Las Vegas comedy is back. What there is to know.


LAS VEGAS –– Don Barnhart has never been so happy to see teeth in the audience.

Seasoned comedian and owner of the Las Vegas clubs Jokesters and Delirious, he takes the stage 10 times a week to entertain people without a mask.

It’s been quite a change –– and, quite frankly, a relief –– from the pandemic days when rules and restrictions compressed the Vegas comedy scene and reshaped the joke narrative.

The actors had to rely on their ears to gauge the quality of their pieces.

“It really sharpened my comedic ear,” said Barnhart, who came as an emcee to California featuring legends like Jerry Seinfeld, Garry Shandling and Robin Williams. “It helped me take a step back and really listen to the crowd. If a joke worked, it worked. It made the shows even better, because it made my playing even better.”

Now, as more shows come to town and tourists flock to the desert to make up for the rainy vacations, Barnhart sees Las Vegas returning as the mecca of comedy where people seeking to heal after a year. difficile seek more than ever to laugh.

Don Barnhart, owner of the Jokesters and Delirious comedy clubs, on stage in Las Vegas.

COVID jokes? Everything is fine now

Amid the pandemic, jokes about COVID-19 were often outlawed – because nobody found the situation funny.

After almost 18 months of living in the dark times, that has changed.

“This is the game for me,” Barnhart said, and gave an overview of his own material. “They said to me, ‘You can take off your mask when you have a drink.’ They had to tell people, because people were waterboarding. “

And how did they come to require a 25-foot gap between the stage and the seats?

“Did they have a sputum contest? Barnhart asks. “A couple of good old boys peddling their best?”

Crazy humor club

Good comedy, he says, touches your soul.

We are all stressed, we are all tense and no one knows anything. We look to comedians – trained truth tellers and self-psychoanalysts who examine their own ups and downs for jokes that make people laugh – to heal us and make us feel less alone.

“I love my wife, but after 10 months it’s like going to jail – we have nothing to say that hasn’t been said,” Barnhart said. “So now we’re just trying to mess it up so we have something new to say. The other night I’m taking a shower. She came in and squeezed my cock and ran out and came back and said, “What happened? I say, ‘A crazy woman shook me!’ She said, ‘Well, tell me that all week over breakfast.’ ”

“It’s the funny moment”

The pandemic has put many artists out of work, but now they are coming back. Comedy as medicine is making a comeback.

On the weekend of July 4, 13,000 people packed a sold-out MGM Grand Garden Arena to see Dave Chappelle in the city’s first major entertainment show in over a year. People without masks jumped seats and danced. They laughed until it hurt.

“It goes back to ‘pain plus time equals funny, ‘”said Barnhart.” We’re coming out of this. It’s a little scary, because people are treating it like it’s post-ban, but people are so happy to be back in the entertainment. Pain plus time equals funny? This is the fun time, and the time to go out and laugh, cause you can only watch King tiger so many times. “

Here’s where you can catch some comedy shows in Las Vegas …

Brad Garrett’s Comedy Club

The MGM Grand

Shows: every day at 8 p.m.

Ages: 21+

For more information, go here.

The Laughing Factory

Tropicana Resort & Casino

Ages: 18+

For more information, go here.

Las Vegas Live Comedy Club

Location: V Theater, Planet Hollywood

Ages: 16+

For more information, go here.

Jokes Comedy Club Las Vegas

Athena Showroom, Alexis Park All Suite Resort

Ages: 18+

For more information, go here.

Delirium: stand-up comedy

The Grand Casino and Hotel in the city center

Ages: 21+

For more information, go here.

LA Comedy Club Las Vegas

Dragon Room, Stratosphere

Ages: 21+

For more information, go here.

Ed komenda written on Las Vegas for the Reno Gazette Journal and USA Today Network. Do you care about democracy? So support local journalism by subscribing to the Reno Gazette Journal right here.

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