Drew Carey loves Vegas so much, he almost bought a condo at the Hard Rock, before Peter Morton sold the hotel in 2006.
"I was really excited, because my front yard was gonna be the Hard Rock pool. I was a bachelor then, and I thought it would be pretty sweet," Carey tells me.
At the time, Carey informed his improvisational-acting buddy Jeff Davis about his potential Vegas home, and Davis didn't respond with a word.
"He just leaned over and gave me the biggest hug," Carey says and laughs.
Carey put in a down payment but pulled out of the condo. He's still a regular in Vegas and the Hard Rock.
And starting this week, the "Price is Right" host begins staging three weeks of improv shows at the MGM. Each performance of "Drew Carey's Improv-a-ganza" will be recorded and turned into a TV series, set to premiere March 28 on the Game Show Network. So if you want to be on TV, there you go.
Carey tells me he's bringing friends from his "Whose Line Is It Anyway" and "The Drew Carey Show" casts including, Davis, Greg Proops, Ryan Stiles, Colin Mochrie, Brad Sherwood, Chip Esten, Kathy Kinney and Jonathan Mangum.
"It's a really killer-killer improv lineup," Carey says.
There are two shows most nights, Thursday-Sunday; Jan. 20-22; and Feb. 3-6 ($40-$60).
Carey once told me he wishes he could give his own personal money to "The Price is Right" contestants. He still feels that way, he says.
"After I die, I want people to think: When I walked in a room, money was coming their way."
PAID IN T-SHIRTS and GUT PUNCHES
It's a big week for brand-name comedians. Also coming this weekend is Brian Posehn, performing Friday at Sunset Station.
Posehn -- the former co-star on "Mr. Show," "Just Shoot Me" and "The Sarah Silverman Program" -- didn't make much money on Silverman's show because it was on Comedy Central, which is not known for being rich.
"There are no perks from Comedy Central whatsoever. We were paid in T-shirts and gut punches," Posehn says.
"I had this friend from high school call me, wanting to borrow money, assuming I'm rich because I'm on TV. I'm like, 'Dude, I'm on Comedy Central. I am not rich.' "
Other big comics coming to the city: Lisa Lampanelli is Saturday at the Palms; Jim Florentine is Wednesday-Saturday at Palace Station.
THE PRICE OF A PORN STAR
During the annual porn convention and awards show, some actresses go to fans' rooms for a few dollars, hint hint.
A source who is in-the-know told me midlevel porn stars (not A-listers) were charging $800 per hour -- the same price as last year.
"The economy has not affected the going rate," he told me, but added: "It was worth it."
And TMZ reports Charlie Sheen "hooked up with three whole porn stars," including Bree Olson, this weekend at the Palms after "hammering down Grey Goose" vodka at a hotel bar.
Adam Levine and James Valentine from Maroon 5 performed late Saturday at club Haze, doing their own "This Love" and throwing in a cover of Nine Inch Nails' "Closer." ... Common hosted at club Vanity early morning Sunday and was joined on the mic by DJ Paul of Three 6 Mafia, while NFLers Louis Murphy and Jerry Porter were in the crowd. ... Hugh Hefner's son Marston was expected at STK restaurant late Monday night with girlfriend and Playmate Claire Sinclair.
"They're so excited to see Andy Dick's last performance." -- A gray Andy Dick joked to a Pearl at the Palms crowd taking phone photos of him onstage at Pauly Shore's Sunday night show.
Doug Elfman's column appears Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He blogs at reviewjournal.com/elfman.