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.
Iliza Shlesinger [Photo: Courtesy]
Iliza Shlesinger is the youngest and only female comedian to hold the title of Last Comic Standing. She was the host of CBS's comedy dating show Excused. She has her own half-hour Comedy Central Presents special, and appears regularly on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon and Who Gets the Last Laugh? You can see her new hour special War Paint on Netflix. Shlesinger performs tonight and tomorrow night in Lipshtick, the new comedy series in the Sands Showroom at the Venetian. Here's she recalls her first trip to Vegas, playing War at the Hard Rock Hotel and how she feels about fans approaching her while she's eating.
How often do you get to Las Vegas?
Maybe once a year? I only come for shows, I can say that I've proudly made it to 31 without having attended a single Vegas bachelorette party. That's right, you won't find this girl carrying a drunk bride-to-be covered in vomit and tiny penis themed jewelry.
Do you remember your first trip to Vegas?
First trip to Vegas I came when I was about 24, we came in a group for New Year's Eve and got a table at Tao. I know, we were super cool. I remember dancing on a table in, what I'm pretty sure wasn't a dress as much as it was a long tank top. Then I remember gambling for my first time ever... I played War. I played War at the Hard Rock and lost $400, which, when you're 24, is. All your money. Always good to play a game that you have zero control over and bet EVERYTHING.
Do you have any favorite restaurants you like to visit here?
Anything that's open when I'm done working is my favorite. Alizé? I'd like to try there.
Do people approach you while you're dining out?
It happens. People have no issue with asking you for a picture while you're eating. Like, "is your mouth full of corned beef? Smile!" But, I always oblige because it doesn't happen often enough that it's become a hassle. I'm never like, "DAMN IT, CAN'T I JUST FINISH THIS SOUP IN PEACE?!" I love my fans and I love that they love me.
What about nightlife? Do you ever go out after a show to unwind?
There's nothing relaxing about a nightclub. Best case scenario is you know someone who can get you in and you sit at a table and chill, that's the only way I'll go to a club (because I love hip hop and love dancing and secretly hope I get scouted for a rap video...but I digress) I don't usually go out after but if I'm in good company, I can always be persuaded to find a good time. I love lounges, dive bars, nice bars — as long as the group is good and the bar is cool, I'm happy. Oh, and as long as I'm not tired. Then the whole thing is miserable and I just want to eat a steak in bed and pass out.
What was the first thing that shocked you in Las Vegas?
I'm a standup comedian, we don't shock easily. But we are almost always disappointed in everything. I'm 2008, wanting to see something that varied from the sex and glitz of LA, I made my boyfriend at the time buy us VIP tickets to see this show called Popovich's Comedy Pet Theater. It was... Kind of terrible. The pets did like, basic tricks, nothing I couldn't have seen at a Petco training class- this was after they ran a 10 minute video of clips of their act from the Tonight Show... Johnny Carson's Tonight Show. Kidding, it was Leno but it was like '80s Leno. I think it was even being showed to us via VCR. I guess the most shocking part was that they'd found a VCR.
What can we expect at your show?
I'm doing parts of my new hour, it's very fun and honest. You're gonna leave hurting, and it'll be a good thing.
· All Coverage of Comedian Confidential [~ELV~]