When you walk into to the new Empire Comedy Club at Paris, you feel like it shouldn’t work as a space for stand-up. Most of the time, Napoleon’s, the lounge that houses Empire
Comedy Club , features dueling pianos onstage with more spaced-out, bar-friendly seating. Even during the comedy show, it looks very dissimilar to a traditional comedy club setup. And that may be why it works so well.
Cort McCown, formerly of the Playboy Comedy Show at the Palms, knew what he was looking for when he set this room up. “We looked at a bunch of spaces at the different properties that Caesars [Entertanment] has. And this was the best fit for what I wanted. I wanted a small, intimate room. I wanted something with low ceilings that could be enclosed, and this was the best fit for that.”
Most comedy clubs set chairs and tables up in a horseshoe-like space; a semicircle that veers everybody into toward the center of the stage. Empire has two distinct sections, with an aisle in the middle, and each portion darting diagonally back so when you see the entire space as a whole from the back of the room, it looks like it forms a “V.”
I figured that the back rooms would have difficult sight lines, with their apparent diagonal views of the stage.
“The biggest challenge was making sure that everyone had a great view of the stage and making sure that everything still felt very intimate. There’s not a bad seat in the house,” McCown said. He’s right. Everywhere you go there is a clear view of the performer. According to McCown, headliners like Robert Kelly and Mitch Fatel have told him that it’s their favorite room they’ve ever played in Las Vegas. “When you’re onstage, it feels fantastic.”
The lighting is low, the sound is good. The only glaringly easy way to improve the layout is to use the flat-screen televisions fitted high on each side of the stage. They run pre-show advertisements on them, so why not do something as simple as putting the Empire Comedy logo on the screens throughout the show? That would add a little extra depth and feel to the room. Also, there are no bathrooms in Napoleon’s, so plan for a break in the action before wandering into the casino to find the restroom.