Internet sensation Grumpy Cat has the world by the tail: international celebrity, fall-at-her-feet fans, an upcoming Christmas movie, book deals, and a six-figure appearance fee.
She gets the VIC (Very Important Cat) treatment everywhere she goes. Last week she stole the show when she appeared on the finale of ABC’s “The Bachelorette.”
Apparently, the only thing missing in her pampered world is that special someone to turn her famous frown upside down.
“The only man in her life is her brother, Pokey,” said Grumpy Cat’s co-owner, Tabatha “Tabby” Bundesen, who is bringing the world’s most popular cat to Las Vegas next week.
Grumpy Cat is appearing at Kitson at The Linq at 6 p.m. Tuesday for a book tour stop.
Born in April 2012 near Phoenix, the cat was originally named Tardar Sauce, in part for Bundesen’s 10 years as a food server at Red Lobster. Grumpy Cat and Pokey are undersized and have perpetual frowns as a result of feline dwarfism.
The name change came after Bundesen’s brother, Bryan, posted Tardar Sauce’s photo on Reddit.
“Everyone thought it was photoshopped,” said Tabby. “Then he put it on YouTube, and that’s when it went over one million views in the first 36 hours.”
That was in September. The Bundesens hired a manager and registered a Grumpy Cat website and started posting ‘The Daily Grump.’”
A deluge of coast to coast appearance bookings followed, including NBC’s “Today” show. The merchandising campaign that followed included a book on the New York Times’ best-selling list.
Grumpy Cat travels with Tabby via a high-end travel bag disguised as a purse.
Reaction to the frowning phenom has been a mix of compassion and curiosity.
“Fans start crying when they see her,” said Tabby. “We’ve had really big turnouts. Long lines formed at the Chicago pier appearance. Hundreds waited in rain at the South by Southwest in Austin, Texas.”
It is Grumpy Cat’s second Las Vegas appearance in a month. Her debut was in June at the Licensing Expo.
The movie “Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever” is being shot this summer.
It has been a life-changing experience, said Bundesen, who lives in Morristown, Ariz., with her 10-year-old daughter, Crystal.
“It’s so awesome,” said Tabby Bundesen. “So much better than waitressing.”
WYNN UNVEILS LOUNGE ACT
Lounge act Michael Monge is living the dream.
After years of struggling as a well-traveled singing impressionist on the East Coast, Monge hit the jackpot in February when he booked his first engagement at Bice restaurant in Palm Beach, Fla.
Monge was finishing a set that included covers of his idol, Frank Sinatra, when he noticed Steve Wynn approaching him.
Monge introduced himself and Wynn said, “Do you know who I am?” Monge certainly did. Wynn invited the performer to a table where Wynn’s wife, Andrea, was seated.
Steve Wynn liked what he heard. So did Monge.
“He said he had no idea it was live music,” said Monge, who channels Sinatra, Dean Martin, Tony Bennett, Tom Jones, Paul Anka and Billy Joel.
Monge told Wynn that playing in Las Vegas was a career dream, “and I asked him if he knew anyone who could help me.”
“He smiled and said, ‘I think I can help you.’ ”
Monge came out for a two-week trial in April. He’s back and opened a three-month engagement Thursday night at Encore’s Eastside Lounge, which seats 90 but can accommodate 200 in the area.
The Bronx-born Sicilian said, “I’ve been trying for many, many years to be in the dream I’m living right now. I’m so appreciative that Steve Wynn heard me sing and ultimately brought me out here. Las Vegas represents the dream come true.”
For Wynn, it’s an opportunity to hearken back to the lounge era that started all the excitement.
Minnesota Timberwolves center Ronny Turiaf, downing a record seven scorpion shots at Nacho Daddy’s on Fremont Street on Wednesday. The farm-raised scorpions are soaked in vodka and placed in a tequila shot. The previous house record was five. … Katy Perry, posting the fastest time of the night at Fast Lap Indoor Kart Racing on Monday. She was with boyfriend and talent agent Michael Kives and others. The group ended up dancing to DJ Diplo at XS at Encore while going incognito in black handkerchief masks. … Houston Rockets star James Harden, dining at N9ne Steakhouse (Palms) on Wednesday. Harden and Kevin Durant had dinner together at N9ne on Sunday. … Former Los Angeles Lakers veteran Rick Fox, at Café Bellagio on Tuesday. … Former “Star Trek” star LeVar Burton, filming Tuesday at the Sundance Helicopters terminal for an upcoming episode of “Reading Rainbow.” Burton and fellow “Star Trek” castmates dined at Morels French Steakhouse &Bistro at the Palazzo on Wednesday. Jurgen Klinsmann, head coach of the U.S. soccer team, was in recently as well, celebrating the surprise U.S. showing in the World Cup. …Hip-hop artist The Game, back at N9NE Steakhouse (Palms) for dinner for the third night in a row on Tuesday. … Floyd Mayweather Jr., ordering a Red Velvet Sprinkles sundae at Sprinkles at The Linq. He had just taken a spin on the High Roller observation wheel.
THE PUNCH LINE
“Actor Orlando Bloom threw a punch at Justin Bieber last night during an argument at a night club in Spain. Orlando’s hand was pretty sore today, you know, from all the high-fives he got.” — Jimmy Fallon
Norm Clarke’s column appears Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. He can be reached at 702-383-0244 or email him at email@example.com. Find more online at www.normclarke.com. Follow Norm on Twitter @Norm_Clarke.