Stop me if you've heard this one before: George Wallace, Grandma Lee and Carrot Top walk into Hooters ...
Thanks to Geechy Guy, Todd Paul and Mickey Joseph, fellow comedians and stars of the casino-hotel's The Dirty Joke Show, the premise isn't hypothetical setup, but hysterical reality. Guy and Paul conceived the idea and the three founded the Fryer's Club — whose name pays tribute to the New York- and Beverly Hills-based entertainers' club famed for its Friars Club Roasts — in early May. Now 30 to 40 Vegas-based comics, club owners, managers and in-town headliners converge (yes, it's also open to the occasional random passer-by) in a private room inside the Mad Onion restaurant late each Friday night to meet, mingle, catch up and nosh on free chicken wings.
- The Fryer's Club
- Fridays, 11:30 p.m., the Mad Onion inside Hooters Casino
"For such a big town, it's a relatively small community," Guy says of the Las Vegas talent pool. "At first the Fryer's Club was just a way for us to hang out with friends, but it's taken on a life of its own. Now we have around 15-20 regulars, and with all the comics that pass through, each week people run into somebody they haven't seen in 20 years."
In addition to Wallace, Lee and Carrot Top, guests have included Craig Robinson, Doug Stanhope, Dom Irrera, Bobby Collins, Jimmy Shubert, Ron Shock, Carl LaBove, Jerry Bedknob, Felicia Michaels, Bob Zany and the Great Tomsoni. Planet Hollywood's Amazing Johnathan is a frequent attendee, and Fitzgeralds' Kevin Burke is a regular.
"It's a great place for comics in this city to talk shop," enthuses local up-and-comer Matt Markman, who has attended a half-dozen times. "We have a different, sometimes disturbing way of looking at the world, and at the Fryer's Club all those minds come together."
Ultimately the Fryer's Club's lasting legacy might be conducting a life-imitating-art social experiment that imitates real life. As Guy explains, "Our Dirty Jokes Show is a play set in the alley behind a fictitious comedy club. The premise is three comics killing an hour between shows, riffing and insulting each other. So six nights a week, we have a show about comics hanging out, and the other night of the week we hang out with comics. Only in Las Vegas can comics have an opportunity like that."