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Seinfield, Wallace still laughin’ 38 years later


Jerry Seinfield and George Wallace wheel and deal their best-friends banter in a Las Vegas-set episode of Seinfeld’s Web series “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.”

In the opening scene, filmed back in March, Seinfeld cruises into town in a burgundy 1965 Buick Riviera.

He and Wallace, whose friendship dates back to 1976, share the stage during Wallace’s 10th anniversary party at the Flamingo.

Their back-and-forth chemistry is pure gold.

Backstage, one of Wallace’s breath mints gets Seinfeld’s attention. Wallace suggests maybe it’s a suppository, which leads Seinfeld to muse about the origin of the suppository.

“Maybe the guy was looking at it,” said Seinfeld, “and, ‘Suppose I. …’ ”

A drive down the Strip in bumper-to-bumper traffic triggers a Seinfeld rant.

“We don’t need anymore hotels,” grouses Seinfeld, “we need a street.”

They reminisce about their 1977 cross-country trip to California that included a stop in Las Vegas. They stayed at the Riviera and went to Bob Newhart’s show. There’s a Polish joke.

They make a late night stop in the Peppermill. They raise a coffee cup toast to their 38-year friendship. The ribbing continues during dinner.

“That’s another old man thing,” Seinfield scolds Wallace, “gesturing with utensils.”

Pour a cup of coffee and enjoy this classic clip at http://comediansincarsgettingcoffee.com/.

A FOND FAREWELL

Comedian Steve Rossi, whose funeral services are scheduled today, also produced Las Vegas shows later in his career.

He bankrolled a number of small lounge revues and helped many an aspiring entertainer find their footing.

Some found fame.

“He gave Danny Gans his first shot in one of these little shows,” recalled John McPeak, a young juggler when Rossi hired him in 1980.

Years later, Gans was hanging out at one of Rossi’s $9.95 afternoon shows when they started chatting.

Rossi recalled that meeting after Gans died five years ago.

“He said his baseball career didn’t work out,” said Rossi. “He had been doing impressions for about three years. Said he had been doing corporate dates. I said, ‘Let me hear some of your impressions.’ ”

Gans was so good that Rossi hired him as a headliner for five months.

Eventually, Gans took a short-lived show to Broadway in 1995 and later returned to Las Vegas as Joan Rivers’ opening act.

When Rossi showed up one night, Gans said he was ready for something bigger than a 20-minute opening act.

Gans got his wish when the Stratosphere gave him a headliner deal in 1996.

Three years later, the Rio hired him, and then Steve Wynn signed him to an eight-year deal at The Mirage.

Gans died about four months after moving to Wynn Las Vegas in 2009.

McPeak, now a retired teacher who performs birthday party magic on occasion, said he worked in three of Rossi’s revues at the Nevada Palace, the Royal Inn and Vegas World during the summer of 1980. At the time, Rossi was teaming with Bernie Allen after years with Marty Allen.

“Steve was so nice to all the cast,” said McPeak.

Rossi met with the cast before the first show at Vegas World in a coffee shop.

McPeak said Rossi, ever the jokester, leaned in and, putting on a foreign accent, told them, ‘It better verk or vee don’t verk.’ ”

Funeral services for Rossi begin at 1 p.m. today at St. Joseph Husband of Mary Roman Catholic Church, 7260 W. Sahara Ave. The Mass follows at 2 p.m. Burial is at 4 p.m. at Palm Eastern Mortuary.

Farewell, my friend. You were a piece of verk.

SIGHTINGS

Cuba Gooding Jr., wearing a hoodie at Hyde Bellagio on Tuesday after his eye-brow raising hosting appearance at the NHL Awards show at the Wynn. ... Patrice Bergeron of the Boston Bruins, meeting with Celine Dion before her show Tuesday. He was in town for the NHL Awards show. He won the Selke Trophy, which goes to the league’s best defensive forward, and was presented the NHL Foundation Players Award. ... Actor Michael Vartan, dining at N9ne Steakhouse (Palms) on Monday. ... Riding the High Roller this week: Mindy Kaling, toasting her 35th birthday Tuesday with her team of writers for Season 3 of “The Mindy Project” on Fox; Anaheim Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf and “American Idol” Pia Toscano. Kaling’s party later moved to Hyde Bellagio.

THE PUNCH LINE

“Wouldn’t it be funny if (LeBron James) went back to Cleveland? That would be like getting back together with an ex and pretending nothing happened.” — Jimmy Kimmel

Norm Clarke’s column appears Sunday, Monday, 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.