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November 16, 2018

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Catching up with comedian Eddie Griffin, now performing at SLS

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Hernando Rodriguez

Eddie Griffin at home in Las Vegas.

Eddie Griffin is officially a Vegas guy. He recently wrapped a seven-year run at the Rio and he’s lived in Las Vegas for nearly a decade, and now the entertainer named one of the “100 Greatest Stand-Up Comedians of All Time” by Comedy Central and star of movies including “Undercover Brother” and “John Q” is launching a new residency at the Sayers Club at SLS Las Vegas this week. I spoke with Griffin recently about making Vegas his home and finding a new comedy home on the Strip.

Other than the opportunity to perform here and the convenience of living here, what is it that has kept you in Las Vegas for so long? When I first got here, Vegas still felt like a destination. Now it’s become a real city. As soon as you bring in the NFL, hockey, the WNBA team—and an NBA team is right around the corner—and you build out Summerlin and Henderson, that’s what happens. There’s a lot more for my kids to do out here so yeah, we’ve set roots here. And I appreciate what I can do like a residency like this one at Sayers Club. Daddy goes to work at night for a couple hours and then I’m home with my babies.

Do you have some favorite family spots around town? The kids like to go ice skating or hiking at Red Rock. We are into this sports renaissance, most definitely, and it’s about time. They kept it from Vegas for a long time.

The city has changed a lot since you moved here. How has the local comedy scene changed? It’s bubbling. Not only do you have established acts like myself and Brad Garrett here all the time, there are new and upcoming comedians doing their thing at local spots, getting their chops broken in.

What do you like about the Sayers Club and SLS? It’s very classy and it’s intimate, which is the way comedy should be presented. SLS is just a sexy spot, and to be right on the Strip is a big move. That property is conducive to comedy in its natural form.

And you’re keeping your weekends open to tour and work on other projects. You’ve got a new special “Undeniable” on Showtime. What else are you working on? I’ve been touring with George Lopez, DL Hughley, Cedric The Entertainer and the late Charlie Murphy on the Comedy Get Down for the last four years and we’re still on it. I’ve got some film and TV projects in the works, too, but you know … In Hollywood, you serve no wine before it’s time, give the haters no time to hate until it’s too late.

You’re in the upcoming remake of “A Star Is Born” with Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga. What was that experience like, and what was it like working with first-time director Cooper? Yeah, Dave Chappelle [is in the movie] and he called me up for that one and we had a real good time. [Cooper] did a hell of a job. A lot of people are going to be surprised by Gaga in that one. I’m in one scene with her where’s she’s dropping tears on cue.

Is it true you’re working on a sequel to the comedy cult classic “Undercover Brother?” It’s true. On social media, all the fans keep asking, when do we get a sequel? I want them to know I’ve been listening and putting pen to paper and it’s coming.

The Eddie Griffin Experience hits the Sayers Club at SLS (2535 Las Vegas Blvd. South, 702-761-7000) at 8 p.m. Monday through Wednesday and more information can be found at slslasvegas.com.