Posts Tagged ‘comedy’

by John Thorpe, Contributing Editor(The Pod Bay Door Show)

A few podcasts ago, I mentioned an essay about Las Vegas, written in 1964 by the American author Tom Wolfe. Before I get to the essay, I need to set the record straight: Tom Wolfe is an excellent writer. His novel Bonfire of the Vanities is one of the funniest novels I’ve ever read, and I’ve read a lot of novels. Tom Wolfe is also a pretentious prick. In fact, if you look up “douche bag” in the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 6th edition this is what you’ll see:

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Now that I’ve got that out of the way, let’s look at his essay, “Las Vegas (What?) Las Vegas (Can’t Hear You! Too Noisy) Las Vegas!!!!.” You can find it in his collection, The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby, published in 1965. (You can read the entire Las Vegas essay on Google Books here: https://books.google.com/books?id=QwyU4YsvLsEC&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false)

As I mentioned on the podcast, Wolfe describes a Las Vegas that no longer exists. It did at one time, but like no other city that I know of, Las Vegas reinvents itself every generation. It tears itself down and then rebuilds itself anew, rising from the rubble like the mythical Phoenix. Sure, other cities remodel and renovate, but they don’t fundamentally change their identity. Kim Kardashian can dye her hair or change the style of clothes she wears, but she’s still the same sexy but inherently skanky-trashy-slutty celebrity that many people, for whatever reason, find fascinating. Las Vegas isn’t like Kim Kardashian. Las Vegas is more like Caitlin Jenner. Whatever happened to Bruce? He existed at one time, but he’s gone now. Yeah, Caitlin Jenner sure looks like Bruce Jenner in drag, but the Bruce Jenner who competed in the 1976 Olympics lives only in the memories of those of us old enough to remember him.

Here is one paragraph from Wolfe’s essay worth examining. There are countless others, but this one will do:

He had been rolling up and down the incredible electric-sign gauntlet of Las Vegas’ Strip, U.S. Route 91, where the neon and the par lamps—bubbling, spiraling, rocketing, and exploding in sunbursts ten stories high out in the middle of the desert—celebrate one-story casinos. He had been gambling and drinking and eating now and again at the buffet tables the casinos keep heaped with food day and night, but mostly hopping himself up with good old amphetamine, cooling himself down with meprobamate, then hooking down more alcohol, until now, after sixty hours, he was slipping into the symptoms of toxic schizophrenia.

My how the hotels and their guests have changed since Wolfe wrote this back in February 1964! Although Las Vegas Boulevard is still bright beyond belief—I can easily discern which hotel is which late at night from the veranda of my house, some 12 miles away—the flashing neon we associate with Las Vegas of yesteryear (and which still exists in downtown Las Vegas) is largely gone, either blown up, torn down, thrown out, or carted off to the Neon Museum boneyard. Also gone, of course, are the “one-story casinos.” It’s interesting that Wolfe refers to them as “one-story casinos” and not “one-story hotels” because today the emphasis is on the hotel, not on the casino. When I worked at the Venetian, the maps and brochures bore the name, The Venetian Resort * Hotel * Casino, clearly placing the focus on the hotel and its resort aspects—the rooms, the restaurants, the spa and fitness facilities—more so than on the casino, which gets third billing.

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A business card from the Venetian. Notice the order listed: resort, hotel, and then casino.

Stefan Al, professor of urban design at the University of Pennsylvania, has made the interesting observation that the architecture of the Las Vegas Strip reflects the history of recreation and social change in the United States. Al notes that the post-World War II years marked the emergence of the suburbs, as returning GIs sought to ditch crowded urban areas. This trend helped secure the single-story family home with a swimming pool as the frontispiece of the American Dream, and influenced the architecture of the Strip during this period. Hotels and casinos were shaped, in Al’s words, like “bungalow[s] on steroids,” and all competed with one another to see who could create the most elaborate, spectacular swimming pool.

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The swimming pool at the old Desert Inn in 1951. Check out the broads!

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“A one-story casino.” The Flamingo in the early days.

As Americans eventually woke up from this sepia-toned wet dream and whipped up a new one, the architecture on the Strip changed as well. Baby boomers were no longer babies. They had grown up and had kids of their own. In response, Las Vegas developers scrambled to cash in on this family traveler demographic. The result? The 1990s version of Las Vegas that brought us a fairy tale-like castle (Excalibur), a pirate cove (Treasure Island), and an amusement park (Grand Adventure at MGM). Even the venerable Sahara, long in the tooth and ripe for the bulldozer, tried to join the fruit punch-only party by opening the NASCAR Café and spending in excess of $6 million on a rollercoaster, just in case the grease bomb served hot off the griddle wasn’t enough to make Mom, Dad, and offspring heave their guts out. To the broken down, incorrigible and chronic gambler like the one Tom Wolfe describes, the Family Values Vegas was a sacrilege, the equivalent, in reverse, of seeing Mr. Rogers throw aside his red knit sweater in favor of a studded jacket and leather jockstrap.

Over time, the hotels’ bottom lines showed the dolts in management that people who travel with their kids do two things that people shouldn’t do when they travel to Las Vegas: behave themselves and pinch their pennies. These two behaviors—or rather, lack thereof—are partners on a tandem bicycle: one gives impetus to the other, and the hotels, casinos, strip clubs, and bars in Las Vegas have historically thrived when this bike kicks into high gear and crosses the intersection of Loose Morals and Loose Wallet. Tighten them up and the city chokes.

Once it became clear that the family-oriented iteration of Las Vegas was a flop, Cinderella and her ilk, thankfully, were kicked to the pavement and tossed out of town on their ear, and the whores and the drunks welcomed back with open arms.

The most recent wave of hotel construction—the wave that started just after the massive economic crash in 2008—brought us the Aria, the Cosmopolitan, and the Vdara. All of these hotels have downplayed their casinos (the Vdara doesn’t even have one) and have instead focused on restaurants, high-end shops, and clubs. That’s because millennials—a favorite and frequent whipping boy on the Podbay Door—don’t gamble like their parents did, and what money they do spend, they spend on food, frou-frou drinks, and assorted trendy shit.

Personally, I’m sick of the current iteration and a new round of death and resurrection cannot come fast enough. I just hope that the result is something not built on the current trend of nickel-and-dime, Mickey Mouse bullshit that seeks to wring every possible dollar out of everything that breathes. If the last marketing motto was “What Happens in ‘Vegas Stays in ‘Vegas,” the new one, unstated but exemplified through hidden “resort fees” and increased parking/valet fees, would be “I’ll fuck anything that mooooves!!” (If you don’t know or can’t place the movie reference, see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N755jvOUCNI).

-John Thorpe, contributing editor(The Pod Bay Door Show)

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Curated content and comedic viewpoints on Society, Politics, Entertainment & Las Vegas!

Join Jamey and John for their 1st anniversary episode (part two) as they reminisce about the past year in Las Vegas.  Topics include what is missed in Las Vegas, the continuing evils of the millennial, the evolution of Podcasting and how consumerism should change in the coming years.  Plus The Pod Bay Door Show anniversary gear give-away…download for details.  Thank you to all of our listeners – We appreciate you!

We are also celebrating our One Year Anniversary with The Pod Bay Door Gear Give-Away…

It’s Easy…

Just go to iTunes or Podbean(Links above)

Give The Pod Bay Door a quick review & rating

Take a Screen Shot of the Review

Email the Screen Shot to – thepodbaydoorlv@gmail.com

Include in the email the screen name you would like us to use on the shout out, and whether you would like a T-Shirt or MousePad (samples below – actual gear will have title and website)

The first 10 reviewers will get the requested TPBD Gear…for FREE!

The giveaway ends on 2-23-18.  We will announce the winners on the 2-27-18

Thank you to everyone who enters!

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Catch the entire conversation at The Pod Bay Door – Subscribe below or click here.

 Subscribe to The Pod Bay Door Show (Podcast) Above

Listen to – The Pod Bay Door Podcast

Subscribe on iTunes

Curated content and comedic viewpoints on Society, Politics, Entertainment & Las Vegas!

Join Jamey and John for their 1st anniversary episode (part one) as they reminisce about the past year in Las Vegas.  Topics include what is missed in Las Vegas, the continuing evils of the millennial, the evolution of Podcasting and how consumerism should change in the coming years.  Plus The Pod Bay Door Show anniversary gear give-away…download for details.  Thank you to all of our listeners – We appreciate you!

We are also celebrating our One Year Anniversary with The Pod Bay Door Gear Give-Away…

It’s Easy…

Just go to iTunes or Podbean

Give The Pod Bay Door a quick review & rating

Take a Screen Shot of the Review

Email the Screen Shot to – thepodbaydoorlv@gmail.com

Include in the email the screen name you would like us to use on the shout out, and whether you would like a T-Shirt or MousePad (samples below – actual gear will have title and website)

shirtmousepad

The first 10 reviewers will get the requested TPBD Gear…for FREE!

The giveaway ends on 2-23-18.  We will announce the winners on the 2-27-18

Thank you to everyone who enters!

Catch the entire conversation at The Pod Bay Door – Subscribe below or click here.

 Subscribe to The Pod Bay Door Show (Podcast) Above

Listen to – The Pod Bay Door Podcast

Subscribe on iTunes

Curated content and comedic viewpoints on Society, Politics, Entertainment & Las Vegas!

Jamey and John discuss some of their favorite Las Vegas movies and some of the hard data behind the marijuana business in Las Vegas.

Well…weed is here to stay…or so says Rolling Stone Magazine in a recent article.  Much to my chagrin, I have to agree.  Although our feckless leaders on the Hill continue the fight the good fight against the now mighty Cannabis Flower.  This week The Pod Bay Door crew discusses the coming wave of legal battles with the Fed and the possibility of the first Pot Lounges in both Colorado and Las Vegas.  We also discuss dogma,tone and fervor with which the pot arguments are laid and the subsequent poor and misrepresentation it has within the “For Pot Community”, most especially the stigma and ensuing embarrassment shown by those who strongly favor the drug.

Also covered in this episode are some of the favorite Las Vegas based films enjoyed by the show…

Catch the entire conversation at The Pod Bay Door – Subscribe below or click here.

 Subscribe to The Pod Bay Door Podcast Above

Listen to – The Pod Bay Door Podcast

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Curated content, conversations and comedic viewpoints on Society, Politics, Entertainment & Las Vegas!

Jamey and John share some stories of what happens behind the scenes in a major Las Vegas Hotel, discuss some of the latest news to hit Las Vegas and review Charlize Theron in Atomic Blonde.

Along with discussing the sometimes shocking underbelly of the Las Vegas Hotel scene, Jamey and John have a conversation about the sensual and savage movement within the american action film industry and how it mirrors the noir aspects of the foreign market films.

Catch the entire conversation at The Pod Bay Door – Subscribe below or click here.

 Subscribe to The Pod Bay Door Podcast Above

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Episode #42 – Rundown
Coming up on this episode
–  The Destruction of Las Vegas…from Hollywood to Silicon Valley
–  with Area 52
Keep those comments and show suggestions coming in…we love them all –
– jesterlvfan commented – “Love the show and history lessons guys…What are the holidays like there?”
Nerd Alert
Net Neutrality
Disney/Fox
Star Wars:  The Last Jedi

Why does Hollywood like to blow up, flood, quake and demo Las Vegas?
10 Films that destroy our town
– San Andreas, Godzilla, 2012, Resident Evil:Extinction, Transformers, Domino, Con Air, Mars Attacks, Honey, I Blew Up the Kid, The Amazing Colossal Man










Video games that destroy Las Vegas
–  Fallout:New Vegas, GTA:San Andreas, Rainbow 6:Vegas1&2, Die Hard Trilogy:Viva Las Vegas
Area 52 (Jamey) –
· 1931:The Nevada Legislature relaxes marriage and divorce laws and repeals its gambling ban.
· 1931:Pair-O-Dice Club opens on Highway 91, which later is known as the famous Las Vegas Strip.
1932:Patrick McCarran elected to the U.S. Senate
1933:Prohibition is repealed.

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Join Jamey and Adam as they discuss the differences between Nerds and Millennials in Las Vegas.  Topics will also include Android Citizens, Rocket Roadsters, Net Neutrality and the Infinity War Trailer…with the Nerd Alert, Gear Grinders and area 52.

Episode #40 – Rundown

Nerds vs Millennials…Battlefield Vegas – Ep #40

 Coming up on this episode we will discuss

–  How Should Las Vegas change for Nerds & Millennials…and are they the same?

–  Android Citizens, rocket cars and the Infinity War

–  with the Nerd alert, Gear grinders and Area 52

Keep those comments and show suggestions coming in…we love them all –

– Stephieandfriends commented “Thanks for being old and relevant…we love the show…Do you think Las Vegas is still trendy?”

 Nerd Alert (Adam)

–  EA investigated & Net Neutrality

–  Sophia – Android Citizen

–  TESLA’s new Semi and Rocket Car

–  Infinity War Trailer

Concierge Chronicle – Keeping LV Relevant

–  Are Millenials & Nerds the Same?

–  How is Las Vegas catering to them?

–  Negative trends – Marijuana, Gas, terrorism

Gear Grinders – Las Vegas

–  Victoria’s Secret is my Secret…Hands Off!

https://jezebel.com/victorias-secret-continues-its-tradition-of-racism-as-m-1820849157

http://www.businessinsider.com/victorias-secret-fashion-show-accused-cultural-appropriation-2017-11

Area 52 (Jamey)

–   Nevada has more mountain ranges (300) and more hot springs (over 300 occurring naturally) than any other state in the country.

Mountain Range – Definition

 

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Join Jamey with his guests Julia and John as they reminisce and discuss what it is like to live in Las Vegas and answer listener questions about Holiday traditions, cost of living and what the clubs are really like.  Also they cover how hard it is to be a woman in Las Vegas and what changes the gig economy and Millennial generations are demanding.

Episode #39 – Rundown

Coming up on this episode

–  Living in Las Vegas (Listener Questions)

–  Hospitality, Gaming and Club industry

–  with Area 52

(Jamey) Hello to John & Julia

 Keep those comments and show suggestions coming in…we love them all –

  1. Vegasjam36 – What is it like to live in Las Vegas?

        -Special Holiday traditions

  1. creekvalues – Is the cost of living high in Las Vegas?

        -$100 gallon of milk

        -119th in the world, 51st out of 101 in N America, 44th out         of 89 in USA

  1. stkinmdwst – Are the clubs as good as they look on TV?

        -Getting in, bottle service, VIP Hosts, music

  1. poweredgirl90 – Is it hard to be a woman in Las Vegas?

        -current atmosphere and past

  1. NYguy75 – Is Las Vegas catering to Millennial and beyond?

        -redesign space, interactive multiplayer, social media         connectivity

Area 52 (Jamey) –

  1. Population of Las Vegas as of 2016 632,912
  2. Original Lions mouth entrance in front of MGM was removed for 2 reasons: It was taking up prime real estate for the gambling floor but more importantly, it was considered bad luck by the Asian clientele/gamblers.