The Laugh Factory located on the mezzanine level of the New Tropicana Hotel will be filled with laughter this week, and next week, with the stand-up comedian with a single name, Basile, headlining over the coming weekend (Mar.16-19), followed by two major players in the field of comedy taking over the club next week. First in on Monday, Mar. 20, will be Michael “Wheels” Parise, topping the line-up through Wednesday (Mar. 22). On Thursday Jeremy Hotz takes over through Sunday, Mar. 26. Holding down the featured spot for the entire week will be Keith Reza, with Frazer Smith hosting.
Basile is perhaps one of the most diverse and sought after entertainers in the world today. He has entertained millions of comedy fans in the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, and Africa with his unique blend of material and improvisation. Currently, he is touring throughout North America with his show “A Pinch of Basile.” He also stars in the critically acclaimed comedy series “Growing Up Greek in America,” which is spoken in Greek and English, and has sold over a million copies worldwide. Basile has been heard on Armed Forces Radio, syndicated radio, and comedy segments on XM/Sirius Satellite Radio. Basile has made over 100 television appearances throughout the world, including HBO, Showtime, Comedy Central, A&E and “The Jay Leno Show” on NBC, to name just a few. He is also known for his voice work as Universal Studio’s Bullwinkle J. Moose, as well as voices for the Cartoon Network and many Japanese animal series. In March of 2010, Basile was nominated for an Emmy Award for his work on ESPN’s “30 for 30” episode “The Legend of Jimmy the Greek,” as the voice of “Jimmy ‘The Greek’ Snyder (Simonides).”
Michael “Wheels” Parise is a 25-year comedy veteran who rose from the comedy trenches of New York to an international headliner. Parise can be seen on HBO, “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” and costarring on VH1’s celeb-reality show “Dice: Undisputed.” Michael also toured for 23 years with Andrew Dice Clay, one of the most controversial comedians of our time, and has co-starred in 12 feature films, including “A Low Down Dirty Shame” with Keenen Ivory Wayans and Jada Pinkett Smith.
One of the most unique stand-up comics working today, Canadian born Jeremy Hotz is a proven international success. With stellar performances at the Montreal Comedy Festival and his sold out Canadian theater tours, as well as performances all over the United States, Europe and Australia, Jeremy continues to grab audiences with his completely original and confused, yet very astute, observational comedy. In 1997, he performed at the Just For Laughs Comedy Festival in Montreal, where he received a standing ovation after his debut performance at the festival’s prestigious television gala. He returned to the Just For Laughs Comedy Festival in 1999, 2002, 2003, 2005 (voted Best Performer by the “Globe and Mail”), 2007, 2008 (Chosen as Best in Fest by the “Montreal Gazette”) 2011-2013 where he was one of the hosts for the Just for Laughs TV series for The Comedy Network, and 2016 where he did his own one man show at the Olympic Theatre.
Recognition came quick, as American studios and networks showed interest and Jeremy was offered major development deals from CBS, Disney and Comedy Central. Another highlight for Hotz was his debut appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman, followed by five appearances on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Jeremy has also appeared on Comedy Central with his own standup special and filmed two others; “What A Miserable Show This Is…” and “Some of the Best of Jeremy Hotz” for CTV. His current DVD “What a Miserable DVD This Is…” is a hit. His new one hour comedy special, “Profoundly Disappointed” shoots in Los Angeles this summer.
Keith Reza, in the featured spot this week, is one of the hardest working stand-up comedians today. Keith was born in Texas and raised in Southern California. At age thirteen, he was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome. Never being able to make friends or explore romantic relationships, Keith took his disorder to the stage. Keith has been named Top 50 Funniest by the Ultimate Laff Down several years in a row! He has been a Semi Finalist of the Arizona’s Funniest Person Contest and won 2nd Place in the Dave and Buster’s Comic Battle produced by Mel Austin. Keith has appeared on “NBC Stand Up 4 Diversity,” and Animal Planet’s “Pit Boss.” He filmed a pilot called “Terrible People” and the web series “The Shop.” He has performed with many comedians including: Norm MacDonald, Jim Breuer, Tom Arnold, Bobby Slayton, Jeremy Hotz, The Greg Wilson, Jeff Garcia and many more. Keith also writes movies; he finished his first script called “Craving For Desire” and is in the process of trying to sell it. He is in the middle of his second screenplay. In 2014, Keith filmed his first stand up special titled “Keith Reza: You Can Hardly Tell.” Currently Keith is one of Jeremy Hotz features. In 2017, Keith came in second place at Los Angeles Funniest Person Contest out of hundreds of comedians. Keith lost to Jose Raymond.
Frazer Smith, your host for the week, is not only one of the funniest comics on the LA scene today; he is also one of comedy’s most well-connected personalities. After 30 years in the business, Smith has appeared on numerous TV shows and has been one of the most listened to DJs on KLOS for years! You may also recognize him as the host on NBC’s “Rockin’ America.”
Showtimes are 8:30 and 10:30 p.m. Tickets range from $34.95 to $54.95. Call 702-739-2411
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The Yard and The Birdie Bar, located at Topgolf Las Vegas, is offering a unique entertainment experiences for locals, tourists, golfers, and non-golfers alike, with affordable and intimate performances from all genres. Since I’m not a golfer, I think I may just stop by one evening to catch one of the Special Guest Performances. Here is the line-up for next week beginning with The Funk Jam at the Birdie Bar at 10:30 p.m. and of course it’s free. The Funk Jam consists of talented musicians with amazing resumes – A.J. Johnson on bass and vocals, James Caselton on guitar, Dan Walker on keys and Earl Campbell on drums. The Funk Jam began in November 2011, and was brought together out of love for jamming with no rules with fellow musicians. Over the course of The Funk Jam’s existence, they have outgrown multiple venues and grown a loyal fan base numbering in the thousands.
On Thursday, March 23, artist: Davy Knowles at The Yard, with the performance at 8:00 p.m. and gang it’s free. The journey for renowned modern day bluesman, Davy Knowles began growing up in the Isle of Man, learning to play guitar from listening to the likes of Clapton, Knopfler, Green and Marall in his father’s record collection, and honing his skills playing the local music circuit. Knowles’ professional career started with a bang – arriving in America at age 19 with his band Back Door Slam, and an acclaimed debut album with rave reviews at SXSW 2007. From that dynamic introduction, Knowles proceeded to make a significant impact across U.S. media – from memorable television performances on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” and “Good Morning America”, to a three-year run at radio with the singles “Come Home” and “Tear Down the Walls.”
Wrapping up the week on Friday, Mar. 24, will be Dumpstaphunk at The Yard beginning at 8:00 p.m. and of course it’s free also. Dumpstaphunk stands out among New Orleans’ best as one of the funkiest bands to ever arise from the Crescent City. Born on the Jazz & Heritage Festival stage, and descended from Neville family bloodlines, these soldiers of funk ignite a deep, gritty groove that dares listeners not to move. Their performances combine ingenious musicianship and complex funk and jazz arrangements with soulful melodies that are simple enough for anyone to enjoy. In Big Easy tradition, dueling baselines from Tony Hall and Nick Daniels III set off one of the dirtiest rhythm sections on the planet, while Ivan Neville lights up the Hammond B3 keys and cousin Ian Neville’s funky guitar riffs send the groove into overdrive. The band recently welcomed their newest member, Alvin Ford Jr. to the quintet, a New Orleans born and raised powerhouse drummer. Dumpstaphunk tosses around lead vocals and four-part harmonies the way Sly & the Family Stone did, but with three studio albums under their belt, Dumpstaphunk stands on the merit of their own material. Songs like “Dancin’ To The Truth” off their latest record, Dirty Word (Red Hot Records).
Well, gang, what did you think of the little bit of excitement at the end of the NASCAR Kobalt 400 race at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway last Sunday. It was a dust-up between two of NASCAR’S top drivers, Kyle Busch and Joey Logano, with our local lad (Bush) coming out with a sore rib and a bloody forehead. From my viewpoint, neither driver was right or wrong. Kyle, however, should never had invaded Logano’s territory where he was out numbered. He did get the first swing in however, and most of us agree, it missed. But that’s when Bush was in deep doo-doo. Those guys wearing Pennzoil Yellow fire suits did not appreciate Bush being there and picking on their boy. So, of course, they showed it by ganging up on “Rowdy.”
It was reported that one of the pit crew members kicked the NASCAR Champion (2015) in the ribs while he was down being pummeled by those guys in yellow. I think that was un-called for and if anyone was to be punished by the guys in the trailer, it should be each of those guys. I was taught as a youngster growing up that, “you don’t kick a person when he’s down!” And, why did it take so long for a NASCAR official to step in? One thing is certain it was made for TV!
So, gang, that’ s it for this week.
I’m outa here!