Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Top 15 Comedy Acts In Las Vegas

Picture Of George Carlin

The last comedian I truly enjoyed seeing in a Las Vegas showroom in person was George Carlin. He is so unique and funny, I would like to think of him as a modern legend of comedy.

As an aging baby boomer, I remember what was called the "Golden Age Of Comedy". Many of you are too young to even remember the names of comedians who got their inspiration from Vaudeville and the Borscht Belt, and hooked their hopes of stardom to the rapidly growing film and television industry. These include such legends as Jack Benny, Bob Hope, Lucille Ball, George Burns, Milton Berne, Sid Caesar, Steve Allen, Ernie Kovacs, Carl Reiner, Jerry Lewis, and a host of other supporting comics and comedy writers too numerous to mention. Way before "Saturday Night Live" and "The Comedy Channel", these geniouses gave America its dose of comic relief from the toils and troubles of everyday life, and the fears of the burgeoning Cold War. America has always had a tradition of humor and laughing at itself, from Mark Twain to Mark Russell (or any other points of reference you would like to chose).

Today we all seem to look for the quick laugh and the gimmick -- "shtick" is the technical term! :) There aren't too many comedians out there working today that I can say have truly "legendary material" in my very humble opinion. Much of today's comedy seems to be held hostage by the cynics and perverts. Some, like Andrew Dice Clay have taken this to the extreme by making a career out of trying to shock us with their crudeness and vulgarity. I blame the mass productions of modern Situation Comedy, mostly not well written, and Hollywood's comedy films, also mostly not well written, and The cable comedy channels that bombard us with an overload of comedy until too much of a good thing becomes , well, too much - the law of diminishing returns seems to also work with comedy. Today's youth perceive themselves as too sophisticated to laugh at anything as silly as what used to make movie crowds watching Laurel & Hardy roar with laughter - the slapstick antics that made the Marx Brothers and The Three Stooges funny just ain't making them laugh today. Sit a teen in front of an old classic movie like "It's A Mad, Mad, Mad World" and watch them quickly reach for the Game Boy. A loss of innocence - perhaps the jaded nature of youth exposed to so much X-Box game violence and X-Rated video material that there is nothing left that can evoke any emotional response, let alone laughter, except shock jock extremists like Howard Stern. Now when we laugh, it often hurts.

I am sure that there are some up and coming comics who are destined to become legends. I've assembled a list of fifteen current Vegas comedy headliners and shows. They are not ranked (who could possibly rank them), but are merely listed alphabetically. The are all entertaining in their own way. They are all very talented, or they would not be playing Vegas showrooms. But legendary? I think Carlin, definitely. There are others on the list like Harvey Korman & Tim Conway that are already comedy hall of famers. You, of course, will have to pick your favorites. I guess it remains to be seen who comedy history remembers. As usual, please feel free to add, subtract or deny this list, as it is always subject to change. Also, current hotel affiliation, accuracy, and accuracy of this list are definitely not guaranteed! Use Google or your favorite search engine with the comedian's name , and you are sure to get updated information like showtimes. Please check your local listings in the many free "What's Happening in Vegas" type magazines floating aound Vegas.

Come to Vegas, and after you spend a day at the tables, you will either need shows like these to help celebrate your good fortune, or to forget your bad fortune through comic relief.

1. Bill Engvall - Stardust Hotel

Bill Engvall started his comedy career at the Dallas Comedy Corner. In 1992 he won the American Comedy Awards "Comic of the Year". On April 2004 Engvall released 6 cds of his live comedy "Here's Your Sign", "Dorkfish", "Now That's Awesome", "Cheap Drunk: An Autobiography", "Here's Your Christmas Album" and "Here's Your Sign: Reloaded".

2. Carrot Top - Hollywood Theater

Carrot Top! Who hasn't seen this curly red-haired comedian on billboards and on television specials across the country?

3. Danny Gans - The Mirage Hotel Casino and Resort

Dany Gans is the "Entertainer of the year" in Las Vegas, and his award winning "Show of the Year" is the hottest ticket in town. He's being called the best singer-comedian-impressionist-actor.

4. David Brenner - The Hilton Grand

David Brenner opened in Las Vegas on October 2003: Live inside the Shimmer Cabaret at The Hilton Grand, located just a few minutes from The Strip.

5. Don Rickles - Stardust Hotel

Don Rickles! Spend an evening with Mr. Warmth! Few are lucky enough to have an insult hurled at them from Don - will you be next?!

6. George Carlin - Stardust Hotel

George Carlin says "It's the duty of the comedian to find out where the line is drawn and cross it deliberately!" and it is the foundation of his act.

7. George Wallace at the Flamingo Hilton

George Wallace regularly performs in Las Vegas and has appeared at such major clubs as The Comedy Store, Budd Friedman's Improvisation, Catch a Rising Star, The Punchline, and is currently selling out concert venues around the country. As a highly requested opening act, George has worked for many top name entertainers, including Kenny G, The Beach Boys, Diana Ross, Smokey Robinson, Donna Summer, Natalie Cole, Tom Jones, The Pointer Sisters, George Benson and Paul Anka.

8. Joan Rivers - Tropicana Hotel

An Evening of Comedy with Joan Rivers at the Stardust Hotel Casino in Las Vegas. It's no gamble; the laughs are guaranteed.

9. Larry G. Jones - Fitzgerald's Hotel

Head downtown to Fitzgeralds on Fremont Street to see the spectacular comedian-impressionist-singer-impersonator Larry G Jones!

10. Louie Anderson - Excalibur

Louie Anderson is one of the most versatile and successful comedians working in Hollywood today, loved by the television audiences who never missed his nightly hit series "Family Feud" or his appearances on late night chat shows.He is adored by standing-room-only crowds in Las Vegas and Louie again delivers to his fans his inimitable brand of humor and warmth.

11. Mac King - Harrahs Casino Hotel

Mac King's unique act contains an unusual combination of quirky humor, visual gags and astounding sleight of hand. King is known for his engaging personality and original magic creations, like making a live goldfish appear over an audience member's head.

12.Penn & Teller - Rio Hotels

Penn & Teller´s live show has been a hit on Broadway and around the country and now has a permanent home in Las Vegas here at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino.

13. Ronn Lucas - Rio Suite Hotel

Ronn Lucas mixes stand-up comedy, improvisation, audience interaction, and astonishing voice manipulation to entertain and delight. Spend your afternoons with the hilariously funny Ronn Lucas, who creates a heady mixture of standup comedy, improvisation, and ventriloquism with an undeniably contemporary edge.

14. Scintas - Rio Hotel

With a genuine appeal to audiences of all kinds, The Scintas Las Vegas have quickly become one of the city's hottest attractions combining music, comedy and impressions with tremendous heart.

15. Tim Conway - Harvey Korman - Stardust Hotel

Tim Conway and Harvey Korman are "Together Again" in their very own two man show. From their early days on "The Carol Burnett Show," to their successful individual careers.

Honorable Mention: Richard Cheese and his new CD "SILENT NIGHTCLUB" (2006)"
Sample Mix Of Silent Nightclub


Related article: Nevada Magazine - "Wild & Wacky" Vegas’offbeat comedy shows redefine what tickles the funnybone.


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