Friday, April 5, 2013 | 8 p.m.
He’s been in Little Crue. Now he is Little Fonzie.
We speak of Brian Thomas, most famous for his portrayal as Lucky the Leprechaun at O’Shea’s, the Gene Simmons-fashioned "mini-ster" (dubbed "Lowercase g") at KISS By Monster Mini Golf, and also as a member of the Little Crue outfit at Motley Crue’s series of shows at the Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel in February 2012.
Up next for the city’s biggest star among little people is an appearance on the Season 2 premiere of “Counting Cars,” airing Tuesday at 10 p.m. (or 9 p.m. if you have HD) on History Channel. A viewing party is set for Tuesday night at Counts Vamp’d Bar & Grill at 6750 W. Sahara Ave. An advanced screening is set for 6 p.m., and another at 9 p.m. A band that fittingly roars like a motorcycle, Sin City Sinners, serving up the rock ’n’ roll, and I understand punch is to be served.
“Counting Cars” is a spin-off of the reality show behemoth “Pawn Stars.” The show chronicles the restorative work and high-RPM personalities at Count's Kustoms, a Vegas automobile restoration and customization company owned and operated by Danny “The Count” Koker. The series debuted in August and joins “American Restoration” as a reality series set and staged in our frequently surreal city.
The show featuring Thomas recounts the overhaul and modification of his motorcycle, a three-wheel Can-Am Spyder “trike” that Thomas delivered to “The Count” for some little-person adjustments.
The handlebars were extended to allow Thomas a full turning ratio, and also to sit upright. He is afflicted with achondroplasia, a common cause of dwarfism, and one of the malady’s symptoms is spinal problems.
“The biggest problem I have in trying to ride the Spyder is I can’t crouch down, like people who own Japanese bikes do,” Thomas says. “I have to sit upright.”
The foot pegs were raised so Thomas could maintain his balance on the bike, which is built with two wheels in the front and one in back. The modified Spyder is fully street-legal, though Thomas’ experience at the Department of Motor Vehicles was as uncommon as the three-wheeled vehicle he was attempting to register.
Thomas contacted DMV officials before entering the offices on Flamingo Road to describe the motorcycle for which he was seeking a license. They had never seen anything like it, and had no road course on which to give Thomas a driving test. They examined the Spyder, and on his driving test followed him in an SUV during his three-block ride on the surface streets around the DMV office.
“They made an exception for me, but they could not deny me a license to ride the bike if they put me through the test,” Thomas says. “They saw I could handle the bike and gave me a license. Safety was the top priority all the way in this process.”
The show gives a glimpse into Thomas’ lifestyle, and the extra effort required by him to lead a normal life.
“It shows the obstacles we have to overcome. I’d always wanted to ride a motorcycle, but never could due to my dwarfism and being a little person,” Thomas says. “They were able to make my lifelong dream a reality.”
And, in this instance, a reality show.