Full Show Index
Advertise With Us
Write For Us
Adventures in Vegas: the “Live” Last Comic Standing Reportby Dale Sherman -- 08/15/2003
View Printable version of this article
It was a fluke. A real fluke.
Jill, my wife and fellow RNO writer, and I had planned a vacation the first week of August. Since a few years back I had written a book about Alice Cooper, we had planned to head out to an Alice Cooper-related event in Cleveland the first weekend in August and then travel around Ohio and Indiana, visiting folks and friends. Jill was not thrilled about the concept of spending a week in Cleveland, but she was being a good sport about it, so everything was set to go.
Then it happened. When fellow LCS recapper Mike DeGeorge and I found out that the final episode was to be filmed “live” in Las Vegas on August 5, I got it into my head that it would be a perfect opportunity to combine business with pleasure. I decided that our vacation would change from Cleveland to Vegas: We would go out for a straight vacation, visit some of the sights – like Hoover Dam, maybe go to a couple of shows – and then see the final episode of the show being filmed. All I had to do was convince Jill in changing our plans.
Which was very easy. For some reason, Jill seemed to be much more interested in going to Las Vegas than Cleveland. I don’t know why. Lake Erie is lovely at this time of year.
The trip out was uneventful, save for a snafu at the car-rental place after we arrived in Vegas. Even that was eventually worked out and we checked into Bally’s mid-day on the Sunday, August 3rd. Bally’s, for those who have never been there, is a sister casino to the Paris and is connected by a long hall that serves to be a mini-mall, all done up in the French style of the Paris. Since Bally’s had a cheaper package deal for rooms during the week, we decided to go with that hotel for our stay, which was very nice. Some people seem to rag on Bally’s, but – as one friend stated – the casino itself is relatively small, the restaurants are good, and the hotel rooms are large and comfortable. We had no complaints about anything at Bally’s the entire stay there; and since it was connected to the Paris, we could easily walk back and forth to the other hotel where the final was filmed without worrying about going out into the 103 degree heat during the day.
The only other problem we had was jetlag. Getting up at 4:30 in the morning to finally crash in your hotel room at what your body is telling you is 6 at night, and you really don’t want to do anything but sleep. Still, we had hoped to run into Dave Mordal that night, as he told me to call him when we got into Vegas so we could arrange a time to do an interview. When we finally called him, we found out that things would not work out that night, but we would meet him at the open-air bar in the Paris the next day at 1 in the afternoon.
With nothing else to do, we had a very nice (and, yow!, expensive) dinner at a restaurant called the Ortanique and then saw Jubilee. Jubilee may be remembered by some reality show readers as the Vegas Showgirls performance that was featured in the E! series, Vegas Showgirls: Nearly Famous. We’re not the types to go out of our way to see such a show, but it WAS Vegas and we felt we had to at least see one show like it. It was interesting to watch, although at times the feeling coming from the stage was like that of seeing a group of teenage singer/dancers perform their half-hour show at Kings Island. People looked like they were going through the motions, weakly lip-syncing, and not really “there.” On the other hand seeing the sinking of the Titanic performed with showgirls was definitely . . . something.
The next day, after a little bit of sightseeing, Jill and I went down to the bar in the Paris to wait for Dave Mordal at 1. He didn’t show. We contacted him on his cellphone and he apologized for missing us, telling us that rehearsals were taking much longer than they expected and the production people were the ones telling him where to go and what time to be at places that day, so he was a bit frazzled. Fortunately, because we were down in the bar, we ran into two production people who were giving out passes to the final the next day. As it turned out, you could get reserved seats for the show if you turned in the passes to the box-office over at the theater in the Paris; otherwise, people would risk having to wait in a “general admission” line and HOPE that you got in the next day. So, even though we didn’t get to interview Dave at 1, it was a fortunate situation because we would have missed out on getting good seats for the show (or possibly even getting in) if we had not been at the bar at that time. Not to mention that reserve-seat tickets were all gone by 4 that afternoon.
As we were leaving the area, Jill spotted Dave in a coffee shop near the bar, waiting in line with his coffee. We went in to introduce ourselves so that Dave would have a face to go with the name, and we rescheduled to meet at 4 instead. As we left there, Ralphie walked right past us and I didn’t even see him. Just tells you where my head was at, at the time.
At 4 we finally sat down with Dave Mordal to talk for about an hour (you can see the results of that discussion here). Surprisingly, no one came up to Dave, even though he was out in an open area and had a microphone strapped to his chest while being interviewed by us. Perhaps what Dave said is true: the reason people don’t recognize him is that he looks like an “average white guy.”
After finishing up with Dave, Jill wanted to do something special just for us. So off to the chapel we went to have our wedding vows renewed by an Elvis impersonator. Yep. What can I say, but only that it’s certainly something you don’t do every day. And it made Jill happy, so I’m all for that no matter how silly I felt. Besides, Jill puts up with so much from me, that it was the least I could do.1 2 3 Next-->
View Printable version of this article