The Showbiz Roast honors Zowie Bowie at The Stratosphere in Las Vegas

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Zowie Bowie with Lydia Ansel and members of the Zowie Bowie band
There is a talented group of entertainers in Las Vegas who party together, drink together and make guest appearances on each other’s shows.  Yes, just like the old Rat Pack (Pictured: Zowie Bowie aka Chris Phillips with Lydia Ansel and members of the Zowie Bowie band – Photo credit: Robert G. Seketa, www.LoosePuppy.com). 

On Tuesday, April 23, these comedians, singers, dancers and magicians gathered at The Stratosphere Theater to roast their leader, Zowie Bowie aka Chris Phillips.

Roastmaster Mike Hammer deals with a rowdy audience  member
Roastmaster Mike Hammer deals with a rowdy audience member

Photo credit: Robert G. Seketa, www.LoosePuppy.com.

The performers included George Wallace, Gordie Brown, Robin Leach, Dennis Bono, Frankie Scinta, Vinnie Favorito, Clint Holmes, Murray SawChuck, BBR, Recycled Percussion, Brian Thomas, Johnny Kats, Kelly Clinton, Lorena Peril, Dayna Roselli and as Roastmaster, Mike Hammer.

Mike Hammer with George Wallace
Mike Hammer with George Wallace

Photo credit: Robert G. Seketa, www.LoosePuppy.com.

The Zowie Bowie Band provided the music and Phillip’s girlfriend, violinist Lydia Ansel opened the show with a breathtaking “25 or 6 to 4”.

George Wallace with Chris Phillips
George Wallace with Chris Phillips

Photo credit: Robert G. Seketa, www.LoosePuppy.com.

Four Queens comedy-magician Mike Hammer was the obvious choice as Roastmaster.  He dished out plenty of insults to everyone involved, including several audience members.

“This roast was an amazing experience,” said Hammer. “It’s not often that you perform in front of all your peers, the media and friends all in one night.  It was a lot of pressure for me to do well, but it’s pressure that helps me to succeed. I had a blast and and thought the show was a huge success.  I have been asked to be the emcee at future roasts due to the positive feedback. Who and what is next is still a mystery”.

BBR (Blonde, Brunette and Redhead) sing some zingers
BBR (Blonde, Brunette and Redhead) sing some zingers

Photo credit: Robert G. Seketa, www.LoosePuppy.com.

Frankly, it’s hard to tell which performers are really friends and which may have been “ringers” included to spice up the show.  Not that the show needed it, though. The event was hilarious with each performer getting a chance to speak or sing a load of insults about Phillips.

Phillips laughed along with the audience as zinger after zinger was hurled his way.  The insults were mostly along the lines of “he drinks too much,” “he uses tanning lotion,” “he might be gay,” “he wears too much bling,” “he has no talent” and “he dates too many young girls.”

In this business you have to remember to kiss The Godfather’s ring once in a while, too, so despite the insults, his friends and peers also made a point of praising Phillips for his help, kindness and generosity over the years.

Comedy magician Murray SawChuck at the podium with Chris Phillips
Comedy magician Murray SawChuck at the podium with Chris Phillips

Photo credit: Robert G. Seketa, www.LoosePuppy.com.

Murray SawChuck said, “The Roast was a great experience for me as I did 100% new material, hung with a lot of my friends who also perform on the strip, and roasted a dear friend of mine, Chris Phillips! It was reminiscent of the OLD DAYS we used to watch the Dean Martin Roasts on TV and I have the whole collection!”

Murray SawChuck at the podium with Chris Phillips and Mike Hammer
Murray SawChuck at the podium with Chris Phillips and Mike Hammer

Photo credit: Robert G. Seketa, www.LoosePuppy.com.

The show included a couple of surprises with a performance by Thunder from Down Under and two nuns from Nunsense who scolded Phillips for his past transgressions.

Thunder From Down Under cracks a smile, so to speak
Thunder From Down Under cracks a smile, so to speak

Photo credit: Robert G. Seketa, www.LoosePuppy.com.

Nuns from the Vegas show Nunsense scold Chris Phillips
Nuns from the Vegas show Nunsense scold Chris Phillips

Photo credit: Robert G. Seketa, www.LoosePuppy.com.

The Showbiz Roast was a free event with no cover charge so they easily packed the The Stratosphere Theater with nearly 600 guests. Producer Andy Walmsley developed this concept and the long-term plan may be to make it regular event. Phillips provided a worthy target for the inaugural show, but it remains to be seen if the next “victim” can inspire the same level of excitement.

Lydia Ansel, Frankie Scinta and Chris Philips
Lydia Ansel, Frankie Scinta and Chris Philips

Photo credit: Marc Paulus.

Chris Phillips and the Zowie Bowie band perform each Friday at Rock’s Lounge at Red Rock Hotel & Casino.

Lydia Ansel and Chris Phillips
Lydia Ansel and Chris Phillips

Photo credit: Marc Paulus.

Brian Thomas as "Little Zowie Bowie" with Chris Phillips
Brian Thomas as “Little Zowie Bowie” with Chris Phillips

Photo credit: Marc Paulus.

Lydia Ansel, Chris Phillips, Mike Hammer and stylist Celeste Marie
Lydia Ansel, Chris Phillips, Mike Hammer and stylist Celeste Marie

Photo credit: Robert G. Seketa, www.LoosePuppy.com.

Mike Hammer photobombs the Red Carpet
Mike Hammer photobombs the Red Carpet

Photo credit: Robert G. Seketa, www.LoosePuppy.com.

Comedy magician Murray Sawchuck
Comedy magician Murray Sawchuck

Photo credit: Robert G. Seketa, www.LoosePuppy.com.

Chris Phillips and Murray Sawchuck
Chris Phillips and Murray Sawchuck

Photo credit: Robert G. Seketa, www.LoosePuppy.com.

George Wallace, Lydia Ansel, Chris Phillips and Lorena Peril
George Wallace, Lydia Ansel, Chris Phillips and Lorena Peril

Photo credit: Robert G. Seketa, www.LoosePuppy.com.

Chris Phillips, Lydia Ansel, Murray SawChuck and  George Wallace
Chris Phillips, Lydia Ansel, Murray SawChuck and George Wallace

Photo credit: Robert G. Seketa, www.LoosePuppy.com.

Photographer Gabe Ginsberg shoots George Wallace and Chris Phillips
Photographer Gabe Ginsberg shoots George Wallace and Chris Phillips

Photo credit: Robert G. Seketa, www.LoosePuppy.com.

Lydia Ansel and Chris Phillips with Las Vegas Showgirls
Lydia Ansel and Chris Phillips with Las Vegas Showgirls

Photo credit: Robert G. Seketa, www.LoosePuppy.com.

Check out their shows and web sites! Mike Hammer, Zowie Bowie, George Wallace, Gordie Brown, Robin Leach, Dennis Bono, Frankie Scinta, Vinnie Favorito, Clint Holmes, Murray SawChuck, BBR, Recycled Percussion, Brian Thomas, Johnny Kats, Kelly Clinton, Lorena Peril and Dayna Roselli.