Las Vegas just might go ‘Mad’

The Sopranos” is dead. Long live “Mad Men.”

On Sunday, “Mad Men” won a Screen Actors Guild award, to go along with its Emmys and Golden Globes. Tonight, cast members stage a musical version of the 1960s drama at MGM’s Hollywood Theatre.

And there’s a chance this “Rat Pack-y” revue — using songs, a big band, costumes and sets from the show, all overseen by producers and “Mad Men” designers — could become a regular gig in Las Vegas.

“They’re talking about doing this in New York, and they’re talking about doing it in London. I’ve actually heard Australia mentioned,” says Joel Murray, who emcees the musical and portrays Freddy on the TV show.

“But more importantly, they’re inviting all the booking agents for the Vegas casinos to the show Tuesday night. And I’d like to see it turn into a one-, two-week run here, as opposed to anywhere else.”

The musical is a special event during this week’s convention of the National Association of Television Program Executives. Murray says cast members could feasibly perform in a musical 32 weeks a year. Tonight’s show is not scheduling “Mad Men” leads Jon Hamm, Elisabeth Moss, January Jones or Christina Hendricks.

But on the bill are Murray, Robert Morse, Colin Hanks (his dad is Tom), Bryan Batt … and on and on. It’s an “old showroom show,” Murray says.

“I’ve got a cigarette and a glass of Scotch,” he says. “I come out and do some bits in between. Rich Sommer, the bespectacled ad guy on the show, is gonna be my lackey, kind of Jerry Lewis to my drunky Dean Martin.”

If you go, you might want to dress up. When this was first staged in L.A. at Grammys time, fans showed up in their finest threads. Tickets are $25 at MGM box offices.


Before Joel Murray became Freddy on “Mad Men,” he was Pete on “Dharma & Greg” and Fitz on “Still Standing.” He’s a substitute in “Beer Shark Mice,” the revered group at I.O. in L.A. Also, his brother is Bill Murray, my favorite living actor.

Imagine my shock when Joel Murray explains why brothers Bill and Brian Doyle-Murray won’t be at tonight’s “Mad Men” revue:

“He and Brian were talking about coming to the show,” Joel says. “Then Billy’s, like, ‘No, I’ve gotta do a screen test.’ I said, ‘You’re Bill Murray. What are you talking about?’ “

Exactly. Who makes Bill Murray take a screen test?

“I don’t know. I guess it’s to check hair color. Who knows?” Joel says.

He says Hollywood is tougher on stars lately.

“I’m going to auditions for little parts, and everybody in the room is a movie star. You’re going, ‘What the hell is going on?’ ” he says. “There used to be a nice room in the middle for middle-class actors.”

By the way, Joel donates to our economy fairly often. He has often stayed in fancy-schmancy suites.

“But the last few times I’ve come out, I’ve literally not gotten a room. I’ll come out in the morning and go home in the morning, and just gamble. I’ll do 18 hours hard and get out.”

That’s hard-core.


Model Isobella Jade wrote a memoir, “Almost 5’4,” about posing naked and clothed, by typing on Macs in an Apple store in New York. This got her much press. She flew here for a whirlwind weekend, so I asked Jade — who podcasts at — to rank her Vegas experience. Results:

1. “Zumanity” (“all the boobs were different”); 2. Bellagio fountains (“I wish they had that in Central Park”); 3. Her steak at N9NE at the Palms; 4. Playboy Club at the Palms (“I was sitting in a chair like a throne”); 5. “Miss America” (“for the humor aspect”); 6. Paul Oakenfold spinning at Rain at Palms; And 7. “Sirens of TI” (“cool marketing idea”).

We were texting during “Miss America” at Planet Hollywood. She said it made her feel “like I’m at my prom again.”

“I feel naughty, wearing a leather Kenneth Cole dress and fishnets next to all these screaming virgins,” Jade declared. “But I think the pride for each state is cool.”

Lots of reader reviews of “Miss America” are posted on my blog. Check it out if you’re online.

Write your thoughts on my blog ( or send them to and I’ll post them. My columns run Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays.

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