Vicki Barbolak, who finished in 6th place during the finals of this season’s “America’s Got Talent” will be headlining at the Laugh Factory, inside the Tropicana Las Vegas, opening Monday, Oct 22, through Sunday, with showtimes 8:30 and 10:30 p.m. nightly. Hosting this week will be Jesse Egan and fan favorite Jackson Perdue will be the feature guest.
When Barbolak was 38 years young, she saw an ad for a stand-up comedy class. That class changed her life. Vicki quickly realized that making people laugh gave her more happiness than she had ever dreamed possible. She had learned to be funny early in life, because when you are a fat kid whose family moves around a lot, funny can be the only thing that saves you. For most of her adult life, Barbolak has lived in a trailer park in Oceanside, California, with her two daughters.
What finally gave Barbolak an edge was the interest of Comedy Store owner Mitzi Shore, who owned the La Jolla Comedy Store where she saw Barbolak hanging out at the bar. Shore liked her look and told the manager to let her go on. She was a hit, and Shore made Vicki a paid Comedy Store regular. What followed was more than a decade of recognition that included being named the “Funniest Mom in America” by Nick at Night, joining Jay Leno’s NBC Laugh Squad and performing with the “Funniest Housewives of Orange County” comedy troupe.
And then one day in 2018 along came a television show called “America’s Got Talent.”
Barbolak auditioned for season 13 of NBC’s “America’[s Got Talent,” (AGT) which lasted two minutes. That two minutes of stand-up — a wry whirlwind that covered the evils of uncomfortable undergarments, and why you should always save your drinking for when the kids get home — earned the 60-year-old Barbolak a standing ovation from the studio audience and giddy “Yes” votes from all four celebrity judges.
“I never saw something like this happening for me,” Barbolak said during a phone interview with a reporter from San Diego. “The day I was waiting to see if I made the cut for the auditions, I thought they had given all the spots away. When they told me I had passed through, I thought, ‘Oh my God, it’s finally happening.’ I was just so relieved.”
“I have been hearing from people from all over the world, and so many of them are saying, ‘I’ve been feeling down, and your comedy has lifted me up.’ The positivity people have expressed is so overwhelming to me.”
Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? And, she does weddings too.
Tickets range from $34.95 to $54.95. For more information Call 702-739-2411 or go to www.troplv.com.
THIS AND THAT QUICKLY:
Budding NASCAR star Noah Gragson, grandson of former Las Vegas Mayor Oren Gragson (who was my best man at my second wedding) is coming home to take on a stacked field that includes 2017 runner-up Jeremy Doss at the third annual Senator’s Cup Fall Classic at Las Vegas Motor Speedway’s Bullring this weekend.
Gragson – a Las Vegas native who qualified for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series playoffs this season – will be among a talented group of Super Late Models drivers looking to claim the $15,000 winner’s check in The Open Comp NASCAR Super Late Models race on Saturday night. Last year’s winner, Derek Thorn, is working on putting the finishing touches on a NASCAR K&N Pro Series West championship and will not be back to defend his crown.
That opens the door for Gragson, Doss and the likes of and Kayli Barker – the track’s all-time winningest female driver – to challenge for the five-figure paycheck.
“I’m looking forward to it,” said Gragson, a 14-time winner at The Bullring. “There will be a lot of good drivers there, so it should be a great race.”
The 150-lap Open Comp and 100-lap features for the Late Models and 602 Modifieds divisions highlight a full slate of races spread out over the course of the weekend at the 3/8-mile paved oval. The Open Comp will feature a break at the midway point where car crews can add fuel, but not tires or make any adjustments, for the race’s second half. The Jr. Late Models class has 35-lap features scheduled for Friday and Saturday, and the division will crown its 2018 Bullring track champion on Saturday night. Gates open at 4 p.m. Pacific Time on Friday and at 3 p.m. on Saturday.
Friday night kicks off the festivities with heat races and qualifying for the 24-car Open Comp, along with heat races for the Late Models, Super Stocks and 602 Modifieds classes. Then, on Saturday night, a pair of Super Late Models B-features will precede a full slate of racing. One of the most affordable entertainment options in Las Vegas, the Bullring’s annual series will feature family friendly concession prices that include $2 hot dogs and Coca-Cola products and $3 Budweiser beer. Spectators can also save money by purchasing admission tickets in advance by visiting or calling the LVMS ticket office at 702.644.4444 or online at LVMS.com.
Critically acclaimed actress, comedienne, producer, and host Whoopi Goldberg will return to Treasure Island Nov. 9 at 9:00 p.m. An early review described the future icon as “not simply a stand-up comedian but a satirist with a cutting edge and an actress with a wry attitude toward life and public performance.” More than three decades on, Goldberg’s comedy has evolved but not lost the side-eye-sharp perspective that made her one of the most popular comedians in the world.
Goldberg made her on-screen debut in the hit movie, “The Color Purple.” Goldberg won her first Golden Globe for her role in the film, starring alongside Danny Glover and Oprah Winfrey.
In 1991, Goldberg won an Academy Award for her performance as “Oda Mae Brown” in the movie “Ghost.” She continued to further her acting career with roles in popular comedies including “Sister Act,” “How Stella Got Her Groove Back” and “Made in America” and went on to become one of only 12 individuals to win an elusive “EGOT.” Most recently, Goldberg served as executive producer for the reality show “Strut” on Oxygen. Goldberg is currently a moderator on the popular televised talk show “The View.” Tickets are available starting at $69.95, plus taxes and service charges, and can be purchased by calling 866-712-9308 or 702-894-7722, or visiting www.treasureisland.com.
This reporter has not personally tasted or held a bottle of the following product. I thought it was an interesting bit of information and personally I love bananas. A local company Derby Spirits is starting a revolution in the liquor world with a first-of-its-kind liquor infused with only 100-percent real fruit. Ambros Banana Whiskey takes premium-aged whiskey and infuses it with only real bananas, capturing a unique and delicious new flavor of whiskey. Both whiskey connoisseurs and novices alike will enjoy this innovative infusion of whiskey and real bananas. Ambros Banana Whiskey is now available throughout Las Vegas at all Liquor World and Lee’s Discount Liquor locations.
Ambros Banana Whiskey started production in August 2018 at their custom-built, state-of-the-art factory in the Henderson, Nev. Booze District. Ambros has a suggested retail value of $39.99 and is available in their 750ml custom bottle made by Stölzle Glass. Using only 100-percent real bananas in the fruit infusion process, the whiskey has no artificial flavors or preservatives, no ‘natural’ flavoring, no fruit juice concentrate and no added sugars or syrups.
“We started Ambros Banana Whiskey with the desire to create a truly authentic flavored spirit that everyone could appreciate. It was a long journey, but one that we fully embraced and couldn’t be more proud of the end result,” said Jeff Tomastik, president of Derby Spirits.
Since launch, the whiskey has already found a home with several of the valley’s premier hospitality venues. Notable companies and venues include Hakkasan Group at its namesake club, Wet Republic, Omnia and Searsucker; Clique Hospitality at The Still, Apex and Hearthstone; at Wynn venues Intrigue, Encore Beach Club and XS; and restaurants including STK, Yellowtail and Scotch 80; and at Topgolf Las Vegas, to name a few.
Ambros is great served neat, on the rocks or as a cocktail such as the “Banhattan,” a play on the classic Manhattan, combining Ambros Banana Whiskey, sweet vermouth, Angostura Bitters with a lemon peel and cherry garnish. For more information on Ambros Banana Whiskey, including recipes, visit AmbrosWhiskey.com or connect socially on Facebook and Instagram @AmbrosWhiskey.
The Plaza Hotel & Casino in downtown Las Vegas will host a Halloween bash on Saturday, Oct. 27 at 7 p.m. under its dome. Guests are encouraged to wear their spookiest costumes to the party that will feature a DJ playing popular hits, carnival food including caramel apples, hot dogs and nachos, outdoor bars with drink specials, and monster wrestling by Luche Libre Las Vegas. The party is free and open to guests 21 years of age and older. Drink specials include: “Boozy Cider” made with Maker’s Mark Bourbon, $7; “Witches Heart” made with Jägermeister and Malibu Pineapple Rum, $7, and Pabst Blue Ribbon cans, $2.
Well, gang, that’s about it for this week.