Lawrence is best known for her co-starring role on the television show “The Carol Burnett Show,” as the quick-tempered and abrasive Thelma Harper, better known as Mama. Mama was the mother to Carol Burnett’s character Eunice Higgins. Lawrence eventually went on to star in the spinoff “Mama’s Family.”
As the show kicked off, Lawrence talked about how her relationship with Burnett began. As a teenager, Lawrence entered a fireman’s ball contest called ‘Miss Fireball.’ A local paper ran the story with Lawrence’s picture and mentioned the fact that she looked a lot like Burnett. A short time later, Burnett personally called Lawrence and asked if it was okay to show up at the ball. The two met and the rest is history.
Lawrence talked about how she ended up with a number one hit and a gold record with “The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia.” Her ex-husband wrote the song, but wasn’t happy with it. She went to Sonny and Cher to see if they were interested. Sonny hated it, so Lawrence decided to record it herself.
Up to this point the show was an historical look at Lawrence and her career, with a good laugh here and there. That all changed when she mention her character Mama from the “Carol Burnett Show.” The audience immediately started applauding.
As Lawrence left the stage to change, the screens lit up with past bloopers from “The Carol Burnett Show.”
When the cantankerous Mama came out on stage the audience came to life. Mama immediately complained that if she hears Lawrence talk about how she met Burnett one more time, she was “going to upchuck my complimentary buffet.”
Wondering why everyone was staring at her she said, “I know what you’re thinking dear. You’re thinking boy there’s ‘Fifty Shades of Grey,’ if I ever seen one.”
Lawrence, providing laughs along the way, gave fans an insight into her life, career and her ongoing relationship with Carol Burnett. For fans of Lawrence, they were able to get a little bit of Vicki Lawrence and a whole-lotta Mama.
Suspects Dinner Theater was founded by Paul Waterman, and has been producing fast-paced, audience participation, murder mysteries since 1989. So that means they’ve been doing this for – let me see, 3 take away 9 equals, oh forget it – it’s been a long friggin time. Suffice it to say, they’ve had a few years to work on their approach to providing a killer dining experience.
When making reservations you quickly realize your night out will include a bit of audience participation, since they request a list of attendees, and want to know if you are celebrating an event such as a birthday, anniversary, or your release from prison.
The location for the dinner is the famed Delta King located in Old Town Sacramento. The seating was spacious with large round tables along two sides forming an aisle to accommodate the actors during their performance. There were nine people seated at our table and everyone immediately started introducing themselves to each other. Each person was eying the other thinking, ‘Are they the killer, or are they going to wind up deader than a doornail.’
As we were just settling in to order one of several bottles of wine, our host for the evening Robert, pronounced (roe-bair), a vibrant and flamboyantly gay guy, comes storming onto the scene screaming into the microphone as he was testing the mic. This caused the already nervous attendees to look around as if someone had just been shot.
A number of guests were asked questions while Robert poked fun at them. He would joke around about their name, occupation, or who they were with. One gentleman named TJ set Robert off on a TJ Hooker rant.
As our second, or was it our third, bottle of wine arrived, Robert continued working the audience with a number of comical routines, keeping everyone in tears.
The night’s events really picked up as Talent Manager Bobby Banks was introduced. Banks immediately asked the audience for volunteers to participate in a talent contest. As Banks talked to each contestant he bantered with them about their jobs, and who they looked like.
The contestants who volunteered were Sid, Kelly, Hailey, Christine, and Nikah.
After the contest a man dressed as Santa Claus came in shooting, telling everyone not to worry he was only there to kill someone.
I was trying to remain incognito, but I was singled out by Santa and made to dance like a sexy tiger – I’d rather not relive that moment, thank you very much.
Thankfully someone shot Santa and shut him up – sorry kids.
It’s difficult to put into words just how hilarious the actors were as they worked the audience with questions, it had many people in tears from laughing so hard.
I found the food delicious and typical of what you would expect to find in a large setting.
This was a bloody good deal and definitely well worth the $40 per person. You get to sit down to a good meal, see someone get shot, and participate in unraveling the night’s events to discover the killer.
The stars of the show did a killer job!
Robert O’Brien – Host
Jason Patrick – Talent show host
Luis Martinez – the Hitman
Raymond Keller – PSY impersonator
Matt Wokas – Detective
Kristine David – Jilted contestant
Linda Nalbandian - Stage mother
Prior to Koy coming out onstage, DJ John Magic entertained the crowd with some tunes. He asked several audience members onstage to dance and earn a prize. Audience member Stephanie was first up, as Magic told her that there are certain songs for certain dances, and that she had to dance in the style of the song that he played. As “Gangnam Style” started up, Stephanie did her best Gangnam Style dance, earning her a Jo Koy t-shirt.
Audience member Kara won Jo Koy’s Lights Out DVD and audience member Tom failed a couple of times, but finally won a t-shirt.
Following Magic was comedian James Ponce as he warmed up the crowd joking around about everything from pot smokers to his car’s “oh shit” handle.
As Koy took the stage, the crowd was on their feet welcoming the 41 year old to Thunder Valley as they clapped and cheered him on. Koy wanted to let everyone know that he he’s finally made the big time since he’s playing in a tent at an Indian casino.
The Chelsea Lately regular immediately went after the various nationalities in the audience, especially the Filipino community and his mother, who he’s friends with on Facebook. Every time a fan loads a picture of him with a drink in his hand on Facebook, his mom yells at him that he’s going to get roofied.
He continued on with a number of topics including how Mexicans can cook great Chinese food, as well as how women laugh so hard they cry and “pee” their pants.
Proving to the audience that he was more than just a comedian, Koy ended the show with several songs as he had audience members helping him out through the chorus.
This was a fantastic show with Koy bringing down the house with his off color and racially charged show. DJ John Magic and James Ponce were the perfect openers as Koy put on a fantastic show, bringing the house down with his off color and racially charged show.
Terry Fator is a ventriloquist with a twist, actually a couple of twists. Not only can the 47 year old command all things wooden, but he also has a knack for singing, and not just any singing, he can impersonate damn near any singer out there. From Dolly Parton to Lou Rawls he can belt it out just like the real thing.
Prior to the show the crowd was entertained by DJ Ben Harris and his exceptional dance moves. As he played a medley of songs, Harris was dancing from one end of the stage to the other.
Fator came out singing “Feeling Good,” to start the show as the mostly older crowd was clapping and cheering. Following up with “Phantom of the Opera,” Fator brought out Winston complete with his own phantom mask.
Winston called to Christine (the mighty fine assistant) saying he was her angel of music. That was up until she took his mask off and she ran off stage screaming.
As he continued, Winston informed him that he was auditioning for the Phantom of the Opera. Winston said he was qualified since he did win America’s Got Talent for Fator.
Walter T. Airedale came out singing Big and Rich’s “Save a Horse Ride a Cowboy.” Walter told everyone that he was running for president and was being attacked because people were saying he wasn’t a U.S. citizen. When Fator asked him if he had a birth certificate he said he sure does, and that was when a Home Depot receipt was shown on the big screen. Right away Fator said “So I see you got brass balls.” To which Walter replied, “Every President should have a pair.”
Fator was on fire as he continued with Duggie Scott Walker (an annoying neighbor), Wrex (the crash test dummy), Julius (the soul singer), Emma Taylor, Maynard Thompkins (an Elvis Presley impersonator who doesn’t know any Elvis songs), and Vikki the Cougar (a perpetual 49 year old who likes younger men).
There was a touching moment as Fator explained how a young boy, through the Make-A-Wish Foundation, wanted to go to Las Vegas to see Fator’s show. The young boy passed away several weeks after meeting Fator. Fator regretted not playing a song he wrote called “Horses in Heaven.” Management decided that the song would not play well in Vegas, but since the boys visit Fator has put it back into his show. After playing “Horses in Heaven,” he informed everyone that the proceeds of the song goes towards Saint Jude’s Children’s Hospital.
At one point Fator singled out a married couple Addie and Rob asking Rob to come up onstage. Placing a mask over his face Fator turned him into a human puppet and starting committing to his wife that he hates sports, and she can take control of the remote.
Winston came back out onstage and they closed the show with an extremely well done rendition of “It’s a Wonderful World.”
This was a great show and I would definitely go out of my way to see him again. Since Fator is often compared to Jeff Dunham I have to say while Dunham can be hilarious, he tends to be pretty racial and at times crude, where Fator’s show was good clean fun. Now that’s not to say Fator’s show at the Mirage in Las Vegas is clean, I wouldn’t know, but what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.
Jeff Dunham’s suitcase posse was in the house at Thunder Valley Casino Resort Saturday night, performing to a sold-out crowd. As was expected, the audience was a mix of young and old, including my 13 and 15 year old sons, and their great-Grandmother of 87 years old.
Jeff Fa Fa DunHAM, which is how the hyperactive Peanut refers to him, was born in 1962, making him an old guy who likes to play with dolls. We’re not talking about the kind of dolls Mom used to play with, or Dad for that matter (remember GI Joe, or maybe it was the Ken doll). No, we’re talking about larger-than-life, mouthy, belligerent, racist, downright disobedient, and let’s not forget just plain crazy, funny dolls.
These creations of lumber are nothing short of adorable, mean-spirited and, above all, hilarious. While Dunham is the creator, mastermind and the voice behind these creatures, he just didn’t seem to have the same comedic power while performing onstage without them.
Starting with a brief monologue about his dog which received some general laughter, Dunham went from being a so-so comedian to a true standup comic as soon as he introduced his old buddy Walter. Before bringing Walter out, Dunham explained they had just finished taping a Halloween special entitled “Minding the Monsters” for DVD and Comic Central, he thought he would give the audience a preview by using some of the material in the evenings show. To complete the Halloween special Dunham had all his characters dressed in costumes.
Walter is a retired, grumpy old man. His arms are always crossed and he appears quite discontented. He’s a sarcastic, negative old cuss who has seen better days. A Vietnam War veteran and former welder, Walter doesn’t give a damn about anyone, even his own wife. Walter was Dunham’s own creation from conception to his silicon mold.
Right out of the box Walter had the audience on their feet cheering, to which he replied, “Shut the hell up!” Walter wanted to know where the walls were, and started complaining about performing outside, letting Dunham know that his career was just zooming.
Trying to divert Walter’s attention back to the audience Dunham reminding him of all the applause and without skipping a beat Walter responded, “They applauded because they were happy you finished your cute little doggy story.”
In response to a heckler in the crowd Walter yelled, “Excuse me! Did the ticket say Jeff, his friends, and a drunken asshole in the crowd?” This was met with a huge round of applause.
Dunham brought out a hat to put on Walter that made him look like Frankenstein, which will be used in the upcoming special.
Bubba J was the next one out of the box and dressed as a vampire. Bubba J is a beer-drinking redneck that Dunham describes as “white trash trailer park”, and whom Dunham uses for humor centered on such stereotypes. To this end, he frequently does jokes involving Bubba J’s love of drinking beer, NASCAR, and his low intelligence.
Dunham asked Bubba if he ever trick or treated as a kid. Bubba said it was difficult to do when all the houses could just pull away when you rang the bell. Bubba made sure everyone knew he was mobile home schooled.
Peanut came out dressed in a Batman costume, calling himself Bat Nut, that’s about the time the spot lights were shut down due to threatening weather.
Peanut is purple-skinned, and the bad kid of the bunch. He’s hyperactive and enjoys giving Dunham a hard time, even more so than his other characters. Peanut was born on a small Micronesian island. Dunham met Peanut in Florida and has been with him ever since. At least that’s how the story goes.
There were several times the kids wanted to know what Dunham meant when he said one thing, or another. Look it up on the internet, was our standard response. Sadly, after searching the internet the next day, they had even more questions, as did Grandma.
Peanut battled it out with Jalapeno-on-a-stick and also brought out a miniature dummy of Dunham who was dressed as the loser, with a large L pasted on his forehead.
Achmed the dead terrorist finally made it out of the box. Achmed is the most controversial of all Dunham’s wooden wonders, and is a skeleton of a bumbling suicide bomber.
Achmed spend a very brief amount of time on stage and a number of people were upset that he didn’t say “Silence! I keel you” once during his performance.
Dunham puts on a hilarious show. I felt this performance was a little flat and not quite up to past shows that he’s put on. Maybe it’s the new material, or maybe it’s his posse’s just getting older. Regardless it was still a great evening out with the kids . . . and Grandma.
Dunham’s shows aren’t for everyone and contain a lot of racist remarks, stereotyping, and more, so beware.
There’s still some great summer concerts left for Thunder Valley Casino’s Summer Concert Series.
Prior to the show starting a music video of “Hey It’s fluffy“ played along with very funny warnings about no photos, recordings, go the bathroom before the show, and more.
The infamous Martin Moreno opened the show. Martin is the character in many of Iglesias’ jokes, one in particular where Iglesias yells Marteeeen as he pulls up to his house in a Volkswagen. Right away Moreno asked how many kids were in the audience knowing that Iglesias puts on a clean show, warning the parents that he was not Iglesias.
True to his word Moreno dropped the F-bomb and many other colorful words throughout his routine, as did the rest of the outstanding lineup of comics including Alfred Robles, Shaun Lathum, and Rick Gutierrez. Each and every one leaving the audience wanting more.
The comics covered educational topics such as
- How to get away with anything by claiming you were molested as a child
- Child abuse vs. discipline
- Astrology and what Scorpios are all about
The thought that Iglesias had his job cut out for him, since he had so many great comics ahead of his performance, was dashed as soon as he made his way onstage like a rockstar. A giant, fully lighted, Fluffy logo floated up into the air, as Igesias appeared underneath, walking out to center stage.
People were on the floor laughing as Iglesias stopped to catch his breath, complaining that that was the longest walk ever.
Iglesias went through various subjects including what would Siri sound like on a black iPhone vs. a white iPhone.
Iglesias identified a list of drinking songs for various ethnicities including white people who, according to Iglesias, have more songs than anybody, but one in particular is ““ “Sweet Home Alabama.” Moving on to black people he said black people claim they don’t have a drinking song, just as the theme song for Monday Night Football kicked in. He didn’t leave many groups out either, each causing the crowd to erupt in laughter, or yelling, depending on your ethnicity.
The majority of the show was new material. However, towards the end of the show Iglesias took requests and did a number of his old standup routines, causing the crowd to go crazy.
The place was packed from start to finish. At most concerts at least a quarter of the audience is filing out the door prior to the end of the show. While there were a few empty seats the majority of fans stayed until the end.
Catch Mr. Fluffy in the new movie Magic Mike that’s about a male stripper’s life! He made it very clear that he was not a stripper in the movie, but a DJ. He didn’t want
people referring to the strippers as Chunkendales!
Next week Foreigner comes to Thunder Valley Casino Resort’s Summer Concert Series, followed by Steve Miller the next week!
The 59 year old comedian, best known for his comedic style and overall girth, took to the stage at Thunder Valley Casino Resort’s Pano Hall Saturday, rounding out a weekend of comedy that started with comedians Don Friesen and Jason Love on Friday.
Right out of the gate Louie Anderson had the audience laughing by saying;
“What a beautiful day wasn’t it? I almost went for a walk.”
After a few brief jokes about his size, the Las Vegas resident jumped right into the casino life. Joking about blackjack in particular and the pressure you are under to “‘follow the rules.’ For example he split two tens and won, but everyone at the table yelled at him because he screwed it up for everyone else.
Anderson really enjoys bantering with audience members and Saturday night was no exception. One audience member in particular took quite a beating. Horris was asked what his name was and Anderson immediately said “Oh, that’s a torturous name”.
As Anderson continued asking Horace questions like, “What were you parents thinking,” he paused and asked what his middle name was. Horace replied, “Lavelle,” sending Anderson into another frenzy. When asked what his last name was Horace replied, “It’s best we leave that one alone.” Anderson finally got his answer, but I will leave Horaces last name out to protect him from any further humiliation.
His show was low key when compared to other comedians. He’s not what I would call a hard-hitting comic, but somewhat dry in his delivery with a straight-forward no nonsense approach.
I’ve never been a fan of Anderson, but after watching his show I have to admit he’s won me over. He’s a superb storyteller, delivers well timed punch-lines, and he’s quick-witted while engaging unsuspecting audience members.
Off-stage Louie Anderson is a genuinely nice guy, and oddly enough, he’s even soft-spoken, unless you get him wound up and then all bets are off.
Anderson works with numerous charity organizations and after 9/11 he put together a NYC Police vs. Firemen show with the prize money going to the NYPD and NYFD Widows fund, with Anderson contributing $75,000 of his own money.
Not only is Anderson an actor and comedian, he’s also written several books and created the cartoon series Life with Louie, and hosted the hit game show Family Feud from 1999 to 2002.
Thunder Valley Casino Resort sponsored an evening of laughs for the Lincoln Police Activities League (PAL) starring comedian Don Frieson with special guest Jason Love. KTXL Fox 40′s Paul Robins hosted the evenings event.
PAL Director and Lincoln Police Chief Paul Shelgren, along with the Executive Director and Lincoln Police Youth Services Officer, Steve Krueger kicked off the event thanking their sponsors; Sierra Pacific Industries, AT&T, SureWest Foundation, 92.1 K-Hits and KTXL Fox 40. In attendance were Senator Ted Gaines and Assemblywoman Beth Gaines.
As Paul Robins wrestled the microphone from Shelgren and Krueger, he informed the audience that prior to his news anchor job he was working as a standup comic. After a few jokes Robins kicked it into high gear with a dead-on Casey Kasem impression. In his best Kasem voice Robins told a story about a man working in the morgue, who had written Kasem a letter requesting that Kasem play “She’s so Cold,” by the Rolling Stones. I’ll let you figure out where he went with the joke ““ hilarious!
Robins definitely left the stage too early as he introduced Jason Love. Robins could have easily taken on the opening act duties to warm up the crowd for Friesen. As Love took the stage he was met with a lukewarm response that continued through his act.
I believe Love lost most of the crowd when he picked up his guitar and started singing a song that was all about, of all things, shit. Yes, I said shit, but he said shit way more times than I’m going to write about shit. This to a crowd of PAL supporters – What was he thinking?
Love redeemed himself with his signature one-liners such as, “How come there are signs that read “‘no shoplifting’? Are there places where it’s ok? Rio Linda right?” and “Only one in three crimes are reported. How do they know?”
Two time winner of San Francisco’s Standup Comedy competition Don Friesen took the stage, but only after Robins came back out to tell a quick Easter joke that saw the audience rolling on the floor laughing. Robins definitely has a knack for comedy.
Friesen started his routine off joking about the current real estate crisis and how people’s dreams now are waiting for someone to default on their home loans, so they could swoop in and take it over. He continued on with his kids living at home and started bantering with an audience member who had their 33 year old son living at home.
Friesen went on with life’s trials and tribulations, including the time he went in for Lasik surgery. The doctors handed him a waiver to sign with a warning that one of the side-effects could be blindness, which was the exact opposite of what he was striving for. When he complained about the waiver the doctor said it was their standard contract, to which Friesen responded, “Since it’s a standard contract, then you’re saying that you’re not just screwing me, but you’re screwing everybody.”
I don’t know that Love or Friesen were able to completely engage the entire audience. While they had their zingers and some really funny bits, they just couldn’t bring the majority of the audience to tears, or true rolling on the floor laughter.
About PAL: The Lincoln Police Activities League is a non-profit organization dedicated to building a bond of trust, understanding and mutual respect between youth and law enforcement. We will accomplish our mission through recreational, athletic, and educational programs designed to encourage good citizenship and improve the overall quality of life in the Lincoln area.
PAL provides many free, positive events and activities for young people in our community, some of which include the Junior Giants baseball program, Halloween Haunted House, Christmas party for kids, a co-sponsored fishing derby program, various sports outings, and the after school program at PAL’s Youth Center.
Lincoln PAL activities are open free of charge to all community youth between 8 and 18 years of age. To register, call Youth Services Officer Steve Krueger at 916-343-3632.
Yes! It happened Friday night at Thunder Valley Casino Resort, as comedian Rex Naverret set out to do what few people have done before, stop Filipinos from gambling – at least long enough to watch his show.
As Florante De Leon warmed up the crowd with his unbelievable music ““ unbelievable because I couldn’t understand a damn thing he was saying since it was all in Tagalog. As he was playing, Florante also bantered with the audience as they slowly filed in to catch the headlining act of Navarette.
Florante continued as the room filled with reluctant Filipinos who had to leave their seats at the tables and slot machines. However, by the end of Florante’s performance the place was packed with a sufficiently warmed up crowd whose minds had drifted from winning the next big jackpot, to enjoying a noteworthy performance.
There were many spouses of non-Filipino descent that didn’t understand Tagalog, so Florante didn’t catch on to about a quarter of the audience.
English speaking Navarette enjoys lamenting about his life growing up, so he started the show letting everyone know that, as a kid, he never saw his parents. While his parents were always away gambling in Reno, they would have his World War 2 veteran Grandfather watching him.
So off Navarrette went on tales of his adventures with his Grandfather. One such adventure landed them in the middle of Oakland buying fish and chips at a black owned shop, only for his Grandfather to be misunderstood when he told the store owner that they wanted two vinegars. The owner had thought he said ““ we just want to be ni##ers.
After his adventures with his Grandfather, Naverrete went on to complain about Filipino food and how even he was afraid to eat the food, sometimes only being able to eat it in the dark.
And so the rest of the evening went as Navarette did his best imitations of varying Asian accents while providing a very entertaining view of life as a 1st generation immigrant from the Philipines.
Thunder Valley has more great comedians coming up during their summer concert series including Gabriel Iglesias and Jeff Dunham and Louie Anderson. Be sure to get your tickets early, these shows are going to sellout fast!
Well ““ sort of.
The very talented and slightly possessed comedian-impressionist Frank Caliendo entertained an overflowing crowd in Pano Hall, at Thunder Valley Casino Resort on Friday night.
Caliendo brought his “‘A’ game and a few of his friends, in the form of impressions of famous people including Presidents George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama.
Fellow comedian George Cantor opened the show with his observational humor. The first few jokes fell flat, but being the stand-up comedian he is, Cantor changed gears and before the end of his set he had the audience on the floor laughing. Not ROFLMAO kind of laughing, but damn close.
Out of the gate Caliendo started with Bush, reminding everyone how Bush was famous for forgetting the last few words of a thought. In the voice of Bush;
“These terrorists, these guys are ah “¦ these guy are ah. . . I wrote it down here somewhere . . . these guys are bad.”
Next up was his impersonation of Clinton and how Clinton would have behaved, if wife Hillary had won the presidential election. In his best Clinton voice he went on to describe his stay in the Whitehouse and not having any rules.
It’s extremely difficult to convey how funny and entertaining Caliendo is, it’s one of those shows you have to see to believe.
I grew up admiring the talent of Rich Little who did impersonations, but Caliendo takes impersonations to a whole new level. He flawlessly goes from one character to the next at lightning speed, and in some cases, leaves the audience behind only to catch up a few beats later.
As he went into more of the sports impersonations, Caliendo warned everyone, that some of the audience members would not get it, as he launched into his impersonation of Jim Rome, an ESPN personality.
After the show Caliendo answered some questions from the audience and signed autographs along with Canton.
Some of the personalities that Caliendo channeled were; Jack Nicholson, Ted Knight, Scooby Doo and Shaggy, Chris Rock, Terry Bradshaw, Al Pacino, John Madden, Jeff Goldblum, Dr. Phil, Jay Leno, Adam Sandler, Charles Barkley, Robin Williams, Morgan Freeman, Jerry Seinfeld, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Michael Richards, Jason Alexander, and Yoda