On June 28 comedian and actor Brad Garrett opens his new comedy club at Tropicana. He’ll also be starring as the first headliner through July 4. After that he has an exciting line up of established stand-up acts and up-and-coming comedians. Some of the acts already scheduled to perform are Kevin Nealon, Dom Irrera, Bob Zany, Rocky LaPorte and a few other surprise guests that Garrett couldn’t mention yet.
VEGAS.com had the chance to sit down with Garrett in a suite at the Tropicana and talk about his new show.
“At first I wanted a petting zoo in the lobby of the Tropicana (instead of a comedy club), but gamblers feel weird when they have to feed livestock pellets,” Garrett joked.
Garrett started performing in Vegas in 1985 and has opened for several big name performers including Frank Sinatra. As a long-time headliner he’s always wanted a club in Vegas.
“I wanted a club that kind of felt like the old Vegas you know where you’d walk into a room and there would be a chalk outline or a left shoe of a stripper, in the days when things were really clicking,” he quipped.
Garrett was full of funny and sarcastic jokes during the interview, but he also had some serious answers.
“Tropicana was the perfect home for me because we’re trying to build what Vegas used to be, make it all about the customer,” Garrett said.
Putting the focus back on the customer is one of the main reasons he’s going for the old school vibe for his club, apart from the aforementioned stripper shoe.
“I think the older Vegas, it was really all about the customer and the clientele and making them feel that the hotel will go the extra mile for you,” he said.
Along with the customer service the show room’s old-school vibe will come from Karl Cousin a pianist who’ll both perform and host the show. Garrett is also brining in some of his own art and other memorabilia that he’s collected from performing in Vegas over the years.
He commissioned his friend and fellow comedian and artist Steve Altman to paint four 4-foot by 3-foot original oil paintings of his favorite iconic comedians – Richard Pryor, Robin Williams, Steve Martin and George Carlin. He’s planning to hang these in the club along with photos from his past.
“I was a very large child. There was a picture of me actually nursing off a Jersey cow actually, which looks a little like Aunt Selma,” quipped the 6-foot-8 comedian.
More than anything Garrett said that he wants the place to feel homey, like the days when Shecky Green and Rodney Dangerfield made casino lounges the place to see good entertainment.
It’s going to be music and comics and just the whole feel of “comfort food for the neurosis” or “things that need an ointment,” said Garrett.
We ended the interview with asking what his craziest Vegas story was so far, but we’ll let you watch the video to hear this one. All we know is there was a pony and not one from the race and sports book.