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.
Matt Merchant has gone from a substitute teacher to a stuntman to musical theater to comedian. But you might know him better when you hear him talk; he’s the voice of the quarter pounder in Carl’s Jr. ads currently airing. Merchant gets his superhero debut as Superdad on Spike TV and can be seen in the film Valentine’s Day. He performs at the Improv at Harrah’s through Saturday night. Here he talks about his love of buffets, how he never saw a casino floor on his first trip to Las Vegas and more.
How often do you get to Las Vegas?
Not often enough. This current trip marks only the third time I've ever been.
Do you remember your first trip to Vegas?
I do indeed. I have the misfortune of being built for manual labor and that's what brought me out here the first time. We did a full install for the 25th anniversary of The Rocky Horror Picture Show over at the Hard Rock Hotel. It was a whirlwind two day thing. We showed up, spent about 14 hours setting up the room, went back to our rooms and collapsed. After the event, we tore everything down and then drove a U-Haul back to L.A. I don't think I even saw a casino floor.
Do you have any favorite restaurants you like to visit here?
I'm a bachelor, and I'm huge. So I'm a fan of the buffets. I'm also the runt of the litter so when my brothers and I walk into a buffet, folks usually run in fear and ask my father never to let us return. I've got friends out here in shows and such and I'm hoping they'll have some great spots to recommend.
Do people approach you while you're dining out?
Can't say I've been approached yet. Not gonna lie, I'm looking forward to the point in my career when folks do come up to say hello or tell me they've connected with something I'm putting out there.
What about nightlife? Do you ever go out after a show to unwind?
I've got a musical theater background. We'd tour with a show and afterward you're so beat up by the demands of the show that all you wanna do is go back to your room and fall asleep in front of the TV. This is a new realm and I'm a play it by ear kinda guy. Maybe I'll meet some fun folks after a show and we'll all end up at a fun spot for the night. Who knows? So long as bail money isn't required.
What was the first thing that shocked you in Las Vegas?
I haven't had an actual Las Vegas experience yet, so I'm looking forward to being shocked and would love to tell you what the first thing was when it happened. Tune in next time, yes?
What can we expect at your show?
I'm a pretty high-energy guy who enjoys inclusion. We're all there to enjoy the party and I'm the host who's gonna make sure you're having a good time. You can expect a lesson of sorts too. As a survival gig I substitute teach, so I like treating the show like somewhat of an educational experience. This is the realm where I get to let loose though so the education is more adult themed. We'll tackle these things together and it's guaranteed you might learn too much about me. The aim is that you'll be laughing when you do. Class dismissed!