Rita Rudner headlining again — in a new (for her) venue
Rita Rudner, who once modeled for cars at a Las Vegas convention, has grossed $100 million in her career as a comedy headliner.
Updated March 15, 2023 - 5:12 pm
The Kats Comedy Corner is currently holed up at New York-New York. It’s a mic-in-the-corner setup at Tom’s Urban, appropriate as we are just a few paces from where Rita Rudner was a headliner from 2001-07 in a custom-designed theater.
Rudner is back, closing a three-show series this week at South Point Showroom. She’s been on stage 6:30 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, closing Thursday.
We have barely caught up with this run (similar to Rudner’s act, the news is coming from all angles). Bu the veteran Vegas comic not finished, returning July 11-13 and Nov. 11-13.
Rudner had not appeared at the South Point until her headlining shows this week.
“I had heard so many great things about the room and the hotel I had to look into it,” Rudner said in an interview last month. “I’m trying to be on stage as much as I can in Las Vegas because I’ve loved performing here so much.”
That’s not new. Near the start of her career, Rudner headlined 21 shows per week at Riviera Comedy Club. That led to a booking at MGM Grand’s then-Catch a Rising Star club, where she was noticed and later signed by the late Felix Rappaport as New York-New York’s comedy star.
The Riviera marked Rudner’s first foray as a regular Strip headliner, but it was not her first appearance on stage in Las Vegas. About 35 years ago she was an unbilled performer in a convention at the then-Las Vegas Hilton.
“I was hired to dance and sing about cars at an industrial show,” she once said. “I danced around a Lincoln Continental. I think I can still sing about that car.”
Rudner would go on to headline for 15 years in Las Vegas, selling more than 2 million tickets and grossing more than $100 million. That is a lotta Lincolns.
JKCC’s ‘Nut’ house
Comic actor Patrick Warburton hosts “Letters From a Nut” at 2 p.m. Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday at Jimmy Kimmel’s Comedy Club. We best remember Warburton as Julia Louis-Dreyfus’s Elaine Benes’ recurring boyfriend Puddy in “Seinfeld,” and from his voice work in “The Tick” and “Family Guy.”
The “Letters” format has Warburton reading the funniest letters and their responses from The New York Times best-selling book series of the same name. Comic Barry Marder, under the pseudonym Ted L. Nancy, is the author.
JKCC’s schedule remains stacked, with Luenell holding down Sunday and Monday nights and Farrell Dillon on stage at 4:30 p.m. daily (dark Wednesday). The club blew up with visits from Eddie Griffin — who has just closed out his series at the Sahara — and George Wallace dropping in for Luenell’s birthday.
Down the line …
— Swift-selling headliner Chris Tucker returns to Encore Theater’s robust stand-up series July 14-15. Tickets on sale at Ticketmaster.com and ChrisTucker.com. We caught Tucker in 2007 as a guest of Wallace at the Flamingo, in the days when Wallace blocked time in the middle of his show for guest stars. We’d love a return to that format, and also a return of Wallace, generally.
— Laugh Factory has a winner with “SNL” alum Jon Lovitz, back March 23-25. Also watch for Tanyalee Davis, who has built a strong following on social media and headlines March 27-April 2. Davis says she is “the ‘Ferrari of Comedy’ — low to the ground and kinda racy!” Davis is 3-feet, 6-inches, born with a form of dwarfism, a person of diminutive stature but big-time funny.
— Duncan Trussell brings a national name to the Arts District with his three shows at Wiseguys Las Vegas on Main Street. Trussell is on stage 7:30 p.m. Thursday; 7:30 and 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. He’s host of “The Duncan Trussell Family Hour” podcast, which has been downloaded more than 25 million times, and has been a guest star on “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” among many other projects.
Hard Hat Lounge at 1675 Industrial Road this week premiered an open-mic night hosted by ever-rocking musician, podcaster and comic Izzy Presley at 10 p.m. (sign-ups) and 11 p.m. (show). Co-owner Frankie Sidoris says they are going to market-test this concept for a few weeks to see if it rocks the place.
‘Hump Day’ from Wilson
Veteran stand-up Charlie Wilson hosts the monthly “Hump Day Humor” at Gatsby’s Supper Club at Gambit Henderson. The next installment of the monthly series is 7 p.m. (dinner) 8 p.m. (show) on April 12. Wilson, who has played the Comedy Store and Laugh Factory, hosts each week. Big Irish Jay is headliner and Anastasia Washington is the feature act for April 12.
This is in Saku and Hanh Pruitt’s AE Group’s collection of top-level live shows at Gambit. Go to aegrouplv.com for all the info.
Cool Hang Alert
The very funny Shayma Tash is playing a place I’ve not been aware of, comedy-wise or otherwise, The Noypitz Bar & Grill at Town Square, at 7:30 p.m. (doors at 6:30 p.m.) Thursday. The place offers live entertainment, including comedy.
Tash is also back at Notoriety Live’s Downtown Comedy Lounge series from April 6-8. Catch her where and when you can. Her QVC home-shopping network bit is priceless.
John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at email@example.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.