Las Vegas may have countless entertainment options in and around the Vegas Strip of resorts and casinos, but when it comes to comedy, it remains home mainly to men.
The comedians with short- or long-term residencies in Vegas right now? Carrot Top (Luxor), Terry Fator (The Mirage), Vinnie Favorito (The Flamingo), Andrew Dice Clay (the Hard Rock Hotel), Louie Anderson (The Plaza). And that’s not even including the comedy magicians and hypnotists with their own open-ended shows. Plus, George Wallace just recently finished a 10-year-run in Sin City. There may be other “traditional” comedy clubs operating inside casinos, too, such as Brad Garrett’s Comedy Club in the MGM Grand, the Laugh Factory inside the Tropicana, Sin City Comedy & Burlesque at Planet Hollywood, the Improv at Harrah’s, L.A. Comedy Club in Bally’s, and The Riviera.
But none of them have dedicated their stage exclusively to women. The Venetian announced it’s changing that with a new female resident comedy series Lipshtick, debuting July 11 with the takeover of The Sands Showroom inside the resort/casino. Women will headline the room Fridays-Saturdays through the summer and fall, at least. Most of the 14 comedians scheduled so far will go into a rotation, returning to The Venetian three to four times annually. More acts may be added to the bills.
“We declare 2014 the year of the female comedian,” said John Caparella, president and COO of The Venetian, The Palazzo and Sands Expo. “So in order to honor that, we have this amazing idea to bring comedy under the banner of Lipshtick. So, it’s the perfect shade of stand-up.”
You get it? You get it???!!! Ladies.
“I’m so proud of this,” said Whitney Cummings (2 Broke Girls, Whitney), one of the headliners flown in for the announcement Thursday. “In my career, I’ve spent 10 years doing stand-up and seeing all these amazing, hilarious female comedians that just aren’t working that much. And when I first started, everyone was like, ‘How come there aren’t more female comedians?’ I’m like, ‘There are! They just aren’t working as much as they should.’”
Cummings cited Tina Fey, Bridesmaids, and Chelsea Lately as people, places and things that have helped made it less weird for audiences to see funny women onscreen or onstage. She said her road gigs sell well, in part, because she’s reaching an under-served demographic with girls’ night out.
“I’m really excited to be part of a comedy series in Vegas where women have their clothes on,” Cummings added. “Hopefully that’ll still be successful. I mean, if you’ve seen my act, they come off at some point, if you pay me enough.”
The Lipshtick lineup:
- July 11: Wendy Williams
- July 18-19: Heather McDonald and Iliza Shlesinger
- July 25-26: Rita Rudner
- Aug. 1-2: Caroline Rhea and Wendy Liebman
- Aug. 8-9: Lisa Lampanelli
- Aug. 15-16: Whitney Cummings
- Aug. 22-23: Joy Behar
- Sept. 5-6: Susie Essman
- Sept. 12-13: Natasha Leggero and Jen Kirkman
- Sept. 19-20: Jennifer Coolidge
- Oct. 3-4: Lisa Lampanelli
- Oct. 10-11: Loni Love
- Nov. 28-29: Whitney Cummings
- Dec. 26-27: Lisa Lampanelli
Here’s the full press conference video: