In 2016, Roberto Raad went viral. As then-host of the Vegas.com-owned YouTube channel Slap TV, Raad was on assignment at the Adult Video News awards, tapes-a-rolling, when he hilariously bombed an interview with sex-tape star and Teen Mom alum Farrah Abraham. That minute-long clip has since drawn 1.4 million views—but Raad wasn’t going to let that be his 15 minutes of fame.
“I’m an actor by trade. That’s what I went to school for, and that’s what I did for 20-plus years,” Raad says. A graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, Raad studied at David Mamet’s Atlantic Theater Company, was featured in the MTV film Spring Break Lawyer and got cast by the same channel for the TV show Undressed.
Somewhere along the line, Raad ended up in Las Vegas, where he hosted the aforementioned Slap TV comedy channel until recently stepping out on his own to launch his company, Creative Dragon Media. He has produced and directed films—Alternative Therapy debuted at the Las Vegas Film Festival this year—and he has starred in a number of local shorts. But nothing has been quite like Raad Time!, a variety show that brings Vegas’ comedy, film, dance and theater communities together with Raad’s uncanny ability to make things awkward, cringey and downright hilarious. The tagline, “This Show F*cks,” kind of says it all.
“I’m a big fan of just diving into the fire,” Raad says. “I like to wear many hats. I love creating. I’m one of those people who always has to be doing something, and I’m a performer at heart.”
The fact that he’s wired like the Energizer bunny doesn’t hurt, either—Raad’s mind seemingly provides a surplus of ideas from which to draw. He can hardly contain his excitement when he talks about the show’s July debut, a performance that sold out Oddfellows.
For the show’s second iteration, the producer chose CMXX, a warehouse in the Arts District that can accommodate a larger crowd and Raad’s sprawling, outlandish ideas—like having a haunted house at the entrance.
While a good chunk of this month’s Raad Time! is still under wraps, we do know the Halloween-themed event will feature film screenings from local companies like Light Forge Studios and Raad’s own Creative Dragon, stand-up and sketch comedy routines, an aerialist and possibly (read: very likely) some partial nudity. “It’s a very interactive, immersive show. As an audience member, you may get touched and danced on,” Raad says. “I like to up the ante.”
And costumes? They’re highly encouraged. “I will pick on people who don’t come dressed up,” Raad says. “So that’s your warning.”
Raad Time! Variety Show October 23, 9 p.m., $15-$20. CMXX, 920 S. Commerce St., raadtime.com.