Wednesday, December 30, 2009
STARS ON THE LAS VEGAS STRIP
I ran into a very funny man today. We were both waiting for our cars at a local dealership on West Sahara here in Las Vegas.
This guy opened for the biggest names at all of the major resorts on the strip before becoming a sensational headliner himself.
When you hear the name DAVID BRENNER, you immediately think of a 'real' guy, a performer whose comedy is authentic and hilarious.
Watching DAVID BRENNER is seeing a guy from the neighborhood who made good. He's one of the last of the up front comics, an honest-to-goodness comedy star and a helluva nice guy.
Talking with David made me remember what I love(d) about Las Vegas.
Let me be clear: DAVID BRENNER is doing great. He looks fantastic and is as funny and topical as ever. Just great. But, visiting with him about the good ol' days, made me wonder what the hell is going to happen to Las Vegas entertainment.
When I was a kid, I'd go over to NBC and watch network televison shows being taped. The Tonight Show was my favorite because they always booked great guests. I remember my first Johnny Carson taping. My Uncle Hank knew several members of the great Tonight Show Orchestra and my aunt Irene just loved DAVID BRENNER, who was a guest that night. I remember watching Carson crack-up during David's routine. Even though I was a kid, I understood that it was something special, something real indeed, for the host-who was not on camera-to laugh his ass off during a young comic's set. I reminded David that our mutual friend SAMMY DAVIS was on the show, leading the audience in laughter.
In the 20 years I've lived in Las Vegas, I've booked plenty of acts, represented some top talent and even produced a few shows on the Strip; it has been a pleasure to hire some of my favorites along the way. As Cirque has invaded my town, I've turned more and more to writing. It isn't easy making a living by writing, but, I hope to hustle my Las Vegas-themed novel "The King of Diamonds" in the new year as I complete a new book.
In 2010 and beyond, I want to be a part of whatever is next for the Las Vegas Strip. I mean, enough with the Cirque already. Let's come-up with some new ideas. I say we put acts and shows and stars in the main rooms early and late and on the dark nights of those huge shows. Above all, let's ENTERTAIN people. I mean, right?
What will it take to bring entertainers back to Las Vegas? Well, there are performers in permanent spots here and there, but why not bring in stars and let them shine up and down the Las Vegas Strip? It wouldn't be hard to do. You see, I learned long ago: "Imitation is the sincerest form of show business." It can catch on quickly.
Young geniuses like NICK THUNE, fresh from doing Jay Leno would kill as a regular main room star, quickly establishing himself as THE act to see.
Is it easy to make this change? Well, yes, it is. It's simple, and there are several people here in town (me included) who know how to structure the deals to make it work.
George Wallace, Louie Anderson, Frank Marino and a few others are doing okay, slugging-it out and sometimes competing with their own properties. That's gross. There is not one single reason that authentically entertaining stars shoudn't be SOLD OUT every show. If that makes the Blue Men blue, well, that's tough. And nobody's going to drown in their tears if that mind- numbing and stupid Le Reve has to do less shows. And what's this shit about 'Smokey Robinson presents?' I mean, we want Smokey, and not some former Aussie boy band, mate.
There was a time when headliners ruled the Las Vegas Strip, and opening acts were presented in huge letters on marquees that still glow in the memories of those who love Las Vegas.
Now I know, you can never go back, but I say as we move forward, let's celebrate our great entertainment traditions.
- ► 2010 (85)
- STARS ON THE LAS VEGAS STRIP
- FOR 2010, I WISH YOU BLISS
- GETTING BLOWN-OUT on Christmas Spirits: December 2...
- HANG A SHINING STAR
- HOLLYWOOD GOSSIP TO THE MAX
- MY STREET NAME
- STEVE WYNN IS A HELLUVA GUY
- Painted by FRANK SINATRA
- DEAR ABBY: Are You Dead?
- THIS MIGHT SOUND FUNNY...
- MY SPECIALTY
- TYPING, HYPING & SKYPING
- NICK THUNE on JAY LENO THIS WEEK!
- ▼ December (14)