Las Vegas Sun

November 24, 2017

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Guest Columnist:

Terry Fator: Recent highlights include DVD, rewriting show and trip to London


Ryan Miller/Capture Imaging

Terry Fator and Winston the Impersonating Turtle at the Pioneer of the Year dinner during CinemaCon on March 30, 2011.

Terry Fator Fifth Anniversary at Mirage

Rick Harrison and Terry Fator at Fator’s fifth-anniversary celebration Friday, March 7, 2014, at the Mirage. Launch slideshow »

Military Honors Terry Fator, Taylor Makakoa

Terry Fator and his wife, Taylor Makakoa, are honored by the military Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014, at the Mirage in Las Vegas. Launch slideshow »

Editor’s Note: While Robin Leach heads to Milan and Switzerland before his traditional summer vacation under the Tuscan sun in Italy — plus the lakes of northern Italy this year — many of our Strip personalities have again stepped forward in his absence to pen their own words of wisdom. We continue today with Mirage headliner Terry Fator.

My birthday, the Fourth of July and writing a column for Robin Leach — all much-anticipated annual events.

So for this year’s guest column, let me fill you in first on what didn’t happen since my last column: The Dallas Cowboys didn’t make the Super Bowl. I didn’t drop to my high school weight of 145. Our dogs didn’t learn to walk themselves. And my relatives didn’t stop asking for money.

Next year, three of those four things could conceivably happen.

Now let me fill you in on what did happen: First of all, I released my new DVD. It captures the show that I’ve been doing at the Mirage since 2011, and I have never been prouder of anything in my career. It has all the comedy bits and impressions people liked best, and it was a real labor of love making it.

Which leads me to the next thing that happened: I rewrote my show. Since the “old’ show (not really old but the one I had done for three years) was available on a DVD, I wanted to give fans who came to the Mirage a chance to see something completely new. So I rewrote my show, we began rehearsing it, and, by mid-spring, we had everything in place.

We swapped out some characters: Berry and Monty went on “vacation,” and Vikki the Cougar and Hyphen reappeared. Additionally, the story within the show has changed.

Winston the Impersonating Turtle, the character who claims he won me on “America’s Got Talent,” has decided that he wants to go Hollywood. I got the idea as an extension of last year’s show. In that one, Winston “left” to go try out for a series of shows on the Strip.

That didn’t work out as he had planned, so I thought that it would be funny for this new show to take it to the next level, to let him realize his biggest dream and go Hollywood. He gets a call from an agent, leaves to go make a series of movies like “RoboTurtle” and “Turtle Recall,” and, while he’s gone, the other puppets audition to see who will replace him.

At the end of the show … well, if you want to know more, come see us at the Mirage.

The other excitement is going on at the time of me writing this. By the time you read this, my wife Taylor Makakoa and I will have gone to London for a vacation and returned home. It’s a big trip for us. Usually Taylor and I are so exhausted from our shows at the Mirage and from touring that we just stay at home and walk the dogs.

But since she recently acquired her third college degree, we wanted to celebrate by doing something special. BTW, with her three degrees combined with mine, it gives us a total of … three.

So bottom line, it’s been a great year, a great summer, and, Robin, get back soon. Otherwise, Winston might decide on a new career — newspaper columnist and turtle about town.

Check out our other guest columns today from Ben Harris, Terry’s opening act at the Mirage, and Nove Italiano chef Kieran Toivonen with a preview of his celebrity-chef dinner at the Palms on Thursday night. On Thursday, our guest columnists are Rick Harrison of “Pawn Stars” and Sin City Brewing Co. owner Rich Johnson.

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.

Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at

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Follow Sun A&E Senior Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at

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