Get the Giggles at a Las Vegas Comedy Club

Since the days of Shecky Greene and Joey Bishop, Las Vegas has been synonymous with stand-up comedy and the tradition continues to this day. From millionaire comedians to comics with television credits to up-and-comers, Las Vegas delivers the laughs up and down The Strip.

If you've already got the giggles, why not go to a place where laughing is encouraged?

 1. Laugh Factory

Located inside the Tropicana Casino, the Laugh Factory features headliner comedians from Los Angeles, New York and Canada. Showtimes are 8:30 and 10:30 nightly with additional midnight shows on Friday and Saturday. The legendary Rich Little performs an early show Sunday-Wednesday.

2. Brad Garrett's Comedy Club

Best known for his role on "Everybody Loves Raymond," Brad Garrett often performs at the club which bears his name. Located inside the MGM, BG's has one show nightly at 8 PM.

3. The L.A. Comedy Club

The LA Comedy Club is at the opposite end of The Strip from the Laugh Factory and Brad Garrett's. Inside The Stratosphere, you'll find a club with more of a blue collar feel. There are several different shows each night starting at 6 PM.

Several showrooms on The Strip also offer comedy shows.

Check out Carrot Top at the Luxor, Tom Green at Bally's, The Dirty at 12:30 (on Friday night) at The South Point and The Aces of Comedy series at The Mirage featuring rotating headliners David Spade, Ray Romano, Ron White, Jay Leno, Tim Allen and many more.


Overheard at a Dispensary

"Why am I so scatterbrained?"

Hmmmmmmmm...

Ethel M Holiday Cactus Garden

How Las Vegas Celebrates Christmas!

The Ethel M Holiday Cactus Garden is a must-see if you visit Vegas during the holiday season. Thousands of lights and chocolate! Need we say more?


The Ultimate Gift for Yourself of Yourself

When you go to the Miracle Mile Shops--one of the few places left on The Strip with free parking--stop by Cashman Photo Magic where you can get a 1/5th scale figurine of yourself for the low, low price of $99.

From The Las Vegas Weekly:

The contraption resembles a flying saucer. Tourists stop to look, even though they’re walking through the mecca of overstimulation that is Miracle Mile Shops. I step inside, and in one flash, 128 cameras take a 365-degree scan of me. An eight-picture rotating GIF of myself arrives in my email, ready to be put into 3D physical form.

You can also get a Lego version of your head for $29.

Just make sure to suck in your gut before you get the scan or you'll stare at your paunch for all of eternity.






Garbage In, Garbage Out

There is a problem with most sites that purport to inform visitors about marijuana and its strengths, effects, THC or CBD content, etc. This startling screencap shows a page from Allbud.com, which says it "provides the best online information on cannabis and marijuana for medical therapy and adult use." We don't mean to pile onto Allbud.com. It seems like all the sites that seek to provide info on cannabis products have their shortcomings. We're particularly annoyed by sites that fail to provide information on THC or CBD content (or, when they bother, it's varies so wildly as to be worthless).


This bad/inadequate info is a problem from a recreational and a medical standpoint. If you have a preference for, say, a sativa over an indica, you can't be sure if the product you're buying is one or the other, judging from sites like this one. Same goes for cannabinoid or terpene profiles. And, of course, if this page is wrong, how much other information is similarly in error? Where do they get their info from? The grower? The dispensary? Do the budtenders depend on this info? Or do they have different info from what appears on Allbud.com or Weedmaps or Leafly? It's only a matter of one word in the example pictured above. But it is a very important word.

MJ Vending Machines? It all comes down to branding.

It is a "thing." Stories about the future come down the digital pike with startling regularity. And stories that envision a bright future that contains a MARIJUANA VENDING MACHINE pop with alarming frequency.

One article in particular lumped pot vending machines into a future along with similar machines that vend casino chips and alcohol! (Just like the Japanese probably do. Isn't every cool, adult thing usually done in Japan first?_Isn't there some sort of Japanese Automobile Vending Machine?) Is there a Libertarian/Vending Super PAC I am not aware of? Why all this warm and fuzzy feeling for... vending machines? And why such certainty that they're a lock to be ubiquitous "within our lifetimes?"

Sorry. Don't think it's just around the corner.

One thing that does not help? This:
The vending machine that was called the ZaZZZ. underwent a rebranding to become “The American Green Machine..."
The Great Vending Machine Takeover will not happen... until they stop calling them vending machines or ZaZZZ or ZiZZZ or Green Machines or... any machine. It will not happen until you start calling these contraptions "robots." (And, please, do not use the word "contraptions.")

First Friday Las Vegas

Most visitors to Las Vegas never stop to think about the community of residents who live beyond The Strip. To the tourists, Las Vegas is Sin City. To us, Las Vegas is our city.

And, just like many small towns and big cities, Las Vegas often hosts events geared primarily towards its locals. First Friday is one of those occasions.

But just because First Friday has a local feel doesn't mean tourists aren't welcome. In fact, we'd love to see you. 

Like most First Friday's across America, the LVFF features the work of local artists so it's a great way to pick up a souvenir you wouldn't normally find in a keepsake store. 

There are also numerous food trucks so you can sample different cuisines without having to go to a buffet. And, you can also enjoy free music, plays and other entertainment.

If you're here for the pot tourism, you can find paraphernalia for sale and there's usually a dispensary or two represented

And there's Thrive Cannabis Marketplace just over a quarter-mile (7-min. walk) away, open until midnight, seven days a week., just off the northern edge of the Arts District.

The October 6 edition of First Friday had a decidedly somber tone since it took place only a few days after the horrific massacre near Mandalay Bay. Adjacent to the First Friday area, a Healing Garden with a Remembrance Wall has been constructed to pay tribute to the innocent victims who lost their lives on that horrific day.

First Friday is located in the Arts District, just south of Downtown Las Vegas. It's an approximately 20-minute walk from The Golden Nugget but, if you're not walking with a crowd, you may want to take Uber.

First Friday, obviously, takes place on the first Friday of every month.







Las Vegas will heal

Here's a shot of the Mandalay Bay during happier times, taken while on a Sunday afternoon stroll on the Strip in August. Like all Las Vegans, we are heartbroken and a little skittish. But, again like all Las Vegans, we will carry on and welcome 43 million more guests to our exciting and safe city this year, and the next, and the next.

How to help Vegas shooting victims/families

A local news station has set up a legit GoFundMe campaign that's raised over $800 thousand in just six hours. A donation might go a long way to easing that ghastly feeling of helplessness.

Madame Tussauds Wax Museum

If weed makes you paranoid then perhaps you shouldn't visit Madame Tussauds Wax Museum when you're high.

There's something eerie about standing in a room full of celebrities who refuse to make eye contact. In many ways, it's exactly like living in Los Angeles.

Many of the wax figures are so lifelike you half expect them to reach out and grab you. In the case of George Clooney, most people just hope he'll reach out and grab them.

The recently departed Hef, looking smug and satisfied
Other figures, however, have only a passing resemblance to the actual living person which is so strange considering these are some of the most photographed people in the world. It's not like the Britney Spears artist was given a bad picture to work from. But, somehow, she looks like what you would expect Britney's cousin to look like. We've seen drag impersonators who looked more like the real thing!

We can't imagine what a celebrity thinks when they go to the unveiling of their wax likeness only to see a figure that looks nothing like themselves. Fergie must have wondered, "Why are they showing me Shakira?!!"

We admire the entrepreneurial spirit, but...

We walked a mile or two on the Strip last night. When we were in the vicinity of Harrah's, heading south on the east side of the street, we encountered a gentleman sitting on the wall, offering marijuana for sale. (We assumed that was his game. Amid the din of the boulevard, he was saying, in a tone just above conversational, "Weed.")

We would like to stress to any visitors (or locals, for that matter) that buying cannabis from a gentleman on the street is NOT LEGAL.

While it is true that Nevada just approved the sale of recreational marijuana, it is illegal to sell or re-sell pot and it is illegal to buy it from such sellers or re-sellers. Period. End of story.

We wondered why someone might be tempted to purchase weed from a stranger on the Strip.
Convenience?  (Just how hard is it to walk or Uber to a dispensary?)
Possibly higher quality weed than can be had from a dispensary? (Yeah. Go with that.)
Cheaper?  (We're skeptical.)
What are the possible penalties if caught buying such weed? Don't know. But, ask yourself this: Do you really want to spend a good chunk of your vacation (or do you really want to miss Day Three of The Convention You're Attending) dealing with cops or judges or paperwork?

Just say, "No."
 

Las Vegas Opens First Outdoor Pot Lounge


Boomerang Smokers #3: Straining to understand


Are you confused by the numerous strains of cannabis?

We are too. The L.A. Times says there are 779 different strains. The nifty interactive Venn diagram is pretty and all, but it's not all that helpful. And the story is 3 years old, and a lot has happened since then.


Their source for the info that corresponds to the plot points on the Venn diagram is the website Leafly.com.  

That website currently has a Cannabis Strain Explorer that lists 2389 strains! (But, when you add up the 724 indica + 463 sativa + 1207 hybrid strains, you get 2,394. Hmmm... Math + cannabis = wrong.) 

But that strain explorer, as colorful and sprawling as it is, isn't really packed with all that much helpful data. For example: Say I wanted to know how many of those strains have high levels of CBD along with low, or zero, levels of THC, I am out of luck. 

The "Advanced Filters" option lets the user sort the various strains according to "Medical Usage" (ADD, PTSD, Anxiety, etc.), "Effect" (Focused, Uplifted, Relaxed, etc.) or "Flavors" (Citrus, Berry, Nutty, etc.), but this is still all very unscientific and lacking in precision. Let's face it: One man's "focused" is another man's "creative" is another man's "tingly." And all this talk about "nutty" and "spicy" and "citrus" is uncomfortably close to the wine snobbery (and its insufferable lexicon) that we've been trying to avoid all these years. And, as for the medical usage filter, I get the feeling that the Leafly data is drawn largely from strain reviews on their website, or, to put it another way, it is "crowd-sourced" or anecdotal.

So... what is a novice supposed to do?  Can someone returning to cannabis after a long layoff make sense of the thousands of strains? How can a cannabis consumer make his way through the thicket of strains?

Vegas Weed store (s?) now open 24 hours a day!

So, according to the papers, Las Vegas city council has approved the first 24-hour, we-never-close marijuana dispensary.
Indeed, Oasis Cannabis successfully convinced the Las Vegas City Council to let it constantly stay open in lieu of locking its doors for three hours every morning and now plans to be open around-the-clock starting this Friday, Sept. 22.
Up until now, cannabis dispensaries had to close for three hours!  From 3 AM to 6 AM!  What could possibly go wrong with that scenario?! (Reminds us of the early days of gambling in Atlantic City. Up until the mid-80s, they would shoo everyone out of the gaming area at about 3 AM and not let them back in again for three hours. People would mostly just mill around or go to the coffee shop or hit a diner, then head back. Eventually, the boys in Trenton had a change of heart and A.C. was a 24-hour town. Sort of.)

Oasis is the closest thing Vegas has to a weed speakeasy. It's around back!  I'm surprised they don't require a password barked through a tiny sliding door-within-a-door!

But it is an interesting pot store in that it has an elegant way of getting around the "cash-only" requirements for purchasing weed (and any attendant problems). 

Munchie Madness: Bootlegger Italian Bistro


When you visit Las Vegas, you owe it to yourself to do something off-Strip and old-school. And, while going to a suburban dispensary to buy Maui Wowie would certainly qualify, it's not exactly what we had in mind.

Bootlegger Italian Bistro, located south of Mandalay Bay and north of The South Point, is a 24-hour Italian restaurant frequented by Las Vegas celebrities, locals and tourists in-the-know.

We have one rule when it comes to an Italian restaurant: If you don't smell garlic when you walk in... walk out. At Bootlegger's, you'll walk out smelling like garlic, and that's jut the way it should be.

Bootlegger's is a family run restaurant which opened in 1949. They have breakfast, lunch and dinner menus, but we're partial to their inexpensive Night Owl menu, which starts at 11 PM and ends when you should be eating breakfast.

There's also a Happy Hour, Early Bird Specials and  Prix Fixe Dinner options. Plus, gluten-free folks can order GF pizza and pasta.

Got a light? #2

Our downtown has a giant preying mantis that shoots flames out of its antennae, in time with a Arcade Fire song. Does yours?

Boomerang Smokers #2


Don't ruin your Vegas vacation by consuming the wrong weed or the wrong amount of the right weed.  Pay attention to THC and pay attention to how much you consume. This is the second installment of "Boomerang Smokers."

When I obtained a permit in January to purchase cannabis products for medical use, I had not purchased marijuana of any kind since 1982. In the new world of legal weed, I had no idea what I wanted, what was available or what I was doing. 

I was a "Boomerang Smoker":  A fan of weed in high school and college... then my consumption dropped to near zero for over three decades. And now... set loose in a complicated world of "flower," dab," shatter," "wax," "tinctures," "vaping," "edibles," THC, CBD and terpenes, I was at once confused and curious.  

Since January, I have learned some things. And, while I'm not an expert, I can tell you two or three things I learned.