74°F
weather icon Clear

Tiger impersonator appears at drag queen roast

The claws came out for the Frank Marino roast on Friday inside a rollicking Stratosphere showroom.

Even a Montecore impersonator showed up with “Siegfried” lookalike Anthony Rais for some timely biting commentary.

Brian Thomas, best known around town as our favorite leprechaun, played Montecore to the hilt.

“I always wanted to work with Steve Wyrick,” said Thomas, “but his shows have disappeared more than I have.”

Comedy hypnotist Marc Savard was razor sharp as the roastmaster.

When Montecore was leaving the stage, Savard quipped, “he’s slower than Robin Leach’s metabolism.”

Turns out when the organizers put the skit together, they were unaware that Roy Horn’s birthday party was one day before the roast.

Leach channeled legendary chef Julia Child. He wore a super plus-sized blue dress and a brown wig.

Savard cracked, “We are so lucky to have you here tonight because we know it’s shuffleboard night at the nursing home; we thank you, and Frank thanks you for being here. You are a barely living legend.”

Mark Shunock, one of the leads of “Rock of Ages” (Palazzo), came out in leather short shorts and, while leading a troupe of showboys in a naughty version of “YMCA,” worried aloud that he might be in trouble with his bosses.

YUMAN EXPLAINS

Notably absent from Roy Horn’s 69th birthday party at The Mirage last week was Siegfried &Roy’s longtime manager Bernie Yuman.

The evening was not only a tribute to Horn’s inspirational battle since he nearly died from a tiger bite on his 59th birthday, Oct. 3, 2003, but a celebration of the iconic illusionists’ success story.

The buzz began when Yuman didn’t appear on the red carpet. Had he not been invited? Had the relationship soured?

The mystery grew when a reporter at the party tweeted: “Hearing that Bernie Yuman was actually at the sneak peak opening of Buddy Vi’s @VenetianVegas tonight.”

Yuman set the record straight when reached by telephone.

“I was invited and honored to be invited,” said Yuman, who began managing Siegfried &Roy in the late 1970s.

But, he said, “my place on that night was to be next to my friend of 51 years, Muhammad Ali, for the first-annual Muhammad Ali humanitarian awards in Louisville.”

“I had already committed long before I received the invitation (to Siegfried &Roy’s event),” said Yuman, who became Ali’s manager in 1999 and still operates Muhammad Ali Enterprises.”

As far as his status with Siegfried and Roy, he is adamant.

“I was their manager, I am still their manager and I will always be their manager. When we came together we changed entertainment forever.

“They are retired in so far as their entertainment career is concerned but that doesn’t change anything,” he said.

He acknowledged for the first time that he studied the in-house video of the incident over and over looking for answers. He came away convinced “there were two heroes: Roy and Montecore.

“A lot of things happened that were out of order, through no fault of anyone,” he said, referring to Horn’s routine with Montecore.

Those circumstances had to do with lighting, he said, and “both (Horn and Montecore) were out of position.”

“But Roy is a cat from another life. Roy’s instincts made sure Montecore stayed calm and collected,” he said.

And when Horn had a small stroke, “Montecore gently picked him up and took him backstage.”

To characterize it as an attack, he said, “is nothing other than sensationalism.”

While leaving Horn’s party Thursday, I noticed he was departing as well, slowly walking behind us with assistants at his side. As he approached, I told him I hoped it was a special birthday.

“It was not an attack,” he said in a scolding tone. He repeated it.

Not everyone is likely to agree with Siegfried and Roy’s camp on that, given the severity of the bite wound, but his loyalty to his animals and his personal courage will never be questioned.

THE PUNCH LINE

“Whenever there’s trouble, there’s always a silver lining. Swing by the New York City Opera on your way home and you can get 75 percent off Viking helmets.” ­­­—­ David Letterman, on the New York City Opera going bankrupt.

Norm Clarke’s column appears Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Reach him at 702-383-0244 or norm@reviewjournal.com. Find more at normclarke.com. Follow @Norm_Clarke on Twitter. “Norm Clarke’s Vegas” airs Thursdays on the “Morning Blend” on KTNV-TV, Channel 13.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Week in Pictures: April 28-May4

Take a look at some eye-catching pictures from Las Vegas Review-Journal photographers in the past week, including Las Vegas Science & Technology Festival, Pirate Fest, weather and Canelo vs. Jacobs. Children play inside a hot air balloon provided by Las Vegas Balloon Rides during the Las Vegas Science & Technology Festival on Saturday, May 4, […]

Week in Pictures: April 21-April 27

Take a look at some eye-catching pictures from Las Vegas Review-Journal photographers in the past week, including Golden Knights playoffs, Raiders draft and WBA lightweight championship bout. The Meadows School third baseman Sam Kaplan looks in a high ground ball during fielding practice, he will play at Cornell University next year on Wednesday, April 24, […]

Week in Pictures: April 14-April 20

Take a look at some eye-catching pictures from Las Vegas Review-Journal photographers in the past week, including Golden Knights playoffs and Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend. The Pink Moon, the nickname for April’s full moon, is not pink at all but yellow and sets in the west behind the Raiders Stadium early on Friday, April […]

Week in Pictures: March 17-March 23

Take a look at some eye-catching pictures from Las Vegas Review-Journal photographers in the past week, including Vegas Golden Knights, Cesar Chavez Day festival, prep baseball and El Cortez shooting. Brooklyn Ruiz, 10, center, of Redlands, Calif., jumps out of the pool while playing with her cousin, Analyce Lopez, 11, of Redlands, Calif., left, and […]

Week in Pictures: March 10-March 16

Take a look at some eye-catching pictures from Las Vegas Review-Journal photographers in the past week, including the West Coast Conference tournament, the Mountain West tournament and the Pac-12 tournament. The Stanford Cardinals celebrate after defeating the Oregon Ducks during a NCAA college basketball game in the final of the Pac-12 women’s tournament at the […]

Week in Pictures: Jan. 14-20

Take a look at some striking pictures from Review-Journal photographers in the past week, including weather features, a boxing match and the super blood wolf moon. Ronald Holmes plays the alto saxophone on The Strip as dark clouds move in on Monday, Jan. 14, 2019, in Las Vegas. Clouds, rain and snow are expected in […]

7 ways autocomplete can get smarter

Autocomplete is one of the best (or depending on how hastily you push ‘send’ – worst) things in the world. We rely on it so much that Google plans to let us autocomplete whole emails. Here are seven ways predictive input can improve. 1. Recognizing names from previous emails Jakub Kokoszka has a tough name to […]

Movie posters might soon be based on your clicks

You may have thought you left Blockbuster behind, but the basic way we browse movies hasn’t changed all that much. We peruse poster after poster, kind of like walking the aisles of a ‘90s-era video store. That one poster image, meant to appeal to as many people as possible, is often all we see before […]

What I’ll be covering at NAB 2018

The National Association of Broadcasters show kicks off this weekend in Las Vegas.  The show focuses on new and emerging technologies and trends in relation to the media and entertainment industries. As it’s not open to the public, I’ll be at the Las Vegas Convention Center on Saturday, Monday and Wednesday to share some of […]