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October 20, 2014

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Guest at Oscar Goodman’s dinner talk at the Plaza gets his just desserts

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L.E. Baskow

City of Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman waves to friends as she and husband Oscar arrive for the grand opening of the new Bier Garten at the Plaza Hotel and Casino on Tuesday, April 1, 2014.

Updated Thursday, July 17, 2014 | 2:19 p.m.

Oscar Goodman Roasted at Stratosphere

Roastee Oscar Goodman, former Las Vegas Mayor, reacts during Launch slideshow »

On Thursday night, I attended Oscar Goodman’s new speaker series at the Plaza, and Foster Brooks broke out.

During Goodman’s entertaining presentation, based loosely on prostitution in Las Vegas, a guy who had “gotten an early start,” as his table mates reported, repeatedly and loudly interrupted the ex-mayor’s monologue. The ill-mannered nature of this guest’s disposition became such a nuisance that hotel GM Jonathan Jossel, Oscar’s steakhouse GM Jonathan Gordon and a security official charged with cleaning up such messes all encouraged this guy to leave.

He did get up and lope out of the room, but not before popping off about hookers and even what those around him had ordered for dinner. “If you think I’m bad now, wait ’til after I eat!” was one of the verbal boomlets erupting from this individual, who was reportedly in the room because he was a significant gambler at the hotel.

Word also is this person had some sort of pre-existing condition that is exacerbated when he drinks too much. To which I say, “Don’t we all?” At one point, Goodman said, “Don’t worry about it; I can handle him.” I was among many of the 75 or so guests who would have loved to see how that played out (#tireiron).

Nonetheless, Goodman’s talk was crisp, funny and fascinating. Entirely in character, in other words. He recalled working on a case involving Sally Conforte, the wife of Joe Conforte, owner of the Mustang Ranch in Sparks, which in 1971 became the state’s first licensed brothel.

While a defense attorney based in Las Vegas, Goodman visited the Mustang Ranch to interview Sally Conforte (we stress to interview Sally Conforte) and spent the night at the brothel. When he returned, he said, “My wife (Carolyn, the current mayor of Las Vegas) would not talk to me for four days. My kids, even, would not talk to me for four days, and I don’t think they even knew what a brothel was.”

He stressed that he was there on an attorney-client trip. But it was a heck of a great yarn. The next of these Goodman speaker dinners is Aug. 7. The events are upstairs in the private dining room just off the restaurant’s speakeasy bar. The next presentation is titled “Jay Sarno: King of the Goddesses,” centering on the original Caesars Palace overlord. For information on seating, contact the restaurant at (702) 386-7227 or by hitting the hotel’s website.

Goodman’s performance was recorded on video, too, with Las Vegas Connection blogger and “Highway Radio” host Bart Torres on hand to oversee that process. Something is up with this video project.

Stay on the alert for that piece of news coming out of Oscar’s, where there is never a dull moment — especially when the ex-mayor has a live mic and an even livelier audience.

Follow John Katsilometes on Twitter at Twitter.com/JohnnyKats. Also, follow “Kats With the Dish” at Twitter.com/KatsWiththeDish.

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