Jerry Springer’s Elvis bit on the Las Vegas Strip revisited
The longtime talk show host, who died Thursday at age 79, sang as the King, for real, while hosting “The Price Is Right Live!”
Jerry Springer was the master of ceremonies, and also master of Elvis, for a time on the Strip.
In November-December 2011, the popular, if infamous, daytime talk show host headed up “The Price Is Right Live!” stage show at Jubilee Theater at Bally’s (today’s Horseshoe Las Vegas).
I attended one of the performances. Sometime between the Plinko and Cliffhanger games, Springer busted out his Elvis impression.
“I actually have to break while singing to say a few words, just so people will know I am really singing,” Springer said at the time.
Springer, who died Thursday at age 79, sang “Love Me Tender” in that segment. He had learned a few other Presley hits, and he had developed a pretty credible impression of the King over the years.
It was something of a mystery, why Springer would host a live game show on the Strip, unless you knew the show was produced by FremantleMedia, which also produced “America’s Got Talent,” which Springer hosted on NBC.
That relationship also brought Springer to the Strip in 2009, as host of “America’s Got Talent Live” at Planet Hollywood Theater, today’s Criss Angel Theater. Springer hosted the show for 10 weeks, remarkable because he introduced the first and only professioal chicken-catcher — country singer Kevin Skinner, out of Mayfield, K.Y. — to ever perform on the Strip.
Springer always had a sense of humor about his TV persona. He once gave a “Price is Right” contestant $100 out of his own wallet after she’d just missed winning a prize. Of his self-titled talk show, he once said in an interview, “We’ve been doing our show for 21 years now, for which I’d like to apologize. I’ve ruined the culture.”
You have to appreciate the versatility of Resorts World Theatre, home to recording superstars (Carrie Underwood has just extended at the venue), extreme stunt magicians (David Blaine and his favorite frogs are back in June) and at least one A-list comedian.
Kevin Hart returns to the Theatre on July 7-8, which are presented as the final dates on his “Reality Check Tour.” Hart is the rare box-office superstar to run a residency in VegasVille. Despite the message that this is the end of his series at Resorts World, we expect more Hart activity this year.
As previously reported, look for “HartBeat Weekend” to return to the Strip. The dates and details are not yet officially confirmed. Hart hosted the event when he was starring at the Chelsea at the Cosmopolitan. “HartBeat Weekend” has featured a poker tournament, nightlife events and a roast, taking over multiple venues. Hart’s tickets are on sale 10 a.m. Friday (Pacific time) at AXS.com.
“U2 UV: Live at The Sphere” will allow the use of cellphones inside the venue. This is great news for the multimedia-obsessed (hello), and of course a pain for some ticket-holders. I’d wondered how the band was going to deal with this issue after seeing Bono’s “Stories of Surrender” show at Beacon Theatre in New York. No phones for that series. But the power of the visuals will play well on social media, giving evidence of what all the hype is about.
A man known for his bark and bite, Jon Taffer, hosts “Brunch Bash: BARk Rescue” for Nevada SPCA from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday at Silverton’s Veil Pavilion. Taffer hosts the “Bar Rescue” tavern-reclamation series on Paramount Network.
The bands Cass Cates and Ashley Red, Tropicana Laugh Factory magician Murray Sawchuck and “King of Diamonds” Rob Garrett of Alexis Park are set to perform. A brunch is involved. Go to nspca.givesmart.com for tickets, tables and info.
Cool Hang Alert
Friday night is the grand opening of the Penalty Box sports bar, restaurant and live-music haunt at 4300 E. Sunset Road. The Sin City Rockers All-Star Band headlines. Vegas stalwarts Gregg Foxx, Todd Kerns, Mark Boals, Christian Brady, Les Warner, Jeff Duncan and Cian Coey deliver the rock ‘n’ roll. Doors at 7 p.m., show at 9 p.m., call 725.204.9983 for info.
John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.