Monday, Nov. 26, 2018 | 2 a.m.
It hasn’t always thrived, but stand-up comedy has been a constant force in the Las Vegas entertainment landscape. At the moment, Caesars Entertainment clearly believes this brand of fun is, well, having a moment.
In April, the hospitality and entertainment giant opened the Comedy Cellar at the Rio, an outlet of the Manhattan institution where many comedy superstars perfected their acts. And in spring 2019, Jimmy Kimmel’s Comedy Club will open at the Linq Promenade right across from Brooklyn Bowl, a collaboration with the former Las Vegan and current host of ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” late-night talk show.
When the Linq venue was announced in October, Kimmel said his objective with the project would be to “capture the spirit of classic Vegas” with late-night shows, surprise guests, music and food. A graduate of Clark High School, Kimmel grew up in Las Vegas from the age of nine when his family moved from Brooklyn. His Vegas ties make opening a club here a natural development, says Caesars President of Entertainment Jason Gastwirth.
“He’s always had an interest in doing something special in this market,” Gastwirth says. “He has great relationships with a lot of comics he’s developed throughout the years and that goes hand-in-hand with the concept and design of this venue. We’ve had the opportunity to walk through with some of the notable comics [that perform at Caesars venues] as we’re thinking through the design in order to make this an attractive place to perform.”
Taking care of the talent is an essential piece of a successful comedy club, and Kimmel’s will seat up to 300. Its 8,000 square feet will encompass two levels, with the showroom upstairs and a lively bar scene planned for the ground floor.
“For both the comics and the guests, that hang element is very important,” Gastwirth says.
It’s done in a different way at the Comedy Cellar at the Rio, which has a very intimate feel and routinely draws guests to the bar space before and after each show. “We’re very proud to have the Comedy Cellar in our portfolio as well,” Gastwirth says. “It was putting out the comedy experience at that higher level. If you’ve been to the top comedy clubs in New York and L.A. and Chicago, there’s something real about them, and the Comedy Cellar is designed with that same mindset.
“Ultimately you’re going to see the best [comedy] lineup on the Strip because of the way these venues are built out and the relationships our partners have with the comedy community to attract some of the top artists.”
Caesars Entertainment, recognized by Billboard magazine in recent years as the third-largest promoter of live entertainment worldwide, also hosts big-name comedians including Jerry Seinfeld, Sebastian Maniscalco, Steve Martin and Martin Short, Jim Gaffigan and Jeff Dunham at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace.