Lifestyle: The Comedy Fanatic
Beyond all the nightclub, casino and dining action, Vegas is the country's comedy hotspot. Venues up and down the Las Vegas Strip offer an incredible variety of hilarious entertainment, from the biggest names in the industry to the hottest up-and-coming talent. Whether you're looking for improv, sketch work or stand-up shows, Vegas is total comedy.
Q. What's the history of comedy in Las Vegas?
A. Vegas has a long and illustrious comedic history. Since the late '40s, Las Vegas has hosted the luminaries of the comedy world. The legendary Marx Brothers held court in Bugsy Siegel's Flamingo. That dynamic duo, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, also thrilled Vegas visitors at the Flamingo. George Burns was such a long-time Vegas hit performer that he celebrated his 98th birthday in the Caesars Palace Ballroom. And of course, in the early '60s, the Rat Pack -- Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Peter Lawford, Sammy Davis Jr. and Joey Bishop -- made Vegas known world-wide with their iconic show at the Sands.
Other classic comedians who graced Las Vegas stages included Bill Cosby, Rich Little, Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme, Harvey Korman and Tim Conway and the Smothers Brothers.
As Vegas' comedy profile grew stronger and stronger in the '80s and '90s, masters of the craft like Jerry Seinfeld, Sam Kinison, Drew Carey, Jay Mohr and Kevin James brought their acts to the Strip.
It was only inevitable that, in 2005, Vegas would host The Comedy Festival, a four-day extravaganza of the very best in American comedy. Held at Caesars Palace, the festival's inaugural year featured a "who's who" of comedy ranging from Dave Chappelle, Jon Stewart, Jerry Seinfeld and George Lopez to Wanda Sykes, Bill Maher, Dane Cook, Susie Essman and Lewis Black.
The Comedy Festival returned to Vegas for the fourth time in 2008 with a host of packed performances by the likes of Jeff Dunham, Dane Cook, Kids in the Hall, Dave Attell, Ellen DeGeneres, Andrew Dice Clay and Katt Williams.
Q. What's the improv and sketch comedy scene in Las Vegas like?
Q. Do the biggest comedy stars perform in Las Vegas?
A. In today's comedy world, Vegas is a must-do for top comedians, whether they are on tour or headlining an ongoing engagement.
Some comedians who make frequent stops in Vegas are everyman Ray Romano, Brad Garrett, Jay Leno and Kevin James at the Mirage and the wacky Howie Mandel at MGM Grand. Other big name comedians also perform in Vegas like Jerry Seinfeld and Dane Cook at Caesars Palace and David Spade at Venetian.
And the roster of permanent marquees is as strong as ever.
Q. What are the best comedy clubs in Vegas?
A:The Riviera Comedy Club is a stomping ground for some of the country's hottest comedians.
Q. Are there any daytime comedy shows in Las Vegas?
A. When you think of comedy in Vegas, you probably have a nocturnal vision in mind. But there are a number of daytime shows, too. The Mac King Comedy Magic Show is at Harrah's. Nathan Burton Comedy Magic show is a real afternoon treat. For a little help understanding the opposite sex see Defending the Caveman at Harrah's starring Kevin Burke. This afternoon show gives audiences a comedic insight on the differences between men and women.
Q. What are some other ideas for fun and funny entertainment in Las Vegas?
A. When it comes to making music funny, you can check out the futuristic sounds of the incredible Blue Man Group.
And if you're looking for a multitude of comedic voices in Vegas, Terry Fator who performs at Mirage, is a singing impressionist and ventriloquist who makes the audience laugh with the outrageous personalities of eight puppets.
Q. Are there any dinner comedy shows in Vegas?
A. If you want to catch a comedy show and enjoy a meal, Vegas has several options. Marriage Can Be Murder at The D Las Vegas is a fun interactive dinner and murder mystery comedy show where you get to solve the crime. If you are in the mood for Italian food check out Tony 'n' Tina's Wedding where a comedic wedding ensues.
No matter where you go in Vegas, people will be laughing, a lot.