When it relaunches February 18, the Playboy Comedy show once again will bring live comic performances by at least three top comedians to the Lounge at the Palms.
This time the laughs are scheduled to last from the 10 p.m. Thursday and Friday shows through Saturday's 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. performances, and guests will receive free access to the Playboy Club following each show. The new one-year contract kicks off with comedian Nick Di Paolo. (Rumor has it current Lounge act Matt Goss is in talks to move to the Strip; Goss' final performance is January 23).
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Prior to Goss, the Palms had a longstanding relationship with comedian/co-producers Cort McCown and Paul Hughes' Hollywood Comedy Tour, which played monthly from March 2004 to 2006 when the duo introduced the monthly Playboy Comedy Club; that show also ran monthly until 2008.
As the name implies, ladies once again will be incorporated into each show. Playboy Playmates such as Miss May 2006 Allison Waite have lent their talents as co-hosts and emcees, a show feature that garnered plenty of attention from the audience. Female comedians will also be introduced in the lineup, including Iliza Shlesinger and Amy Schumer, both from Last Comic Standing.
McCown's background is with the Comedy Store and Laugh Factory, so he has had the benefit of working side by side with many of the show's headliners. "This is the strongest lineup of comics I've ever seen in any club," says a confident McCown.
He urges comedy fans to save the dates for famed roaster and kick-off weekend headliner Di Paolo, J.B. Smoove from Curb Your Enthusiasm and Air America Radio's Marc Maron, as well as for Dane Cook tour-buddy Robert Kelly and other comedians who usually stick to stadiums, such as Harlan Williams and Mad TV's Bobby Lee.
The intimacy of the Lounge at the Palms is a unique selling point for both comedian and audience members, who will be paying at least $40 to see the show ($15 more than to see singer Matt Goss in the same space). Says McCown, "This is the best place to see comedy. We have an opportunity this year that we've never had before."
In the show's formerly monthly incarnation, scheduling was an apparent nightmare. "We missed out on a lot of comics because we weren't weekly." With that problem solved, "Every show is solid from top to bottom," says McCown.
He credits the Palms Vice President of Entertainment Michael Greco with the decision to bring the Playboy Comedy show back in its new format, having championed them the first two times around in that theater. "It gives us more of an opportunity to branch out. He really knows what's going on. Without him I don't know if it would be as strong."
General admission tickets for the new Playboy Comedy show are on sale now at Vegas.com (a sister site of the Weekly) for $39.99, which includes complimentary entrance to Playboy Club after the show. VIP tickets add the bonus of front-row seating (or as close as is available). According to McCown, there is a chance that the Thursday performance might also include special deals for locals.
The current Playboy Comedy headliner line-up:
Feb 18-20 – Nick Di Paolo
Feb 25-27 – Sebastian Maniscalco
March 4-6 – Marc Maron
March 11-12 – Robert Kelly
March 18- 20 - Steve Rannazzisi
March 25-27 – Harland Williams
April 1-3 – Bobby Lee/Chris Delia
April 8-10 – Al Madrigal
April 15-17 – Open
April 22-23 – Brad Williams/Natasha Leggerro
April 29 - May 1 – Jim Jeffries
May 6-8 – Nick Thune
May 13-15 – Bryan Callen
May 20-22 – J.B. Smoove
May 27-29 – Steve Byrne