Harry Basil and Andrew Norelli at The Laugh Factory

Harry Basil
Harry Basil

Comedian and impressionist Harry Basil, who has had an illustrious career spanning three decades of making people laugh, will be appearing at the Laugh Factory, inside the Tropicana Hotel, along with Andrew Norelli, Monday through Sunday (Feb. 24-March 2), with show times at 8:30 and 10:30 p.m.

Basil literally “lives the movies,” and is a human movie trailer, taking his audiences on a wild romp through current and classic movies, with a trunk filled with outrageous props that would fill a soundstage. Basil was Rodney Dangerfield’s exclusive opening act for 17 years, and appeared in two of his HBO specials, and wrote and directed five of Rodney’s films, including the hit soccer comedy, “Ladybugs.” Harry appears in comedy clubs from coast-to-coast, and is well received in Europe where he is considered an icon. Currently, Basil is the show runner on a new sitcom, “The Jadagrace Show,” and producer of the recently wrapped comedy film, “Sleeping Around,” starring fellow comedians Michael McKean, Bill Bellamy and Bryan Callen.

Andrew Norelli
Andrew Norelli

Andrew Norelli uses comedy to navigate his way through confusion and dismay. Whatever happens to him in life, he brings to the stage, and lets the crowd in on his frustration and excitement. Credits Include Jimmy Kimmel Live, The David Letterman Show, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, Comedy.TV, and the nationally syndicated show, Comics Unleashed, where Norelli also worked as a monologue joke writer. At the Boston Comedy Festival, Andrew was awarded second place, and was the winner of the first annual Las Vegas World Series of Comedy.



For further information or reservations call 1-800-829-9034. Tickets range in price from $38.95 and $49.95


Dale Earnhardt Jr. Winning Daytona 500
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Winning Daytona 500

It was one of the great moments in auto racing, and especially NASCAR, when the kid with the red hair, red beard, and down-home attitude, along with a very famous father and a name to fit, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., crossed the finish line, and won the Daytona 500, late Sunday night. It was very fitting that Junior got there for his second win. If you were watching, like me, the last three laps were the best of the day. And, when that black bonding tape got stuck on his cars grill, I think I knew who put it there.  It came off another race car (I would very much like to say the #3 race car, which had returned to NASCAR after a 14 year absence–it was the old-man’s car number), and laid on the asphalt until the #88 car picked it up. God rides with race car drivers every time they step into a vehicle. But Junior has someone else riding with him in every race—Dale Earnhardt, Sr., who died in the Daytona 500 in 2001. I truly believe it was the hand of God, and you know who, that made it happen! Whatever, it was a great win!



Stopped by to check out what a Friday evening is like at the Italian American Club, on east Sahara Blvd., and found it was jumping like the old days, when it was the place to be. The dining room was full, the bar was hopping and a young man, Chadwick Johnson (no relation), was in the lounge singing. I spotted a few entertainers among the crowd so we, Brenda Weems and I, ordered dinner and settled down for a musical evening. Ronnie Fabre was in the audience, and Chadwick invited her to come up and sing, and sing she did! One of my all-time favorites is Judy Garland’s, “Over the Rainbow”, and no-one does it better than Ms. Fabre! Gary Anthony, an impressionist, followed with a couple of songs, and then, actor-singer Michael Delano, got up and sang two great songs.

Steve Rossi and Rich Little
Steve Rossi and Rich Little

We decided to continue the evening and headed for Pieros, over on Convention Center and Paradise, where our friend, Pia Zadora, is the resident entertainer. It too, was filled to the rafters, but Pia’s husband Mike was able to get us a table and, again, we settled in for some more solid entertainment. We spotted Rich Little and Steve Rossi in the corner, and soon the they were invited up by the hostess. Rossi and Little have a few new routines they are working on, and where better than try them out in front of a Las Vegas “IN” crowd.

The two very funny (they think funny) guys did a routine where, Rossi as a reporter asks various Presidents of the United States questions, and of course Rich responds as either Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, or Jimmy Carter. The new material is really funny (even Rossi can’t keep a straight face). They did a good 20 minutes, and gang, they truly are Legends!  Zadora is there every Friday and Saturday evening from about 8:30 p.m. till around 11:30 p.m., give or take a few minutes. It’s really the place to be, if you’re looking for some great, old-Las Vegas style entertainment. And, gang, you just never know who might be there on any given night!


Master surreal portrait artist, Jota (pronounced Hota) Leal, will make an exclusive visit, and a meet-and-greet at the Art encounter™ gallery in The Forum Shops at Caesars, 3500 South Las Vegas Blvd., R40, Friday, Feb. 28 through Sunday, March 2 from 3-6 p.m. each day.

Art encounter - Jota Leal
Art encounter – Jota Leal

Leal’s work is highly-stylized and completely identifiable. He paints the inner soul of his subjects and manifests it as their outer persona. Jota’s famous portraits cover many notable subject areas: movies, music, art, literature, politics, history, Wild West, and sports. Walking by the art gallery, his famous figures such as Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles, Clint Eastwood, and Al Pacino instantly reach out and grab you. 

Jota began drawing and painting at a very young age, and never studied fine art.Leal always wanted to paint people, especially their faces. Jota was the second of three brothers and his parents worked in the oil fields in Venezuela. He studied electrical engineering and graduated with honors, but it didn’t take long for his circuits to become lines, numbers to become colors, and brushes to replace the sweep of physics theories. Now the 37-year-old artist paints all the time. In Venezuela, he received the Caricaturist of the Year Award for 2003. His art follows the grand tradition of the great portrait painters of the past, as well as the more recent caricature masters.

Well, gang, that’s it for another week.

I’m outa here!

Leave a Reply