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Las Vegas history gets more lively thanks to a few drinks

Between the dozens of conversations held Saturday night inside Atomic Liquors in downtown Las Vegas, some local tales about the city’s qualities were filmed for an upcoming episode of the Comedy Central show “Drunk History.”

The comedy series consists of historical stories about American cities or themes recounted by inebriated storytellers. Past episode subjects include Chicago, the Wild West and Hawaii.

The 30-minute episodes are made up of a trio of accounts from three drunk narrators. Between each tale, locals are featured bragging about their city at a popular spot.

That is what brought the show’s creator and producer, Derek Waters, to Atomic on Fremont Street with the show coming up on its third season. He explained that it took long to feature Las Vegas because finding the right stories about the city was challenging, given its age.

“We only look at Vegas in one way, and this will teach you that Vegas (wasn’t) always the Vegas that we know,” the 35-year-old explained. “It was obviously a desert, but how did it become Vegas? I don’t think a lot of people know how it became what it is now.”

Third-generation Las Vegas resident Sean Jones has seen the area change for decades. He said he practically grew up in the city’s movie theaters since there was little else to do among the desert’s casinos as an adolescent.

He also said the city is unique because of its particular resources.

“I know a lot of professors and art people that come here because they can drink 24 hours,” he said. “In a lot of places, you can’t smoke or gamble.”

James Auge, who grew up as an Army brat, finally settled in Nevada and has been living in Las Vegas for five years. He appreciates the area’s variety.

“Everything you would want to do, you can do in Vegas,” he said. “If you want to be in the middle of nowhere … go out 10 miles and you’re in the middle of nowhere. If you want to be in the middle of everything, Vegas always has something going on.”

Kent Johns, owner of Atomic Liquors, has been a fan of the show since its creation as an Internet series on the comedy video website Funny or Die in 2007. He was glad to host the “Drunk History” team, seeing it as a way of keeping the original Vegas scene alive.

“We’re excited. Hollywood and Vegas have always had a good marriage,” he said. “Now that the Strip has kind of become such a big corporate team, we’re bringing it back downtown.”

The show’s third season is set to air Sept. 1 on Comedy Central and will feature Dennis Quaid and Sam Rockwell among other stars.

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