Hey, my friend has done it again! Yep, Rich Little has had a great response during his stay at the Laugh Factory inside the New Tropicana Las Vegas. Thus the legendary comedian and impersonator announced his hilarious new show, “Rich Little Live,” has been extended another 12 weeks at the world-famous comedy club.
We caught up with the new show and I have to tell you, “It’s a masterpiece of how to tell what the life of a great entertainer has been like.” The show is a compilation of impersonations, sketches and interactive video, with highlights of the actors, musicians, politicians and personalities Little has worked with throughout his more than 50 years in entertainment, spanning from his television career in Canada to his first United States appearance on the Judy Garland Show, to the legendary “Dean Martin Roasts” to the present day.
A master mimic of more than 200 voices, Rich continues to impress with a touring schedule throughout the United States and Canada. U.S. Presidents: John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, both George Bushes and Barack Obama… Little has a voice for every administration. Infamous for his skewering of political figures, he has charmed, amused, intrigued and gotten the best of politicians from here to his native Canada. He entertained at both of Reagan’s presidential inaugurations and got to know the Reagans very well during that time. President Reagan used to tell him, “You do me better than I do.”
A professed classic movie buff, he’s particularly fond of doing Jimmy Stewart, Jack Lemmon, John Wayne and Humphrey Bogart, but Little has also latched on to baby boomer-friendly characters, such as Paul Lynde, Kermit the Frog, Andy Rooney and Dr. Phil, to name a few. Some of his favorite current impressions are of stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Jack Nicholson, and Clint Eastwood. “They’re easy to do,” he says. “They are larger than life.” Little also had his own variety show in the 70s and was the star of the TV show KopyKats. Little was a guest host early on for The Tonight Show, hosting 12 times. He quickly became a household name sitting in one of the Hollywood Squares and went on to do The Muppet Show.
Named “Comedy Star of the Year” by the American Guild of Variety Artists, Rich was the perpetrator of nine comedy albums and three HBO comedy specials, as well as the Emmy-award winning specials Rich Little’s, “Christmas Carol with “W.C. Fields” as Scrooge, “Humphrey Bogart” as one of the ghosts and “Paul Lynde” as Bob Cratchit.
A little known fact about Little is his other talent as an artist. He started sketching when he was young, drawing his family and friends. To date, he has drawn around 100 pictures of all the celebrities and politicians he imitates, and portrays several of these life-like charcoal sketches in his shows. And many of those sketches are on sale following the show.
Since opening the doors to its original location 35 years ago, The Laugh Factory has become known for launching some of the hottest stand-up comedians in the world, including: Tim Allen, Louie Anderson, Roseanne Barr, Drew Carey, George Carlin, Jim Carrey, Dave Chappelle, Dane Cook, Rodney Dangerfield, Ellen DeGeneres, Sam Kinison, Martin Lawrence, Jay Leno, David Letterman, George Lopez, Howie Mandel, Carlos Mencia, Eddie Murphy, Richard Pryor, Chris Rock, Bob Saget, Adam Sandler, Jerry Seinfeld, Garry Shandling, Sarah Silverman, Wanda Sykes, Chris Tucker, Damon Wayans, Keenen Ivory Wayans, Robin Williams and many more.
Laugh Factory believes that laughter – and the exploration of what creates that laughter – could provide what diplomacy has been unable to accomplish for centuries: the bringing together of people regardless of their religion, ethnicity or country. Consequently, its mission is to spread laughter throughout the world through its clubs and website and spread the concept of sharing and giving back through its philanthropic activities. With locations in Hollywood, Long Beach, Las Vegas, Chicago, Scottsdale, Reno & Coronado Island, The Laugh Factory is known around the world as one of the premiere spots for comedy.
Appearing this week at the Laugh Factory’s 8:30 and 10:30 p.m. shows, through Sunday (8-23-2015) are stand-up comedians, Greg Morton, Manny Oliveira, and Ed Hill. Taking over the stage next week (8-24 to 8-30) will be Angelo Tsarouchas, Kristeen Von Hagen, and Noel Elgrably. Tickets, priced at $34.95 and $44.95, may be purchased at the box office, or by phone at 702-739-2411.
“Rich Little Live” is performed Saturday-Sunday and Tuesday-Thursday inside the renowned Laugh Factory, located on the mezzanine level of the Paradise Tower. All shows begin at 7 p.m. Tickets are $39.95 for General Admission, $49.95 for VIP and $59.95 for Golden Circle and VIP booths (plus applicable taxes and service fees), and can be purchased in-person at the Tropicana Las Vegas Show Tickets desk, online at www.troplv.com or by phone at 800-829-9034. “Rich Little Live” is an all-ages show.
THIS AND THAT QUICKLY:
Neil Diamond is, without a doubt, one of the all-time, most popular, American musical treasures of our time. For those who were not fortunate enough to catch the still dynamic performer during the recent North American leg of his world tour, there is always the next best thing… my friend and a really super dude, Rob Garrett, aka the “King of Diamonds,” and his band will be performing back home for their 6th annual “Hot August Night” show at the (North) Cannery on Saturday, August 29.
Garrett has made a reputation for himself as one of the best (if not the best) tribute artists in the business. His reputation for selling out show after show in Las Vegas and across the country is unparalleled, and he is arguably the only tribute act who possesses the uncanny ability to make the audience forget they are not watching the real deal. … they are watching a tribute act and not the real deal. His physical and vocal resemblance to the iconic singer/songwriter are unparalleled and he manages to do it with a talented array of local musicians as opposed to the standard bells & whistles that are generally associated with tribute production shows. Garrett has accumulated quite a large fan base and his shows are generally SRO. In 2008 he was awarded with the “Male Musical Tribute Act of the Year” award marking the only time a‘Diamond’ act has ever won such an honor. Tickets are $10 at the door.
Rob, like his iconic counterpart, was born in New York City. He began learning to sing and play guitar at the age of 13. In 1974, his parents relocated to Las Vegas which still remains his home. Today, Garrett has established himself as the world’s most popular and requested Neil Diamond tribute artist, earning the title “King of Diamonds”. He continues to set the standard in the industry by performing his tribute the iconic singer/songwriter around the country in venues usually reserved for national/name acts. On Sept. 17th, 2013, Rob became the first tribute artist ever to receive the “Tribute Artist of the Year”/”Excellence in Entertainment” award. This reporter once wrote, and still believes the same today… “Of all the Tribute Artists running around Las Vegas (and elsewhere), there is none better than Garrett” and Mike Weatherford, entertainment critic for the Las Vegas Review Journal wrote “Garrett does sound astonishingly like Diamond”.
Next Year (2016) will mark Neil Diamond’s 75th birthday as well as 50 years since his first three hits – “Solitary Man”, “Cherry Cherry”, and “I’m a Believer (made famous by the Monkees)..
An upcoming documentary movie focusing on the Diamond (Tribute) phenomenon and mystique, entitled “Play Me”, has just completed and features Garrett as one its focal points – rightfully so for a man who stands atop the “Diamond Mountain” (the musical theme chosen for the motion picture).
An in-depth interview, as well as part of Garrett’s performance, was recently taped for the movie during one of Garrett’s sold out “American Trilogy” shows at the South Point hotel and casino. Also to be included in the documentary is a music video of Garrett singing Diamond’s late 70’s composition “The American Popular Song”.
The movie premiere will be held in Las Vegas at the Sun Coast casino as part of a “Diamondfest” weekend which is slated for April 21-23 with various Diamond related events including a special performance of “American Trilogy,” on April 22.
Packages are currently on sale online at http://www.diamondfestinvegas.com/
Members of the K.O.D. Band include Keith Neal, Daryl Slade, Jay Boyer, Steve Gerard, Billy Carmody, Steve Henley, LJ Harness, Russine Zellner, and Rosanna Telford.
Well, gang, that’s about all the news for this week.