Most Las Vegas television shows perpetuate the unreal idea outsiders have of our city: Everyone lives in a casino, works in a pawnshop and either gets murdered in the first three minutes of the episode or is the one who did it.
But the new Web series The Gazillionaire has a better grasp on the weird, feral reality of Las Vegas than most. Sure, it’s a surreal comedy/parody starring the Gazillionaire and Penny from Absinthe, but who else could understand a city where a silver-painted “statue” and a balloon-making clown can come to blows in the middle of Fremont Street?
The ostensible storyline—released in ADD-friendly five-minute chunks—is about how the Gazillionaire became the host of Absinthe and how Penny … has always been like that. But the plot is mostly an excuse for giggle-inducing outrages and demented vignettes. The scene where Penny’s showgirl grandma “performs” out David Lynch-es David Lynch, while the bit where the Gazillionaire deals bloody justice to an agent for even suggesting they hire Ryan Seacrest parodies countless Vegas mob movie moments.
The Gazillionaire also features cameos from a variety of familiar faces—the Amazing Johnathan as an Elvis-slapping thug with baby-size hands, Tony Hsieh as a loafer-sniffing shoeshine boy. It also has some of the best opening credits since Dan Tanna rolled down the Strip in Vega$: Gazillionaire, drink surgically attached to hand and wearing an epically contemptuous sneer, brushes off Hangover wannabes, evil-eyes costumed characters and knocks over shoeless bachelorettes. Kind of like how real-life locals navigate the Strip, except that we aren’t (usually) carrying a Scotch.
New episodes debut 7 p.m. Thursdays on YouTube.com/SpiegelWorldTV.