Globetrotters take on the Elite at Power Balance

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The world renowned Harlem Globetrotters were at Power Balance Pavilion Sunday to take on the International Elite, as they went head-to-head to determine who would be the world champions.

Globie, the team mascot, came out before the show to entertain the crowd with a little bit of magic and some dance moves. As Globie set up chairs he had four boys lay flat on their back on the chair seat. Then Globie started pulling out the chairs one by one and you could hear the collective gasp of the crowd as Globie pulled out the last chair, leaving the boys laying on one another without the need for the chairs.

Afterward Globie started strutting around like Michael Jackson as the crowd went wild, with some kids jumping up to dance along with Globie.

Even though the stadium was far from sold out, the audience members made up for it in enthusiasm. Throughout the game the crowd was cheering and clapping for the Globetrotters, with a few boos thrown in for team Elite. At times the cheering was deafening with kids and their parents jumping in to help cheer the team to victory.

As with all Globetrotter games this was an audience participation sport. One couple found out the hard way, with the wife having her purse

Dad goes for a dance with Big Easy

taken, but in true Globetrotter style they were kind enough to give her a gift for participating in all the fun and games ““ her purse.

As for her husband, he didn’t fare any better. He was dragged out on the basketball court, or should I say dance floor, as Big Easy convinced him to dance along.

Kids joined in on the fun too, with several young kids competing for a team jersey. The kids were dressed up as if they were headed to bed. Their task was to dash to the other side of the basketball court, shoot a basket, dash back to the start where a makeshift bed awaited them. The first to complete the task won – In the end they all were winners.


Of course the game came down to the wire and with 5 seconds to go on the clock the Globetrotters made a mad dash to score at the last minute just edging out the International Elite.

Some of the Globetrotters were in town earlier last week to visit with fans. You can read all about their visit here.


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Sinbad takes on Thunder Valley Casino

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The purple one was in-the-house at Thunder Valley Casino Resort Friday.

Okay, not The Purple One (as in Prince), but the 55 year old standup comedian Sinbad, who was decked out in a freshly tailored purple shirt. I also wouldn’t say “in-the-house,” more like in-the-tent, since it was held in Thunder Valley’s Holiday Pavilion. While it’s a tent, it’s extremely spacious and exquisitely decorated, complete with several bars, restrooms and a whole lotta seats.

Sinbad put on a great show, playing to a full house of young and old alike. As soon as he hit the stage, he started talking about how this was such a great location for a casino like Thunder Valley.

There’s nothing around for miles except for cornfields and a landfill, he joked. He warned everyone that they should hold their breath when they walk outside and then come back inside and gamble some more, referring to the occasional minor aroma coming from the landfill a few miles down the road.

Continuing his rant about the location, he explained that after he put the address into his GPS, it asked him why he wanted to go there.

Sinbad wanted to know why it is 1200 Athens Road when there’s nothing around. Who came up with the number 1200, he wondered. There’s nothing around for miles, so why not a 1?

As he was going through his routine, bantering back and forth with audience members, he asked the ladies in the audience what made them angry. Several shouted out “Cheating!” To which he replied, if a man cheats or if he leaves the cabinet door open, you’re just as pissed. It’s the same thing, so why not cheat.

He’d rather not, but give us some options, he pleaded.

He also wanted to know why it is that everyone says it’s the man that’s cheating. There’s always a woman he’s cheating with. Take Cain for example (referring to Herman Cain). He cheated with 13 women. That’s one man and 13 women that were cheating. There’s more women cheating than men. That’s your people ladies, he shouted.

Continuing with his questions for the ladies he asked them what they wanted and in time, dealt with a number of responses; money, communication, sleep and sex among them.

The best part of Sinbad’s shows will always be his interaction with the audience, responding without skipping a beat, and joking about real life situations. A fun time was definitely had by all in attendance.

As Sinbad ages like a fine wine (in his purple shirt), his jokes remain fresh. Add to the mix his quick wit and audience participation, and you end up with a very entertaining night out.

It’s refreshing to listen to a comedian who doesn’t believe he has to be crude to make people laugh. Sinbad is one of the few remaining comedians that puts on a clean and entertaining show.


Bill Maher

Sacramento Events

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Political pundit, writer, actor and comedian Bill Maher played to a sold out crowd at the Sacramento Convention Center Friday night. Well he really didn’t play to a crowd as much as he ripped into the crowd, and only the way Bill Maher can.

True to form he jumped right into politics and attacked the current candidates campaigning for next year’s presidential election. Nobody was safe from his sharp tongue. He attacked every political party, and religion.

If there was anyone left in the audience that wasn’t offended at least once, I’d be surprised. For crying out loud he even had the audacity to attack Elvis Presley saying he was a pervert and druggie. The audience gasped while Maher went on to explain why it was all true.

I realize Maher has a sharp tongue and can cuss like a sailor, I didn’t expect some of the vulgarity that came spewing out. There was one point he referenced the relationship between a man and his dog. I won’t go into details other than the audience gave up a nervous laugh the whole time looking at each other trying to figure out if it was okay to laugh.


I wasn’t able to stay for entire show, but when I left Maher was well on his way to providing insight to everyone in attendance into the Politically Incorrect world of Bill Maher.

Bill Maher is currently making his way across the country to see just how many people he can offend, or in other words, just plain piss off. Will you be one of them? Check him out on tour and see if  you can take the heat.

Real Time with Bill Maher, Season 7 - Real Time with Bill Maher
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Fluffy Puffs Up Thunder Valley

Sacramento Events

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The one and only Gabriel Iglesias, better known as Mr. Fluffy, performed at Thunder Valley Casino and Resort on Saturday night, entertaining well over 3,500 people with his hilarious mixture of storytelling, parodies, characters and sound effects. I say well over 3,500 judging by the overflow in the parking lot next to Thunder Valley’s outdoor amphitheater.

Just prior to his performance, Iglesias had over 10 chocolate cakes delivered by fans to his dressing room. He said he performed a routine around seven years ago about a chocolate cake, and to this day fans are still delivering cakes to his performances. The record is 27 cakes at one event. Why do people bring him cakes from a joke made seven years ago? Iglesias said it’s all because of reruns.

As Iglesias took the stage, he told the crowd he was checking his tweets. He found out there was an 11-year-old with his family in the parking lot listening to his show. He apologized in advance for any foul language he may use. For the most part, it was a refreshingly good, clean show with very few offensive words. The four opening acts were Martin Moreno, Alfred Robles, Rick Gutierrez and Noe Gonzalez, and they were a bit more offensive.

The audience thoroughly enjoyed Iglesias’ ability to joke about the local area, including taking jabs at competing casino Cache Creek and joking about Chipotle in downtown Sacramento, where he ate earlier in the day.

This was a fun show with new material that Iglesias is trying out for an upcoming DVD. Even though the audience was falling on the floor laughing, some audience members were chanting for some of his older material. Being the gracious man he is, he did one more new routine and ended the evening with several routines from the past, starting with his Krispy Kreme joke, which had the audience cheering. When he did the Volkswagen routine, the audience started telling the joke in unison with Iglesias.

Normally the bars are hopping, but the audience was completely caught up in Iglesias’ routine and remained in their seats the entire show. As he ended the evening he was sure to tell the audience that he’s a gambling man and will be in the casino later on. He wanted to make sure that if anyone saw him gambling that he would be honored to have them come up say hi and take a picture with him.

I had a chance to talk to Iglesias prior to the show ““ my opportunity to ask Mr. Fluffy himself a hard-hitting journalistic type question.

“So what do you think about your new Xbox with Kinect?” Pretty lame question, but he loved it. He has the Zumba dancing game, and he’s been burning up some major calories. He did jokingly say that he was not about to go live with it.

Iglesias was in the fourth season of “Last Comic Standing” and won Comedy Central & Comcast Cable’s Comedy Special of the year in 2003. In 2004 and 2005 he was voted into the Top 25 of Comedy Central’s “Standup Showdown.”

He also has a brand new series on Comedy Central starting on Oct. 6th called “Gabriel Iglesias Presents Stand-Up Revolution.” The show will feature stand-up routines from Iglesias and other comedians.

Thunder Valley Sets off Dyno-Mite!

Concert Photography

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I was heading out to the Super ’70s Soul Jam at Thunder Valley Casino and Resort Thursday night, so I donned my rose-colored glasses, bell bottoms and platform shoes.

I packed snacks like Big Hunk, Bottle Caps and Screaming Yellow Zongers before leaving. I knew I would get the munchies since I’m such a burnout and can’t leave home without a joint or three (hey, I have a prescription). I was just hoping I could maintain with all that groovy music playing. The last thing I needed was for some narc to rat me out. As for the concert, it was far out, man, and, I should add, dyno-mite!

Right on. I get it. Not everyone can be as hip as the hipsters from the ’70s, but last night at Thunder Valley everyone was hip and just hanging out with the likes of the Dramatics, the Stylistics, the Delfonics, Heatwave, Carl Carlton and the emcee for the evening, Jimmy JJ Walker. The audience was grooving in their seats and boogieing in the aisles. I think there were a lot of sick people at the concert, since many of the people in the bleachers had the same prescription as me.

To start the night off, Walker took the stage. Most people remember Walker from his role on “Good Times” as James Evans Junior, or JJ. In fact, Walker coined the term “dyno-mite,” which became slang for great or fantastic.

Walker started right off with black people versus white people and didn’t let up throughout the evening. He attacked the criminal justice system and how black people are convicted and sent to prison while white people such as Casey Anthony and Lindsay Lohan walk. During a brief break, he told the black people to be back in three minutes, but white people to be back in 10. It was all in good fun and the audience loved it.

Carl Carlton was next on stage, singing two of his most recognizable songs, “Everlasting Love” and “She’s a Bad Mama Jama.” Right away people were up dancing in the aisles and having a great time. Carlton complained about the heat, hoping the sun would have gone down by the time he started, but they got an early start at 7:30, so no such luck.

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Lonnie and Brenda Prudhomme dancing the night away at Thunder Valley Casino and Resort. (Image by: Randy Miramontez)

Following Carlton was Heatwave with original lead singer Keith Wilder. They performed a number of their hits, including “Boogie Nights” and “Always and Forever.” When “Always and Forever” started, more couples jumped up to dance, including Lonnie and Brenda Prudhomme (see photo). I think Lonnie was a reluctant participant, but that’s just my opinion.

Wilbert Hart from The Delfronics performs onstage at Thunder Valley Casino and Resort (Image by: Randy Miramontez)

Next up was the Delfonics with founding member Wilbert Hart and longtime member Garfield Fleming. After all these years, they still sounded the same singing their hits “La-La (Means I Love You),” “Didn’t I (Blow Your Mind This Time)” and “Break Your Promise.”

L. J. Reynolds of the Dramatics (Image by: Randy Miramontez)

When the Dramatics took the stage with original band member L.J. Reynolds, they got off to a rocky start. Not all of their songs sounded quite right, but they did hit their stride with “Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get” and “My Girl.”

Headlining the show was the Stylistics with original band members Herbert Murrell and Airrion Love. They performed many of their hits, including “Betcha by Golly, Wow,” “I’m Stone in Love with You,” “Break Up to Make Up” and a medley of all their hits, ending the show with “You Make Me Feel Brand New.”

By the end of the show, the crowd had diminished somewhat due to the late hour, but those who remained were still up and dancing all the way to the last song. Everyone had a great time and just got lost in the moment, remembering years gone by.

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The summer concert series at Thunder Valley Casino is in full swing. The complete entertainment schedule is available on their website.

Paul Rodriguez

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The legendary Paul Rodriguez celebrated Cinco de Mayo Thursday night in style at Thunder Valley Casino and Resort, playing to a sold out crowd. Joining Rodriguez on stage was Gene Pompa and Dennis Gaxiola, both accomplished comedians in their own right, both able to hold their own in a concert setting.

Pompa opened the evening and really got the crowd excited. He says he is an old-school, hardcore political activist. For instance, he still won’t eat grapes because of the plight of the migrant farm workers. He also won’t eat raisins because of the older migrant farm workers. That’s how hardcore he is. He also won’t eat prunes, but that’s for a completely different reason.

Next up was Gaxiola. He really got the ball rolling with his impressions of various marriage proposals. First up was the Mexican proposal: “You gonna keep it?” Then came the African-American proposal: “As the judge in this case, I find the DNA evidence is a match and you are the father.” The cowboy: “Please, don’t tell Mom,” which really got the crowd roaring.

Pompa came back out on stage to introduce Rodriguez. Rodriguez started off by saying it was nice to be back from the Middle East and then

Gene Pompa - Click for more images

simply stated, “We got him,” and that was all it took. Everyone in the crowd knew he was referring to Osama and the audience erupted into cheers. For the past several years, Rodriguez has been working with the USO to help entertain our troops in the Middle East. This last trip was his sixth journey overseas to perform a concert.

With his classic style of comedy, mixing Spanish and English, Rodriguez’s performance was exactly what the audience was looking for. There were a couple of times when it appeared Rodriguez was through for the evening, only to then think of something else to talk about. Then it would be off on another litany of jokes and one-liners leaving no nationality or religion untouched.

Rodriguez took aim at Germans, Italians, Americans, Chinese, Japanese, Koreans (the Mexicans of Japan), and even Mexicans. He also berated the various religions, in particular Catholic priests “” I’ll just leave that one alone.

Dennis Gaxiola - Click for more images

Rodriguez is considered one of the first Latin Kings of Comedy. As an actor and comedian, his career spans over two decades and includes starring roles and featured appearances in over 40 films and countless television series, comedy specials, and concerts.

Make sure and get out to Thunder Valley Casino’s summer concert series, which kicks off this month with Creedence Clearwater Revisited on May 21, followed by The Fray on May 25.

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Jeff Dunham: A Heart of Wood

Concert PhotographyJeff Dunham’s suitcase posse was in the house at Arco Arena Thursday night, performing to a sold-out crowd. As was expected, the audience was a mix of young and old, including my 12- and 13-year-old sons, Aidan and Liam.

Jeff Fa Fa DunHAM, which is how both the hyperactive Peanut and Aidan refer to him, was born in 1962. This makes Dunham an old guy who likes to play with dolls. Now 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 of course the voice behind these creatures, he just didn’t seem to have the same comedic power while performing onstage without them.

Dunham started with 20 minutes of stand-up comedy about his past proclivities toward all things dorky, including yearbook photos with him and his dolls from the seventh grade all the way through college (his way of getting an 8-by-10 glossy for his portfolio). Dunham’s a likable guy, but it wasn’t very funny, and midway through his routine I found myself getting antsy for the show to start. It felt like he was trying to warm up the audience for the real stars of the show. But if this was the case, why did we just sit through 30 minutes of warm-up by the strangely compelling Trombone Guy, Jonathon Arons (that guy can move!) and funny songs about real-life drama from The Guitar Guy (Brian Haner)? They were a great warm-up. We didn’t need more.

But once he brought out Walter, his first character of the evening, you could feel the mood of the audience change. Dunham completely transformed from a so-so stand-up comedian into a wildly confident, absolutely hilarious comic in the form of Walter and all his other wooden (or is it silicon?) creations.

Dunham’s humor knows no boundaries. All races, creeds and religions are fair game. Throughout the performance you could hear the audience react to some of the more pointed remarks. Even Rio Linda came under fire. Dunham informed Walter that he was going to hell. Walter said he already knew that since their next stop was Rio Linda.

Last night’s cast of characters included:

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.

Walter and Dunham have a special relationship and share way too much information with each other. At one point they discussed a disease stemming from extreme cold weather in Minnesota called AFS (Ass Frozen Shut). Let’s just say Walter has no intention of going back to Minnesota.

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.

Peanut was the most entertaining of all the characters. Dunham insisted he apologize to someone who complained about his portrayal of Chinese people. Peanut responded by reading the apology in his best Chinese accent and refused to apologize.

José Jalapeño (on a Stick)
José is a talking jalapeño on a stick who wears a small sombrero. José speaks with a thick Latin accent and was paired up with Peanut. Peanut consistently made fun of José (on a stick) due to his Latin background.

Achmed the Dead Terrorist
Achmed, by far the most controversial of all Dunham’s wooden wonders, is a skeleton of a bumbling suicide bomber. Achmed was joined onstage with a brand-new character, his long lost son, Achmed Junior.

Achmed hit a snag in South Africa after the airing of a ring-tone commercial. South Africa banned the commercial because they believed he was mocking Islam. Thanks to widely successful YouTube videos and the controversy surrounding those commercials, Achmed’s videos have a combined total views of over 500 million, the highest percentage of views coming from South Africa.

As for Jeff Dunham ““ whatever you do, Jeff, don’t grow up. We like you just the way you are . . . with a heart of wood.

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