Augusta Wind is hoping to blow some facts and some fun your way as she invites you into her living room, complete with gold fans and a chauffeur. She loves to tell stories of Asheville’s wackadoodle history as much as she loves to talk about her children, Epidural and Lidocaine. Augusta wants to share all the love she has to give. From the bottom of her heart; you know, that padded area.
Earlene is a native of Asheville and comes to you straight from the Biltmore Estate…Trailer Park. She has four kids she just adores. When not working at LaZoom, she is very active with her chillren’s PTO programs at school and is a super volunteer mom. Her hobbies include crocheting, raising chinchillers and chillren, and working on her 1986 bronze Firebird (it’s a beauty). She also enjoys spending time with her nephew Hummus and her niece Pita.
Bud Inski needs you to LaZoom. Literally born on the bus, he was found by tourists and raised as one of their own. Like Mowgli or Tarzan before him, Bud Inski learned the secrets of his special group of adoptive parents and became Asheville’s Native Tourist. He learned everything he knows about Asheville from visitors and the chatty people at The Waffle House. Every new batch of LaZoomers is a new batch of relatives to Bud. He must please you! Bud needs you to LaZoom!
Buster Guy (Your Bus Tour Guide)
Broadway or Buster (A Buster Guy Story): Buster comes from Asheville. Born with an ungodly gift for dancing, singing, and acting, growing up as a triple threat was never easy. When he turned 12, his parents ran away to join the circus. So Buster was raised by his grandparents, the famous performing Chestinbunns. Buster’s grandmother beat Ginger Rogers in a dance contest and his grandfather sang with Tony Bennett and Bob Hope; hence, Buster’s dream of one day playing Broadway. He started his own unicycle tours of Kenilworth and Haw Creek at age 15. While he juggled tours, juggled auditions, and just plain juggled, LaZoom took notice of his superhuman abilities and asked him to join their crew. Buster accepted, since the LaZoom bus runs on Broadway…Asheville’s Broadway.
Asheville may have been called, and may call itself, the “Cesspool of Sin,” but it’s also a deeply spiritual and religious community. (We didn’t name a stretch of I-240 the “Billy Graham Highway” for nothing!) LaZoom, which revels in all things Asheville, is lucky enough to have been adopted by a renegade group of scooter nuns. So don’t be surprised to see a holy water pistol-toting nun on a tall bike, or to have the City Tour bus boarded by Sister Bad Habit, Sister Sauerkraut, Sister Oo La La, Sister Harry Mary, Sister Mary Ravioli, Sister Deeee Licious, or Sister Bertha Better-Than-You. And if you’re riding the Haunted Tour, keep an eye out for Black Abby! (Hint: she’s a ghost!)
Ghoulish Gary was found in a dumpster behind Twelve Bones BBQ. He claims to be an entertainer, a role model, and a psychopath.
DR. VLADMIR CUTUPADDROPOFF XIV
Dr. Cutupaddropoff, arrived in Asheville decades ago from the Soviet Socialist Republic of Romania. He was a young fresh faced student of Cadaverology, Cybernetic-psychology, the Dark Arts and Interior Design. He had planned to follow his nefarious and color coordinated pursuits into creating a robotic autopsy dance club for necrophiliacs, but it was not to be. He became intertwined with the spirits that haunt Asheville and is cursed to ride the LaZoom bus until all of the evil specters of the city have been thwarted. Also he enjoys clogging.
Hellena Handbasket is the sexiest thing ever to crawl out of the French Broad River. Even though she suffers from some of the unique side effects resulting from drowning in waters where dirty hippies bathe, she is still just a regular gal and loves a good cheerleading routine at a public hanging as much as the next guy.
Werewolf, author, raconteur, he who came to own this sobriquet once roamed the streets and hills of Asheville as a “garden variety” werewolf, until he was captured by the noted writer Thomas Wolfe. Mr. Wolfe detained and studied the werewolf for a new book he intended to write but never finished: Full Moons: The Naked Truth. During one experiment, Thomas Wolfe bit the werewolf, forever combining his writer’s spirit with the werewolf’s murderous soul, and Thomas Wolfeman was born!
About our Director
Steven Samuels cut his teeth with New York’s Ridiculous Theatrical Company—the perfect preparation for LaZoom! After a glorious 20-year career as a writer, actor, producer, and director, he thought he was through with theater, but Asheville, like the hokey pokey, helped him turn himself around. Now, not only is he the artistic director of his own, all-original company, the River Arts District’s Magnetic Theatre, but he gets to ride on the Big Purple Bus whenever he likes!
How we got started
LaZoom Comedy Tours are owned and operated locally by founders Jim and Jen Lauzon, who were just a pair of crazy-in-love street performers until they found their first bus, colored it purple and pursued their wacky dream. At first, it was just Jim and Jen (and a driver), writing the scripts and playing all the roles. (Jim’s character, Sister Bad Habit, is such a significant, well-known figure on the Asheville scene, there’s even a locally brewed beer named after her!) Now in its ninth year of operation, LaZoom has grown to encompass three buses, four drivers, one director, eight on- and off-bus guides, and more nuns than you can shake a ruler at! But LaZoom is still Jim and Jen’s baby, and we’re all family here. Get on the bus and experience the fun for yourself!