For Laugh Factory comedian/impressionist, Harry Basil, the month of May, 2014, is a very special and important milestone for him, as it marks the 30th year that the entertainer has been working on the Las Vegas Strip. Basil will be performing the week of May 26–June 1, at the Tropicana Hotel, along with Dean Delray and Traci Skene.
It was the week of May 4, 1984, when Basil was hired by Mitzi Shore, owner of the world famous Comedy Store in Los Angeles, to perform at The Dunes Hotel on the Strip. This was an experiment by Mitzi, to see if she could fill the 500-seat showroom, and make a profit doing it. It was also the very first comedy club to open on the Vegas Strip. The line-up that opening week consisted of: Louie Anderson, Jim Carrey, Blake Clark, Paul Rodriguez, Argus Hamilton, Andrew Dice Clay and Basil. All of whom went on to become huge stars.
This was the first time for most of them to play Vegas. “It was very exciting, because we were in the main showroom,” Basil explained. “The Dunes was still old school too…you still had to tip a Maître d’ to get a good seat, and everyone dressed to the nines to see the show.”
Headliners on the Strip started to make it a ritual to catch the late show. Harry said the word was out that the Comedy Store had five new acts every week, instead of the normal two or three. Mitzi had Basil close the show that first week, because his high energy act was a real crowd-pleaser. She continued to book Basil, one week a month, for the entire run at the Dunes. Basil continued to perform on the Las Vegas Strip, opening for many of the leading stars of the day, including legends like Liza Minnelli and Rodney Dangerfield.
Today, Basil is one of the partners and producers of The Laugh Factory at The Tropicana Hotel. Going on its second year, The Laugh Factory has quickly become the hottest comedy club on the Strip. Currently it has a 4:00 p.m. Magic Show starring Murray SawChuck. The 7:00 p.m. “Headliner show,” that starred comedy legend Roseanne Barr for four months, followed by a six month run by prop legend, Gallagher, will soon announce another comedy star opening this summer.
Of course, the staple 8:30 & 10:30 p.m. nightly Comedy Show, starring three of the hottest comics in the business today continues.
Tickets priced at $34.95 and $44.95 can be reserved by calling 702-739-2411. For more information, visit The Laugh Factory web site.