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Actor Jeremy Piven bringing standup act to Tampa Improv

Jeremy Piven participates in the "Wisdom of the Crowd" panel during the CBS Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour at CBS Studio Center in Beverly Hills, Calif. in 2017. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)
Jeremy Piven participates in the "Wisdom of the Crowd" panel during the CBS Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour at CBS Studio Center in Beverly Hills, Calif. in 2017. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)
Published Jun. 4, 2019

Jeremy Piven is in transition, and he's coming to Tampa Improv on June 21 and 22.

The actor who chewed up the scenery as obnoxious agent Ari Gold for eight seasons on HBO's Entourage has recently committed to performing standup comedy, a field in which he has dabbled in since 2008.

Piven has not had the smoothest times in recent years, with Variety reporting he was the subject of sexual misconduct allegations that go back to 1985, allegations that he has denied.

The most recent accusers told Variety they decided to come forward after reading Piven's denials of the previous eight allegations. After the allegations arose, Piven's CBS show Wisdom of the Crowd was canceled.

"These allegations, which in one case goes back more than 30 years and the two others more than 20 years ago, are false," Piven said in a statement last year. "As evidenced by the lie detector test I took and passed, I have never forced myself on anyone, nor have I ever exposed myself or restrained anyone against their will. To the contrary, if any woman ever said no, I stopped."

So now he's on the standup circuit. And like Louis C.K, and T.J. Miller, other troubled performers who recently brought their material here, Piven is coming to Tampa to show his comedy chops.

He did some standup at a charity event for Hollywood's Laugh Factory, "and I got hooked," he said in a recent interview.

"The idea of making your friends laugh and then going and doing it for strangers is addictive," Piven said. "I come from a background in sketch comedy, Second City, and improv. So it's incredibly challenging because every audience is completely different."

In addition to Entourage, Piven has had a long career in TV and film, from the PBS series Mr. Selfridge to the movies Grosse Pointe Blank and Old School.

Tickets are $30. Shows are at 8 and 10:30 p.m. June 21 and 7:30 and 10 p.m. June 22 at the Improv at Centro Ybor, 1600 E Eighth Ave., Tampa. (813) 864-4000. improvtampa.com.

Contact Sharon Kennedy Wynne at swynne@tampabay.com. Follow @SharonKWn.

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