It’s The Norm Johnson 9-15-10

There’s a young man in need of some help. It sorta follows along with my column of last week, dealing with wounded warriors returning home with injuries (some hidden, others visible). In the case of this particular warrior, however, you can see the injuries.

PFC. Michael Araujo was critically injured in Afghanistan, Oct. 16, 2009, when a roadside bomb exploded, catching him in the blast. He is now an amputee, and facing more surgeries following an already exhaustive series of operations. Araujo is currently scheduled for a titanium jaw replacement operation on Aug. 18, 2010, and, according to a good friend, Nelson Sardelli, Michael needs our help.

Tomorrow (Saturday, Sept. 18), a fund raiser will be held in his honor, beginning at 9:00 am. at Motorcycle Trike Toys, 470 N. Boulder Highway, Henderson, Nv. 89015. Activities include a morning ride (I presume on motorcycles, but perhaps they’ll allow a car or two). A $20 donation will be accepted at the gate by Michael’s family. The organizers have lined up some great entertainment including: 2 Fisted Jack, Flight 19, Moanin’ Black Snakes, Peter Monroy, Shovel, Updog and the Stormy Davis Band. There will also be some raffles, door prizes and a 50/50 jackpot.

For further information or donations go to

The world famous Comedy Stop at the Sahara Hotel is settling in nicely at its new home, the Casbar Lounge. Bob Kephart, producer of the award-winning Comedy Stop, has booked three top headliners for the week of Monday, Sept. 20-26. Headlining the trio will be local comedian/magician, Fielding West, along with Keith Purnell and Joe Delion

Fielding West is not only a magician’s magician, but possesses that very rare and impeccable sense of comedic timing that has landed him the opening spot for some of the biggest names in show business.

A winner in the prestigious Desert Magic Seminar’s Comedy Magic Competition, Fielding has opened shows for such A-list celebrities as Liza Minnelli, Glen Campbell, Earth, Wind and Fire, Mel Tillis, Phyllis Diller and dozens more. His numerous network television appearances include spots on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, A&E’s An Evening at the Improv, Caroline’s Comedy Hour, and NBC’s The World’s Greatest Magic and World’s Wildest Magic specials.

Fielding has also worked as a writer, magic consultant and technical director with Lance Burton and Siegfried and Roy on many of their TV specials. Fielding’s first one hour comedy magic special, “Hocus Pocus It’s Fielding West,” aired on WGN in July 2009.

Purnell is, without question, one of the fasting rising new comedians on the comedy circuit today. The Delaware born comedian is a high energy performer with quick one-liners. Keith recently took home the top prize in the Howard Stern’s “Kill or be Killed” comedy competition, and toured with “The Killers of Comedy.”

Delion is one of the most innovative comedians on tour. After a decade and a half, Joe has carved out a very unique position in the world of stand up comedy: He does weird things on stage. There are more sides to Delion than there are combinations to a Rubik’s Cube. He personifies the term, “One of a Kind,” because he truly is just that: “one of a kind!”

The Comedy Stop changes its trio of headliners every Monday. Tickets for the 9 p.m. performance begin at $24.95 plus tax and fees. There is a special Las Vegas resident ticket (with valid proof of residence) priced at $19.95 plus tax and fees. For reservations call the Sahara box office at 702-737-2878.


Nunsense,” the international hit musical comedy celebrating its 26th anniversary, opened in the Shimmer Cabaret Wednesday afternoon at the Las Vegas Hilton Hotel. A hysterically funny show about a group of nuns putting on a fund raiser, Nunsense has entertained audiences around the world.

The local edition is comprised of some of the most talented entertainers in Sin City: Diane Ellis, Janien Valentine, Michelle Johnson, Robin Berry Vincent, Kathryn Arianoff and Natalie Carson. Missing from the opening was Kelly Clinton, who injured her foot while rehearsing, and will rejoin the cast in a couple of weeks.  Shows are set for 4 p.m. daily (dark on Tuesday), with tickets starting at $39.95 plus tax and fees.

Even with the Plaza Hotel & Casino closing down all its hotel rooms, the original and long running “The Rat Pack is Back,” show, and its owner/producer Dick Feeney, just signed a three-year pact with the hotel, which extends its long run into 2014, in the Copa Room at 7:30 nightly. This is a terrific production, which began its life at the Desert Inn Hotel & Casino (now where Wynn is located), moved to the Sahara Hotel for a couple of years, then to the Greek Isles for six-and-a-half years. The show  has been at the Plaza since March of 2008. Frank, Dean, Sammy and Joey couldn’t be more proud of this show, than if they were here on earth to perform those classic songs so familiar to the followers of the men who sang ‘em so long ago.

Well, gang, that’s about it for another week of fascinating happenings in the City that never sleeps. I’m outa here!