A few years back, when the Hilton Hotel was still the Hilton Hotel, a young black comedian (who was incredibly popular) was a regular in the showroom, appearing at least two or three times a year. One year, it had to be in the ‘70s, I was in the process of promoting a benefit for some ladies organization, at the Landmark Hotel (across the street from the Hilton, where a parking lot now stands). I had asked a few entertainers from the Strip to be a part of it, and was getting a slow response. I saw that Bill Cosby was in town and performing. So, I took a shot and called the Hilton and asked for him, and whatcha know, he answered the call himself. I told him about the benefit, and asked if he would give us a hand. He couldn’t get the “Yes, what time and where,” out fast enough. After that the stars on the Strip fell in place and we had a great fund raiser. An old friend, Red McEllvaine (one of the most beloved media personalities in town) signed on as the emcee.
I had met Bill a few years earlier, along with his co-star in the ABC TV hit, “I Spy” (which ran from 1965 to 1968), Robert Culp, when I was responsible for escorting a group of Hollywood stars to Greece for the opening of a Casino in Athens. At the time, I was working for a public relations company in Las Vegas. Included in that group were some terrific people, including one of my favorites, Lloyd Bridges. The three stars took the time to visit a Naval base while they were in Athens on their own. They had called the base and asked if they could come out and visit with the men. Guess where we stayed in Greece? The Hilton Hotel!
Now the name Bill Cosby is huge, and of course his life has been filled with platitudes galore, and some great sadness. What I have always respected about Cosby is he takes no crap from anyone. He speaks what is on his mind, and lets the facts speak for themselves. But he remains a touchable (by that I mean he is not afraid of the public). He loves his fans. And it shows when he is on stage. When he was at the Hilton, Bill would walk slowly on stage carrying a chair. He would place the chair center stage, sit down and begin talking. And, for about an hour, he would tell the funniest stories, and answer questions from an unbelievable audience. One entertainer that remembers those days is our very own Clint Holmes. That is a story for another day, however.
Now, following two sold-out performances, iconic funny man Cosby brings his signature comedy back to the Treasure Island Theatre on March 1 at 8:00 p.m. Over the years, Bill has earned respect from the critics and of course a ton of adoration from fans. His humor comes direct from every day experiences: the role of being a parent, children, family members, men and women. A testament to his status in the world of comedy, Cosby has earned eight Grammy Awards.
Known the world over for “The Cosby Show,” which ran from 1984 to 1992 on NBC, Cosby broke racial barriers and sent a powerful message to viewers – the family unit and raising children matters most. The No. 1 rated sitcom earned six Emmy Awards, three Golden Globes and 10 People’s Choice Awards. It helped set the stage for Cosby’s career as an author, as his book, “Fatherhood,” remained at No. 1 for more than half of its 54 weeks on The New York Times Best Seller List. Among Cosby’s other book titles are “Time Flies,” “Love and Marriage” and, most recently, “I Didn’t Ask to be Born: (But I’m Glad I Was).” His lifelong contributions to American culture were recognized with a Kennedy Center Honor in 1998, the Presidential Medal of Freedom in July 2002, and the Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize for American Humor in 2009.
Tickets are available starting at $54.95, plus taxes and service charges, and can be purchased by calling 866-712-9308 or 702-894-7722, or visiting www.treasureisland.com.
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In the world of show business, Jeff Wayne, is known as Big Daddy! To audiences, he is known as LOL funny! Billed as “A troubled man for troubled times,” his current tirades are about TV, lizards selling us car insurance, Honey Boo Boo on the learning channel, and Jerry Springer still being on TV after all these years, “I guess Jerry and his white trash free-for-all balances with NPR’s monthly Beg-a-thon!”
Wayne will display his sense of humor in the Comedy Club at the Riviera Hotel, beginning Monday, Feb. 11-17. Showtime is 8:30 p.m. and tickets are available for $19.99 plus tax and fees.
Wayne has appeared on HBO, A&E, NBC, ABC, CNN, FOX, SHOWTIME, and you may have seen him on the BBC, CBC, or Scandinavian TV. You see, Big Daddy travels the globe. He is heard frequently on XM/Series Radio, and has performed his critical, and popular one-man show, which is directed by Ted Lange (Isaac from the Love Boat), more than1,000 times. Jeff is originally from Kentucky, and now makes his home in Los Angeles, where he performs regularly at the Comedy Store. He loves Las Vegas, and agrees, what happens there, stays there…my money is what stays there!
Country/pop singer, Juice Newton, takes the stage at Veil Pavilion inside Silverton Casino Hotel on Thursday, March 21 at 7 p.m. A Grammy-winning recording artist, Newton, has been on the charts since the ‘70s. Her music is based on country/folk, but has tremendous crossover appeal as demonstrated in massive hits including “Angel Of The Morning,” “Queen Of Hearts” and “The Sweetest Thing (I’ve Ever Known).” Selling more than 15 million records worldwide, Newton’s timeless catalog of hits are a testament to her true musicianship and talent.
Mayor Pro-Tem, Stavros Anthony, will help usher in the Chinese New Year, by participating in Opening Ceremonies and ribbon cutting on Friday, Feb. 8 at 6 p.m. on the 3rd Street Stage (next to the D, Four Queens and Fremont). The new year will be greeted with a live authentic dragon dance performed by the Las Vegas Lohan School of Shaolin, complete with virtual firecrackers on Viva Vision (the largest video screen in the world, measuring 1,500 feet long and suspended 90 feet above the street), an eye painting ceremony and performers dressed in elaborate costumes.
Well, gang, that’s it for another week. I’m outa here!