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November 22, 2017

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Jenny McCarthy talks Holly Madison, poor wardrobe decisions and her famous cousin


Erik Kabik/Retna/

Jenny McCarthy, back row and second from right, hosts her “Dirty, Sexy, Funny” after-party Saturday, Nov. 30, 2013, at Body English in Hard Rock Hotel Las Vegas.

Jenny McCarthy Hosts After-Party at Body English

Jenny McCarthy, with boyfriend Donnie Wahlberg, hosts her Launch slideshow »

Jenny McCarthy at Andrea's and Encore Beach Club

Jenny McCarthy at Andrea's in Encore on Friday, March 29, 2013. Launch slideshow »

Jenny McCarthy has toted her comedy showcase into an already bustling comedy scene in Las Vegas. There are about 10 comedy clubs operating in this city (unless some have opened and/or closed since the start of this sentence), and star headliners perform at some of the biggest theaters and showrooms on and off the Strip.

Vinyl at Hard Rock Hotel is one of those rooms, where Andrew “Dice” Clay is the recurring resident. McCarthy brought in her “Dirty, Sexy, Funny” comedy show this weekend, a lineup of comics starring Rachel Feinstein, Tiffany Haddish, Tammy Pescatelli and Lynne Koplitz.

The point of the production, aside from the pure entertainment value it brought to the Hard Rock, was to test drive McCarthy’s concept of an adult-tenor, all-female comedy showcase.

After Saturday’s show, I caught up with McCarthy on the red carpet leading to the show’s after-party at nearby Body English. This was just after she posed happily with her boyfriend, Donnie Wahlberg, and the comics who performed at Vinyl. The give-and-take:

What is the long-term goal for this production? Do you want to be the producer of a comedy show or a comedy club operator?

“I want to be a little bit of Don King, but the nice version. I think I have a good eye for comedy, more than even doing comedy. There have been times I’ve been in comedy clubs — and I’m a big fan of standup — and there is one girl who stands out for me, who makes me really laugh hard. This has happened, and I’ve thought, ‘What if I put one of each one of those girls I see in a club that I love, under one brand?’ So I created ‘Dirty, Sexy, Funny’ and have premiered it here.”

Your vision is there will always be women in the lineup?

“Always. I want the female point-of-view.”

Where is the show going next?

“I would love a residency in New York. I’d love to go on tour. I’d love to make it huge.”

In Las Vegas, too? There is a lot of comedy in town.

“Oh, (heck) yeah. I would love to have a residency here.”

Holly Madison has told me she is a huge fan of yours. Her quote to me was that when she was a teenager, “I wanted to be Jenny McCarthy. I wanted her exact career.”

“I love Holly. We’ve been friends for a very long time. I respect the (heck) out of her. I’ve been supporting her. I love her. I love hearing that, and I love that she has started a family and is having so much success here.”

I didn’t realize until reading about you today that you’re cousins with Melissa McCarthy.

“Yeah! Right? We’re first cousins.”

You’re close then?

“Yeah, we’re very close. A lot of people don’t realize we’re related. I’m incredibly proud of her and happy for her. If you look closely at the both of us, you can see these happy Irish faces.”

How about a favorite Vegas story?

“It’s a great one. My first visit to Vegas was 20 years ago, in 1993. I stayed at Bally’s. I was thinking, from the movies, it was all like James Bond and really formal. So I only brought floor-length dresses, and my boyfriend brought a tuxedo. We came downstairs, into the lobby, and we were like, ‘Oh, my God!’ We looked like such losers. People were asking, ‘Where did you come from?’ We told them we were in a wedding. We had to lie because we had thought everyone shows up in Vegas looking like what we looked like. But it was super casual.”

A lot of people wish it were not so casual.

“Well, in 1993, I was one of them (laughs).”

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