Imagine this: It’s Thanksgiving week, your family’s visiting and you’ve all got cabin fever. According to the folks at LaZoom Tours, that’s the time to jump onboard Asheville’s “rolling theater” for a holiday special that lets you laugh your turkey off. LaZoom’s “Turkey Tour” is a two-hour ride on a purple biodiesel bus staffed by a comedy duo, husband-and-wife team Jen and Jim Lauzon.
For those who’ve never taken a LaZoom ride, Jim Lauzon calls the Turkey Tour “an extended holiday comedy tour with a twist.” He wouldn’t say exactly what kind of twist—besides mentioning that his wife will be wearing heat-proof mitts and “pulling things out of an oven.” And that a couple of Turkey Tours will feature local band Vendetta Cream.
Past tours have featured routines about local politicians, a fire-eating nun and a bear running up and down the street. In the latter case, “the police stopped me [once] to find out what the heck I was doing,” Lauzon mentions. For this holiday tour, the bear will step aside for a giant turkey (doing what, you can never be sure with LaZoom).
But seriously, folks: LaZoom’s typical tour takes riders around downtown, Montford and the River District. A tour guide tosses off doses of history and points out interesting stuff along the way. In between, LaZoom mixes it up with plenty of comedy. One rider described the experience as “way cool.”
Lauzon terms it a “family-friendly ride” that “combines all our passions.” Before coming to Asheville, he was a tour guide at Disney World, a train conductor and a street performer in News Orleans. That’s where he and Jen met, Lauzon recounts. The two combined their talents at making people laugh. “That’s what we love the most,” he says. Though both had “day” jobs, they found themselves devoting more and more time to performing. “We said to ourselves, ‘We should develop this into a lifestyle,’ and we did,” Lauzon says.
When the couple moved to Asheville, their comedy notions and experience building Mardi Gras floats evolved into an interesting twist on the transportation business—LaZoom Tours, now in its second season. “It’s a new concept, but in Asheville, it just works,” Lauzon says. He reports that 85 percent of their clients are locals.
When asked if a tightening economy has affected the business, Lauzon replies, “We’re not sure where it’s going, but we’re going to be creative.”
You can count on that. LaZoom’s voice message cheerfully says of the Turkey Tour, “Stuff your friends and your family! … It’s a nice way to say ‘we love ya.’”
For more information about LaZoom’s Turkey Tour—and to make your reservation—call 225-6932 or visit the Web site, www.lazoomtours.com.