Carrot Top

Give the man some props

Robert Wiley-Brown

Peter Cottontail might be hopping down the bunny trail this Easter season, but comic genius Carrot Top has already arrived with more than colored eggs and marshmallow Peeps in his basket. To be honest, the headliner, who could easily be mistaken for the love child of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Lucille Ball, has brought along more than just a basket for his show at the Luxor.

With six large trunks spread across the Atrium Showroom stage, those in attendance know that they are surely in for a cornucopia of over-the-top inventions from the master of prop comedy. And as usual, he doesn't let them down. With a mix of well-placed music and sound bits, sight gags, special effects and side-splitting humor, his latest Las Vegas endeavor, Curls Gone Wild, can best be compared to one of the new 4-D rides at Disneyland. (That is, if Walt had built one in Amsterdam.)

The G-rated Carrot Top from the AT&T commercials is nowhere to be found, but since it is Vegas it should come as no surprise. Here in Sin City, the man who happens to be the only person ever to be named both Entertainer of the Year and Comedian of the Year in the same year by the National Association of Campus Activities is allowed to be a little bit edgier with his wit than usual.

And no one is safe in his stand-up act. Why, who else would come up with the idea of placing a doll mask backwards on the head of a nursing infant in order to avoid upsetting those against public breast-feeding? You can only imagine what runs through the mind of a man whose concept for a redneck teeth whitener is a paint roller dipped in white paint and a paint tray with a mouth hole cut in it. It is these kinds of clever, witty gadgets, along with his red locks, that have set Carrot Top apart from his peers.

According to his biography, the first prop he ever used was a Neighborhood Crime Watch sign, which he held up before saying, "It takes 20 seconds to break into your house, but it took me an hour to unbolt this sign." And thanks to the laughs that he received that night, he continued to hone his talents and skills to become the visual comic mastermind that keeps Vegas in stitches.

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