Astronaut Scott J. Kelly, commander of the International Space Station Expedition 26, called his friend, Golden Nugget owner Tilman Fertitta, to wish him and everyone in the hotel a happy new year.
So naturally, Fertitta put the call on speakerphone in the Rush Lounge so the spaceman could say hi to Las Vegas.
Kelly was zooming 17,000 mph over Hawaii. He snapped a photo of Vegas from space and e-mailed it to Fertitta, a fellow Houston native.
As you can see in the photo, Vegas looks a lot like a happy blob.
PIANIST PICKED TO PLAY FUNERAL
Jimmy Carter wants Bellagio pianist David Osborne to perform at his funeral someday.
Every year, Osborne plays a 32-pedal pipe organ in Georgia for the former president's birthday. Osborne, who holds two master's degrees, has played a lot for the Obamas, Bill Clinton and both Bushes.
Osborne plays Bellagio from 8 p.m. to 12:45 a.m. Thursdays through Saturdays, and 9 p.m.- 1 a.m. Sundays and Mondays.
PAULY SHORE'S LOVABLE MOM
Pauly Shore is coming to Vegas to perform with porn stars at the Palms' Pearl on Sunday, since the porn awards are Saturday at the same Pearl.
Oh, and Pauly tells me his mom, Mitzi, used to be lovers with Richard Pryor.
"That's what I heard. But she went out with a lot of comics," Pauly says. "She was having fun. I think it was cool. She was being free, like a flower child. That was a different era."
Mitzi turned the Comedy Store into an institution in Hollywood in the 1970s and 1980s, when stand-up blew up into an actual career choice.
Pauly grew up around the Store and didn't have to go far to find fun.
"Not when you have David Letterman and Robin Williams at your house, getting messed up with your mom when you're 11 years old," Pauly says.
"I did break dancing in front, when I was a kid, while people waited in line."
At 42, Pauly still works in the Comedy Store's third-floor offices: "I'm still here in Mama's womb, you know?"
SIGHTINGS AND COMING-SOONS
Kirsten Dunst saw Holly Madison topless in "PeepShow" Saturday, hopefully preparing for a role. ... After midnight Saturday, Rihanna and Mark Salling went to club Haze to see Bruno Mars sing "Just the Way You Are," "Beautiful Girls" and "Grenade." Mars is awaiting a coke possession charge (2.6 grams) from a September bust at Hard Rock. Paris is in clubs, Bruno is in clubs -- coke charges aren't deterrents, apparently. ... At STK restaurant this weekend: John Mayer, Jeremy Piven, Channing Tatum, Haylie Duff, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Salling, Kellan Lutz, Evan Longoria, Christina Milian and Julius Erving. ... Sherri Shepherd saw "Jabbawockeez" on Saturday. ... Wilmer Valderrama and pals ate at Tao Asian, then went upstairs to club Tao where he kept getting on the DJ microphone. Victoria's Secret model Selita Ebanks went to Tao at 2 a.m. and hung with A.J. Calloway of "Extra." ... "Twilight's" Julia Jones and beau Sam Endicott of The Bravery suited up at Hard Rock Hotel all weekend. ... This Friday, Geechy Guy of "The Dirty Joke Show" at Hooters is slated to be on Craig Ferguson's "Late, Late Show." ... Joey McIntyre will sing weekly in the Palms Lounge with Emanuel Kiriakou starting Feb. 5. They're charging $40. Tickets go on sale Saturday.
"See all these women wearing tiaras? Not very princess-like." -- Review-Journal music critic Jason Bracelin, after working on the Strip New Year's Eve.
Doug Elfman's column appears on Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. He also blogs at reviewjournal.com/elfman.