Updated June 10, 2021 - 6:59 am
The room is proven. So are the comics.
Laugh Factory at the Tropicana has stacked its summer schedule of headliners with five bankable, veteran comics, leading with Jon Lovitz from July 12-21. What club operator Harry Basil loosely titles “The Boys of Summer” series continues with Pauly Shore on July 26, Louie Anderson from July 26-Sept. 6, Jamie Kennedy from July 30-Aug. 1, and Maz Jobrani from Sept. 3-5.
“Comics want to play here because I know how to advertise, and we know how to set up a room for comedy,” Basil said Tuesday. “We have tried-and-true, classic comics, and they are all different.”
Basil is also bringing the solid draw Alonzo Bodden in for the July 4 weekend, a big comedy stretch in the town with Tom Segura returning to “Aces of Comedy” at Mirage Theater, Dave Chappelle and Friends on July 2-3, and Chappelle with Joe Rogan on July 8-9, selling out MGM Grand Garden.
Basil is turning to headliners with a national reach, those with strong TV and/or film credentials, in Laugh Factory’s return to full capacity.
Lovitz can still tap into his fans from his “Saturday Night Live” days. Anderson won an Emmy on Zach Galifianakis’ “Baskets.” Shore draws from his days on MTV and also his breakout movie, “Encino Man.” Kennedy has headlined Vegas for years and has a strong following. Same with Jobrani, who has packed Laugh Factory.
Shore and Anderson are also Las Vegas residents. Shore has appeared at several Vegas clubs, including Don Barnhart’s Delirious Comedy Club at Downtown Grand and Notoriety at Neonopolis. Anderson took the stage twice for 6:30 p.m. shows at Laugh Factory over Mother’s Day weekend, prepping for his 6 p.m. Saturday livestream show on the rushtix.com platform.
In the recent past, Basil has hit the mark at the box office with Andrew Dice Clay and Roseanne (both before and after her firing from the reboot of her hit ABC sitcom). Basil attempted, too, to present headlining comics to Tropicana Theater, but the 1,100-seat venue is a heavy lift for comedy.
“Over the past nine years I’ve brought in a bunch of different comics, but it’s such a tough sell,” Basil said. “But the club has a lot going for us. We know how to run it, and I make some moussaka and baked ziti for the green room. Everyone goes home happy.”
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.