Controversial comedian Favorito finds that popularity buys second chances

Las Vegas is a forgiving town, as long as you sell tickets. Just ask Vinnie Favorito.

The insult comic whose personal debts and borrowing-spending habits got him booted from the Flamingo is now leaving Hooters Hotel.

Surprise No. 1: Hooters is sorry to see him go.

Surprise No. 2: He’s leaving because he got a better offer.

Favorito is set to close at Hooters on Sunday and reopen Wednesday in the Westgate Cabaret at Westgate Las Vegas.

“Vinnie’s been great over here, he really has been. … We never had any problems,” said Mike Storm, general manager of Hooters Hotel. “We’re all aware of his history and we had the conversations before he came in the door.”

The Flamingo pulled the plug on Favorito’s show last year after a cocktail server who had taken him to court over an $8,000 loan complained to casino management that he was trying to borrow money from customers and other employees.

Court filings (including one from high-profile attorney Edward Bernstein) and people who contacted the Review-Journal after the initial news coverage allege a history of unpaid personal loans and promissary notes ranging from $2,000 to as much as $109,000.

By the time Favorito left the Flamingo, showroom staffers say it was common for the comedian to be confronted about loans at his merchandise table after shows. A few times, angry people even went up to the stage to accost him while he was performing, and had to be led away.

Favorito’s rebound venue turned out to be the freestanding Tommy Wind Theater, where he worked from June 2015 through last May. Tommy Wind, the magician who runs the theater with his family, said he and Favorito did not part on the best of terms, but there had been no confrontations with patrons during or after his shows.

The Westgate’s entertainment venues are leased to Red Mercury Entertainment, headed by Darin Feinstein and Carlos Reynoso. Company executives did not want to be quoted, but say they are aware of Favorito’s past problems and believe they are behind him.

They also say it stands to reason that check garnishers and the IRS will ultimately be happier if Favorito is generating income to repay his debts instead of being blackballed in Las Vegas.

Storm said the Red Mercury folk “made him a good offer” to jump ship, but it sounds like Favorito still has an open door at Hooters. “He seemed genuine about having learned a very valuable lesson,” Storm said. “He put himself in a really difficult position and he blamed no one but himself.” …

Favorito’s slot at Hooters will go to Ryan Stock, the “Comedy Daredevil” whose recent stunt gone wrong on “America’s Got Talent” arguably got him more attention than if he were still a finalist on the show.

Who wouldn’t watch a viral video of someone getting shot in the neck with a flaming arrow?

Stock posted on Facebook that the laser-sighted illusion had been rehearsed to perfection with stage partner Amber. But on live TV, Amber’s arrow missed the target he was holding in his mouth because “the notch holding the arrow broke and sent the arrow sideways. Fortunately, because of how it hit, it wasn’t at full power and I walked away with a minor injury.”

And now Stock walks to Hooters. His new show opening Sept. 15 will be produced by Angela and Matt Stabile, who also run a residency for one of last year’s “AGT” finalists, Piff the Magic Dragon, at the Flamingo.

Storm said he thinks Stock can be marketed along the lines of (mostly retired) comedy-magician The Amazing Johnathan, and that an act so specific fits the casino’s goal of “trying to position ourself as having something that’s not the same as everybody else has.” …

“America’s Got Talent” wraps up the current season Sept. 14, so who knows how many of this year’s finalists will end up on the Strip? Last year’s season alone gave us three: Piff, the season’s winner, Paul Zerdin (who closes today at Planet Hollywood) and magician Xavier Mortimer.

Read more from Mike Weatherford at reviewjournal.com. Contact him at mweatherford@reviewjournal.com and follow @Mikeweatherford on Twitter.

ad-high_impact_4
Entertainment
Downtown Summerlin hosts its annual Festival of Arts
People crowd to Downtown Summerlin for the 23rd annual Summerlin Festival of Arts in Las Vegas, Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018. (Caroline Brehman/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bellagio, MGM Resorts International’s luxury hotel turns 20
The more than 3,000-room Bellagio hotel is situated on the site of the former Dunes Hotel. The Dunes was imploded in 1993, and construction of the Bellagio started in 1996. It cost $1.6 billion to build, making it the most expensive hotel in the world at the time. The Bellagio was former Wynn Resorts Ltd. Chairman and CEO Steve Wynn’s second major casino on the Strip after The Mirage. MGM Resorts International acquired the property from Steve Wynn in 2000. (Tara Mack/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Recycled Art and Cute Dogs at Summerlin Festival Of Arts
Recycled Art, Cute Dogs Abound At Summerlin Festival Of Arts (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bellagio Patisserie Creates Life-size Sculpture Of 20th Anniversary Of Cirque Du Soleil Show
Bellagio Patisserie Creates Life-size Sculpture Of 20th Anniversary Of Cirque Du Soleil Show (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
10 Most Iconic Moments At The Bellagio Fountains
10 Most Iconic Moments At The Bellagio Fountains (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Jason Aldean talks about the possibility of a Las Vegas residency
Country superstar Jason Aldean discusses his feelings about playing in Las Vegas and says he'd be interested in a Las Vegas residency when the time is right at the iHeart Radio Music Festival in Las Vegas on September 21, 2018.(John Katsilometes/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Block 16 Urban Food Hall Serves Favorite Foods From Across The US
Block 16 Urban Food Hall Serves Favorite Foods From Across The US (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Benny the Skating Dog could be the next Golden Knights on-ice entertainment
Benny the Skating Dog could be the next Golden Knights on-ice entertainment (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Who To Watch At Life Is Beautiful
Life Is Beautiful Setup
Workers preparing Fremont street for this weekend's Life is Beautiful festival, on Wednesday, September 19, 2018. Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal
The 46th annual Greek Food Festival will feed 25,000 people in Las Vegas
Madame Tussauds Has The Newest VR Experience On The Strip
Madame Tussauds Has The Newest VR Experience On The Strip. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Zia Records Move
Zias Records is moving from its Sahara Avenue and Arville Street location to a bigger store. (Mat Luscheck/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Students At The International Contortion Convention In Las Vegas Learn How To Bend And Twist Their Bodies
Students At The International Contortion Convention In Las Vegas Learn How To Bend And Twist Their Bodies. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Video from Fertitta wedding Sep. 1
video from @wedstagrams of Fertitta wedding at Red Rock Resort
You Can Get Vegan Unicorn Toast In Downtown Las Vegas
You Can Get Vegan Unicorn Toast In Downtown Las Vegas (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Five must-see bands at Psycho Las Vegas 2018
Five must-see bands at Psycho Las Vegas 2018
Zuma's Ice Cube Carving Is Satisfying To Watch
Zuma's Ice Cube Carving Is Satisfying To Watch (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Therapy In Downtown Las Vegas Serves Cast Iron S'mores
Therapy In Downtown Las Vegas Serves Cast Iron S'mores. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like