gray's earlier radio show back when the talk airwaves were not all loony tunes. Fun times! Finally, there was the much-acclaimed regional history series Postcards From Texas that was conceived, written and hosted by Mike. Lovers of our state's past still lament the show's passing, but it was a great honor telling so many Lone Star stories. You should also check out the fun Houston history content on the Catfish Reef podcast that Mike does with JR Gonzales. Where podcasts are downloaded.