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November 17, 2017

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Exclusive: Zowie Bowie’s Chris Phillips up first in new, late-night Stratosphere ‘Showbiz Roast’


Tom Donoghue/

Chris Phillips, right, and a guest at the Nikki Beach and Club Nikki White Party Grand Opening at the Tropicana on May 26, 2011.

Naughty Gras: Mardi Gras to the Max w/Zowie Bowie at M Resort

Naughty Gras: Mardi Gras to the Max featuring Zowie Bowie at M Resort's new Pavilion Events Center on Saturday, Feb. 18, 2012. Launch slideshow »

Gilbert Gottfried roasts Roseanne

Las Vegas entertainers are about to tear apart one another all in the name of comedy. Vegas DeLuxe has learned exclusively that the debut of the show "Showbiz Roast" is set for April 23 late night at Stratosphere Showroom so that Strip performers can get there after their own shows.

A dozen or more roasters will take to the stage to celebrate, tease and lovingly poke fun at the first victim -- spiky-haired blond Zowie Bowie singer Chris Phillips. April 5 is the seventh anniversary of his residency at Red Rock Resort.

British award-winning production designer Andy Walmsley is presenting the series of the planned “Showbiz Roast.” The Emmy winner has created sets for some of TV’s biggest hits -- “America’s Got Talent,” “American Idol,” Biggest Loser” and “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.”

Here in his new hometown, Andy designed Strip sets for Terry Fator, Human Nature, Nathan Burton and “America’s Got Talent Live” and is currently the production consultant on The Scintas show opening at The D Hotel next week.

He told me: “The core intention is to create camaraderie in the showbiz community not seen since The Golden Era of The Rat Pack. There will be musical roasts backed by a live band, surprise guests and an onstage bar to fuel the ferocity and hysteria of the roasters showing tongue-in-cheek affection for their showbiz pals.

“The stage will be set up with a throne for Chris, and the 12 celebrity roasters will be seated either side of him on the stage. Each roast will be about four minutes -- 2 minutes to hit Chris and 2 minutes to hit the fellow roasters.

“Chris is very aware -- and excited -- to hear the jokes, and it will be very much open season. They can be cruel as long as it’s funny and with a tongue-in-cheek feel delivered with affection.”

Here’s an example of Hollywood cruelty with Gilbert Gottfried’s funniest-ever roast of Tropicana headliner Roseanne Barr on Comedy Central, but be forewarned of the four-letter obscenities and strong sexual language.

Andy added: “The roasts in total will last no longer than 80 minutes. We are asking two of the roasters to sing their insults to a live band led by Dave Perrico.”

Invitations to roasters are being sent Wednesday, and the plan calls for the roasts to take place every six weeks.

Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.

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