Tussauds awaits election winner

One week from today, either Barack Obama or John McCain will head to his rightful place at Madame Tussauds wax museum in The Venetian. The candidates' "clay heads" are sitting in London, waiting to be fleshed out after voters do their thing.

The winning clay head will be installed at Tussauds in Vegas, New York, London and Washington, D.C. Actually, a wax Obama already is posing at the Tussauds in D.C. He was shaped and put there last year once he became a presidential candidate.

McCain's fortunes so far have fallen short. There is not one wax McCain in any Tussauds anywhere in the world, even though the Arizona senator has been in office since the days before DVDs and the Internet. (At least, wax was around in his early days.)

"McCain is new across the board," in terms of "clay heads" at the wax museum, says Rosita Chapman, attraction manager for the Vegas Tussauds.

There just wasn't demand for McCain. If he loses, what happens to his clay head?

"He'll be kept in archive-fashion," Chapman says.

She said it, not me.

If McCain pulls off an upset, Tussauds will consider waxing his running mate, Sarah Palin, which in turn would cause another consideration.

"If it's Palin, would we do Tina Fey as well?" Chapman asks.


Criss Angel sat down to have his likeness made for the Vegas Tussauds. His waxiness will show up in February in a revamped room called Viva Vegas, which will include the current waxy likeness of the Blue Man Group, Lance Burton and the Rat Pack.

Tussauds also is bringing in another new wax of a Las Vegas local. Chapman refuses to tell me which Vegas legend is coming to Tussauds. I looked at her and guessed Oscar Goodman because Oscar isn't waxed there yet, but she wouldn't spill the beans.

Coming to Tussauds on Nov. 10: Alvin and the Chipmunks, 18 inches tall. Coming Nov. 13: Daniel Craig as James Bond. (Admission runs $15-$25 for, variously, kids 7 and up; students, Nevada residents and seniors. For groups, 862-7805.)


George Clooney and Johnny Depp are the most popular wax figures at Tussauds. Clooney is staged in a wedding scene, and women put on a quickie wedding dress to have fake nuptial photos taken with Clooney.

The most maligned figure is George W. Bush. In just a few minutes, I watched people get their photos taken next to Bush while they: A) strangled him; B) grimaced next to him; and C) held a $20 bill in one of Bush's hands.

I asked the tourist with the $20 bill why he was giving Bush cash. "They're already taking it, anyway!" he said.

That kind of Bush backlash happens "every other moment," Chapman says. "We actually had to take him off the floor" for minor repairs on multiple occasions after people scratched his face and slapped him.

The most requested figure that isn't on hand: Bill Clinton. Wait, what about Ronald Reagan?

"No," Chapman says. "Reagan has not been as requested as people think.


Comedian and actor Rodney Carrington -- performing through Nov. 9 at MGM -- tells me how his and Toby Keith's movie, "Beer For My Horses," got its start:

"One night, out of a drunken conversation in a bar in Nashville, he (Keith) goes, 'Hey man, I got an idea for a movie. ... I was wondering if you could help me write it.'

"And he sent it to me the next Monday, and it was two pages long. It was three characters, what their names were, and what they were wearing in great detail, and that's it.

"I called him, and I said ... 'We don't know what their relationships are, what they're doing, or where they're going, or what's happening, or anything like that. Other than that, I think you got yourself a movie.'"

Keith replied: "Come over to the ranch" and "knock it out" in an afternoon.

"I said, 'We're not mowing your pasture, Toby.' He said, 'Well, stay till Tuesday.'"

It took 10 months to flesh out Keith's initial two-page thought, but Carrington loved the comedy.

Carrington talks some more in this Friday's Neon. His shows start at 10 p.m. ($69.50; 891-7777).

Doug Elfman's column appears Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays. Contact him at 702-383-0391 or delfman@reviewjournal.com. He blogs at reviewjournal.com/elfman.


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