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Frank Caliendo Talks Meatballs, Saturday Nights in Vegas and More

The comedian playing The Orleans Showroom had a crazy birthday with a Vegas celebrity cook.

Frank Caliendo
Frank Caliendo

We've enlisted comedians, some based here and others who spend their time on the road and come through Vegas, to share their recommendations on great places to dine in Sin City for a feature dubbed Comedian Confidential.

Is that Charles Barkley on stage? No, it just sounds like him. In fact, it’s comedian and impressionist Frank Caliendo, who happens to be playing The Orleans Showroom Friday and Saturday nights. And his impressions of Barkley, Al Pacino, Robin Williams, Robert DeNiro, former presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton and even John Madden fly so fast that sometimes he has to stop to let the audience catch up and laugh. Here he shares his favorite restaurant in Vegas, where you might find him Saturday night after the show and what he did on his first trip to Sin City.

How often do you get to Las Vegas?
I’m out there a couple times a year. I’m good for a couple days of craziness before getting back to reality. Also, my brother, who runs the Website, lives in Summerlin.

Do you remember your first trip to Vegas?
I remember my first trip as an adult, which may have been my first trip. I’m not really sure. The cast of MadTv went for the weekend. We went to see Mystere and Tom Jones. I haven’t been the same since.

Do you have any favorite restaurants you like to visit here?
Do I? Absolutely. For breakfast you can’t beat Mon Ami Gabi. I love everything I’ve ever eaten there. And coincidentally, my favorite Italian restaurant also just opened up in the Paris as well — Cafe Martorano. My wife actually brought Steve Martorano out to my house earlier this year to cook me a giant birthday dinner.  

Do people approach you while you’re dining out?
Sometimes. Not as much as they used to. I’ve lost a lot of weight, so people usually think I look kind of like Frank Caliendo, only younger, smaller and shorter. Apparently I lost some age and  height as well.

What about nightlife? Do you ever go out after a show to unwind?
Most of the time, I go into hiding. I may just grab something to eat and then get to bed. I’m not the craziest knife in the drawer. Does that make sense? I didn’t think so.

This trip, however, I am going to go to the Cafe Martorano grand opening in the Paris after my show on Saturday. MEATBALLS AND PHILLY CHEESESTEAKS!!!!

What was the first thing that shocked you in Las Vegas?
I would have to say the lights. I went to Vegas before I had ever been to Times Square, so I was really blown away by the aura of illumination. I was just trying to sound all sophisticated like with that phraseology. Still trying.

What can we expect from your show?
Insanity. Lots of bouncing between characters and just some good fun. I’m also bringing my band with me, who plays a little bit at the beginning of the show and then helps me out at the end of the show as well. Some local Vegas guys that are just fantastic. It’s been a couple years since we’ve done shows together, so I can’t wait.  

Oh… and meatballs… I make lots of meatballs… Sorry, that’s Cafe Martorano…