Carrot Top still slays in grand Luxor Theater

I haven’t told the story in a very long time, if ever, about how and when I met Carrot Top. It was about 22 years ago, when Scott Thompson (the comic’s legal name) was a rotating headliner at MGM Grand’s Hollywood Theatre, which is now the David Copperfield Theater.

My editors in those days mapped a plan for when I should watch and write about this comedian. I practiced some passive resistance. “What about next Saturday?” the editors asked. “Ah, I am planning to be at ‘Forever Plaid’ at the Flamingo,” I would say.

“What about April 26?” “That’s Wayne at the Stardust.” “What about next January?” “I’m at the Jimmy Buffet tribute at Gold Coast.”

And on it went. I was reluctant to see Carrot Top because I didn’t like his 1-800-AT&T commercials that were airing in those days. That was about all I knew about the prop comic. Inevitably, the time arrived when I was out of shows and ventured backstage to chat with the comedian before he took the stage.

It was evident pretty quickly that I was wrong about this guy. I had fallen prey to a classic case of contempt before investigation.

I remember him being so sharp, telling me initially that he did not want to be the prop comic who held up a shoe and a horn and joked, “It’s a shoehorn! Get it?” The first prop he ever onstage was a Neighborhood Watch sign, “How are they going to watch the neighborhood when they can’t even watch their sign?” It’s bit he has recently revived, and it still gets a laugh.

I thought he was so different, and a real student of comedy. He talked passionately about such shared favorites as George Carlin and Steve Martin. He dipped into a Johnny Carson impression, “I did not know that!” which still kills me.

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