Comedy for Christmas

After a brilliant summer that saw the likes of Matt Braunger, Aisha Tyler and a blistering set from Kyle Kinane in front of only 40 people at Boomer’s Bar on Aug. 12, the comedy road map to the end of the year looks surprisingly slim.

If the man who once made the star of his breakout film eat dog poop does not immediately jump to your mind when you think “holiday cheer,” you’d be remiss. Cult god John Waters has been kicking around a Yuletide film (Fruitcake) for years without yet getting it made. He also, in 2004, put out a Christmas mixtape (A John Waters Christmas). Borderline cartoonish child praying “Happy Birthday Jesus”? Check. Jaw-droppingly brilliant soul-infused “Fat Daddy” by a Baltimore DJ claiming to be Santa? Also check.

On Dec. 5 at House of Blues, Waters hits the stage with his one-man show ($40-$100)—also called A John Waters Christmas. The show is delivered in a monologue that covers typical seasonal fare—holiday true crime stories, perverted gifts, religious fanaticism. You know, the same Yuletide boilerplate you remember from sitting around the tree with the fam.

Waters isn’t only charming and engaging onstage, but he’s hilarious, too. Expect lines such as this one from his one-man show This Filthy World: Filthier & More Horrible: “I really want to be in the Alvin & The Chipmunks movie because I’m sexually attracted to Alvin. We all have a type. … Sometimes I play my records on the wrong speed and masturbate.”

If you’re looking for a comedy fix without all the implied eggnog, Vegas veteran Brandt Tobler, who splits time between here and Los Angeles, will be doing a run at Brad Garrett’s Comedy Club at MGM Grand Nov. 5-11. Expect lots of stories focused primarily on questionable decision-making, with an undercurrent of amusement where one might expect a less-worldly—hell, let’s just say it—lesser man to house regret.

And let’s not overlook what may be obvious. Don Rickles has been doing sets at the Orleans Showroom for years now, and he may seem like a fixture, but let’s face it: The man’s 86 years old. If you haven’t yet had a chance to take in the show, don’t put it off too much longer. It’s as close as you can get to an immersive time-travel experience, Oct. 6-7 at the Orleans Showroom.

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