Frank Marino went backstage to show off his face-lift to Lisa Lampanelli, and she stole his thunder.
Marino said he walked in “and heard this voice say ‘Hi, Frank.’
“Then she said, ‘You don’t even recognize me.’ She’s lost 110 pounds!”
After his longest layoff since starting his headlining run in Las Vegas almost 30 years ago, Marino returns to the stage at The Quad tonight.
Marino had extensive plastic surgery and a jaw implant on Dec. 9.
“I want to have chiseled features like Katherine Hepburn,” he said.
The time off, much of it in the Caribbean, gave him a chance to write new jokes.
“So I’m coming back with a new face, new material and new acts,” he said.
One of the new acts will be Ryan Zink, doing Catherine Zeta Jones’ “All That Jazz” number from the movie version of “Chicago.”
The newest performer will be Kenneth Rex, who will be impersonating Pink when he’s not portraying Britney Spears.
Speaking of Spears, Marino returned to see her New Year’s Eve show and visit her backstage.
He’s not about to get involved in the lip synching debate.
“I can’t say anything about the fact that she lip synchs because my entire show is based on lip synching so I’d really be a hypocrite.”
But, Marino said, Spears should “do like Beyonce did and sing something live on television like Beyonce after they accused her of lip synching (at President Barack Obama’s inauguration). Britney should show America she can sing, and sing a ballad, like Beyonce did and say ‘Any questions?’ — if she’s got the ability.”
Marino said he got recognized “all over the Caribbean” for his appearance on the “Matchmaker Millionaire” show with host Patti Stanger.
“I’m supposed to be opening her show when she gets here,” he said.
He’s close to launching a nationwide search for a Miley Cyrus character for the “Divas” show.
He’s opening his tour Feb. 6 with a six-week engagement in Reno.
“The last big thing is the annual Divas Day Out at the Southpoint this Saturday,” he said. Thousands of women show up to check out “all things for women. And the first 100 get a free feathered boa.
Celebrity guests will include Ian Ziering of “Beverly Hills 90210” and Mark Ballas of “Dancing With the Stars.” In addition, Marino’s Divas will take part in the performances at 1 and 3 p.m.
Chef Kerry Simon, among the sold out crowd of 100 who turned out Sunday for the $1,000-a-plate Chefs to the Max benefit for critically injured food critic Max Jacobson at Rick Moonen’s Rx Boiler Room above rm Seafood at Mandalay Bay. Simon was diagnosed recently with an aggressive form of Parkinson’s disease. ... Broadway star Neil Patrick Harris, with friends at “O” (Bellagio) on Saturday. Harris was on a break from rehearsals for his Broadway show “Hedwig and the Angry Inch,” which debuts in March. ... Nick Hissom, dining with his mother, Andrea Wynn, and Ne-Yo, prior to the Grammy winner’s performance at Surrender. Ne-Yo’s management team was with him, and there was discussion about a possible collaboration. Hissom came out with “If I Die Young,” in July. Also present was the trio Downtown Drive. They co-wrote “If I Die Young” and had a prominent role in Justin Bieber’s “Believe” album. ... Tiesto, spraying Lavo’s Saturday party brunch crowd with champagne after being presented with a cake by host Kirill, the nightlife photographer known for his champagne facials. ... At Tao (Venetian) on Saturday night: model and actress Brooklyn Decker, celebrating at a friend’s bachelorette party. ... Jamie Kennedy, having dinner at Crush (MGM Grand) on Saturday.
THE PUNCH LINE
“Country singer Trace Adkins was on a country music-themed cruise when he got into a fight with a Trace Adkins impersonator. It was a nasty brawl. In fact, it took five Elvises to pull them apart.” — Jimmy Fallon
Norm Clarke’s column appears Sunday, Wednesday and Friday. He can be reached at 702-383-0244 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.