“The New Mr. Vegas” is back. Renowned comedian and longtime star of stage and screen, George Wallace, returned to Las Vegas with a new residency show at the intimate Westgate Cabaret inside the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino a few weeks ago. And, the media was invited the other evening to catch up with the funny guy, and I must say, Wallace has not missed a beat since leaving the stage at the Flamingo in 2014 to get re-charged—and, gang, he is re-charged.
“I’m very happy to return to Las Vegas on a regular basis,” said Wallace. “Time away from the city the last few years has provided me with plenty of new material and experiences to add into the show. I’m looking forward to performing in an intimate venue and thrilled to be part of the Westgate family.”
I know the name Bill Cosby is not popular today, but George reminds me so much of him, right down to the chair on the stage as the only prop. Why the comparison, well let me tell you: Bill, like Wallace, sauntered on stage (in the big room at the Hilton now the Westgate), and immediately kicked off a joke or two before sitting down. Wallace sorta did the same thing but was more active as he walked side to side doing a bump and grind like joke. Then the man from Atlanta, Ga., was ready to saunter over to the chair and sit down and start to tell stories. Bill practically invented that move. He would sit on that huge stage at the Hilton and turn a news story into one of the funniest routines ever. And it was fresh and not done in anger.
Wallace does the same thing, but with a different twist. He will take a thing and make you think: “I be thinking …My alarm went off this morning…It didn’t go off it went on”….or I be thinking “the phone be ringing off the hook…if it’s off the hook it ain’t ringing.”
“I don’t usually talk shit,” and then he would go into a routine which was pin-pointed at a certain subject that could’ve recently been in the news. Another of his favorites is when he would talk about being in his hometown, Atlanta, last night before flying into Vegas. And, as he went on with his routine, he would occasionally stop and ask an audience member where he or she was from. “I was just there last night!” It quickly becomes apparent to the audience that he was everywhere last night!
George Wallace had some great stand-up comedians who he watched and learned from: Redd Foxx, who headlined and lived in our little village (Las Vegas) hired him to be one of his writer’s way back when he was just starting out. Jerry Seinfeld and he were and are probably as tight as any two men can be, and they sorta came up together.
Another big laugh getter is when he throws out a few of his signature “Yo Mama” jokes. Audience members never know what will happen at a George Wallace show. Wallace is an evolving comedian, which is why his show is different every night. He’s always thinkin’.
George, who has been selling out comedy clubs and concert venues all over the world, derives his comedy from the everyday and simply shares moments of life. He finds humor everywhere he turns–from media to relationships to dialogue clichés. At all costs, he avoids standard opening lines and is known to be an ace at reading an audience. Among other comics, Wallace is known as “the guy who can roll the room over if it’s dead.”
Wallace began his career in comedy as a writer for “The Redd Foxx Show” and made a huge splash on the stand-up scene as one of 150 competitors on the cable television special “The Big Laugh Off.” Wallace captured first prize, which included club gigs all over the country. Recently, Wallace appeared in the hit show “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” with Seinfeld and starred alongside Morgan Freeman in the film “Just Getting Started.” He will be appearing in the upcoming movie “The Last Laugh,” alongside Richard Dreyfus and Chevy Chase. And speaking of Mr. Freeman, George has a great routine about how he should’ve been cast in the movies Morgan starred in like: “I could’ve drove that car….” It is a winner. George Wallace is a winner when it comes to stand-up comedy.
He performs Tuesday through Thursday at 8:00 p.m. inside the intimate Westgate Cabaret. Tickets are $65, $75, and $95 plus tax and fees and can be purchased at the Casino Box Office at (800) 222-5361 or online at www.westgatelasvegas.com. He shows his gratitude to the audience by signing autographs and taking photos after every show.
THIS AND THAT QUICKLY:
A friend of mine for a number of years, Cathie Sorrenson, invited me to participate in a new gathering of friends and strangers, and to see where her son, Eric, is now in charge. I also participate in a similar gathering every Friday at the Lazy Dog restaurant and bar in Town Square. I have found it to be a great way to meet new people, and it’s surprisingly fun.
Anyhow, the restaurant is now called Pkway Tavern bar and restaurant, formerly known Whist, and is located in The District in Green Valley. Eric Sorrenson was named General Manager over two of the properties purchased by Fine Entertainment (the other property was known as Due & Propper and is now called Ritchie McNeely’s). Johnathan Fine is the principle owner, with Kenna Warner vice-president and Tony Reyes as the director of operations.
Cathie had about 20 ladies and gentlemen show up for her first gathering. And, I really enjoyed it a lot as I made some new friends that I normally would’ve never met. And that’s the whole idea. Get out of the house and go somewhere safe and sane and meet some new people. Who knows you might just make a long-time friend. I’ll letcha all know when she plans another gathering.
Renowned comedian and Emmy-nominated actor Billy Gardell is returning to Las Vegas for a special performance at the Grand Events Center inside Green Valley Ranch Resort on Saturday, August 11 at 800 p.m. Tickets start at $25 and are now on sale.
As a stand-up comic, Gardell took the long road to Hollywood, stopping at every small town lounge, military base and comedy club along the way. His comedy act took him to Los Angeles, where his dedication to acting, along with touring as a stand-up comedian, allowed him to grow consistently in both arenas. His stand-up show is a powerhouse. His grounded, down-to-earth point of view strikes a strong chord with American audiences. Stories about his rough childhood, wild adolescence and new family life are executed with the skill of a master craftsman. His comedy specials, Billy Gardell: Halftime, premiered on Comedy Central and Billy Gardell Presents Road Dogs premiered on Showtime.
Gardell starred in the CBS Hit television series, MIKE & MOLLY as Officer Mike Biggs from 2010-2016. MIKE & MOLLY continues to air in syndication to this day. As a follow-up to the hit CBS series, Billy has taken a dramatic turn in the CMT series Sun Records as Colonel Tom Parker, the infamous manager of Elvis Presley. The drama series was inspired by the Broadway musical. In 2016 he received a Daytime Emmy nomination as Best Gameshow Host for Monopoly Millionaires Club.
Tickets for Billy Gardell are $25, $35, $45 and $55 plus tax and applicable fees for reserved seating. Doors open at 7:00 p.m. and guests under 21 years must be accompanied by an adult. Tickets can be purchased at any Station Casinos Reward Center and The Fiestas, by logging onto www.stationcasinoslive.com or through Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000 or www.ticketmaster.com.
Well, gang, that’s about it for this week. Don’t forget Andrew Santino is at the Laugh Factory through Sunday.
I’m out here!