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Ex-sports anchor chides Bill Maher


Former Las Vegas TV personality Ron Futrell was escorted out of liberal comedian Bill Maher’s show at the Palms on Saturday after a heckling incident.

Futrell, an outspoken conservative known for his Twitter rants, told the Review-Journal he was offended that Maher mocked special- needs individuals by using the “r word” against Sarah Palin’s special-needs son.

“I’ve got a son with special needs,” Futrell said. “It didn’t surprise me that Maher said it. It surprised me that a lot of people laughed at that joke.”

Futrell said he moved down from his original seats in The Pearl concert venue to “about the 50th row” to engage Maher.

Futrell, a former sports anchor and daytime anchor at ABC affiliate KTNV-TV, Channel 13, before he was fired in 2008, chided Maher for a joke about Halliburton, the oil field services giant.

“Halliburton? It’s 2013,” Futrell said several times, until he got Maher’s attention.

Responding to Futrell, Maher said something to the effect of Halliburton still being a major corporation in 2013 that was ready to start the next war so it could start ripping off the government again and billing taxpayers for $45 cases of soda.

Still addressing Futrell, Maher then added what sounded like “you wack job.”

When Maher returned to his stand-up, Futrell continued to make comments while typing on his camera phone.

A male member in the audience stood up in front of Futrell and said, “Excuse me, we came here to hear the show not you.”

When Futrell continued to react out loud, the audience member went to get security as Futrell started shouting, “Who’s the president? Who’s the president?”

Futrell said he agreed to leave.

He didn’t consider it as heckling, he said.

“I saw it as commentary. I went on an LDS mission to Ireland. I know heckling.”

Last year, Futrell explored the idea of running for the Las Vegas City Council Ward 2 seat as a Republican before supporting the eventual winner, Bob Beers.

Asked whether some might consider his actions a politically inspired publicity stunt, Futrell said “that never entered my mind.

“I went there to be enlightened,” he said. “I like hearing from both sides.”

He added, “I have found out one thing. The left doesn’t like to be confronted.”

The Review-Journal sought comment from Maher but didn’t receive a response by deadline.

TYSON VEGAS-BOUND?

After a high-profile night at the Tony Awards, Mike Tyson’s next arena might be The Smith Center for the Performing Arts.

“We’re not in talks, but we, like others who saw the Tonys, are curious what his plans are, and I for one, would certainly be interested in bringing his show to The Smith Center,” said Myron Martin, president and CEO at the 15-month-old center.

Tyson, ex-heavyweight boxing champion, danced in the show’s epic “Glee”-inspired opening number. In his latest famous cameo, he shared the spotlight with Neil Patrick Harris, and was singled out on TV cutaways throughout the night.

Tyson launched his one-man show “Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth” at the MGM Grand a year ago and took it on tour for three months.

Martin, who attended the Tonys on Sunday at the Radio Music Hall, said, “We are working on some very big things. We have an announcement or two to make but not today.”

THE PUNCH LINE

“Over the weekend, a woman interrupted the finale of ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ and actually started throwing eggs at Simon Cowell — at which point she won ‘Britain’s Got Talent.’ ” — Jimmy Fallon

Norm Clarke’s column appears Sunday, Wednesday and Friday. He can be reached at 702-383-0244 or email him at norm@reviewjournal.com. Find more online at www.normclarke.com. Follow Norm on Twitter @Norm_Clarke. “Norm Clarke’s Vegas,” airs Thursdays on the “Morning Blend” on KTNV-TV, Channel 13.