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October 16, 2018

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Piff the Magic Dragon is on fire at new Flamingo residency


Piff the Magic Dragon and Mr. Piffles.

Piff the Magic Dragon

Piff the Magic Dragon

Shania, Piff the Magic Dragon and Mr. Piffles

Shania Twain, Piff the Magic Dragon and Mr. Piffles at the Colosseum on Tuesday, June 3, 2014, in Caesars Palace. Launch slideshow »

Funny doesn’t even begin to describe the half of it. It was rude. It was risque. It was off color with a few four-letter words thrown in for good measure.

But, above all — and including one of the goofiest, overdressed, nearly nude feathered showgirls ever to prance on a Las Vegas stage — it was sidesplittingly and outrageously funny. (You have to see her to understand.)

What else would you expect from a dysfunctional magic dragon who gave up breathing fire to find his princess?

If Monty Python was still in TV production, Piff the Magic Dragon would be adopted as the Minister of Silly Walk’s pet. Or his tiny Chihuahua Mr. Piffles would.

British humor borders on the bizarre, insane, life’s stupidities and certain touch of savageness poking fun at willing victims.

Direct from his success on “America’s Got Talent,” Piff the Magic Dragon (Britain’s John van der Put) and Mr. Piffles, the world’s first magic-performing Chihuahua, had a full turnout for Monday night’s premiere of their residency in Bugsy’s Cabaret at the Flamingo.

The jam-packed crowd loved every moment of this theater of the absurd, from the stupid comedy bits to the laugh out loud ridiculousness to the magic.

The tricks really wowed complete with a toaster that nearly caught on fire to reveal two pieces of bread burned with an incorrect card selected from the deck by a volunteer.

However, opening up the grilled cheese sandwich revealed the correct card nicely warmed and tasty inside.

Here’s a YouTube video of when Piff performed on “America’s Got Talent.”

Weird? Not quite as off-kilter as a card discovered inside a can of dog food after Mr. Piffles failed to catch the chosen card fired up among the 52 in the air. Mr. Piffles kindly licked it clean before Piff handed it to the audience volunteer as a souvenir.

Bizarre? The talking Criss Angel goldfish mind reader at first met an unexpected brutal ending inside a blender for failing to choose the correct word in a book.

The goldfish has the Luxor headliner magician’s vocal trademark “are you ready” down to a T. But Piff turned the gooey mess into a bartender’s mix of a perfect cocktail and after a good shake filled up a tiny aquarium with goldfish.

It’s a nonstop hour of pure, delirious fun mixing comedy with magic and scoring 10 out of 10 for both. Where else would you see a tiny pet dog escape from its own straightjacket a la Houdini?

Veteran juggler Michael Goudeau, who was Lance Burton’s opening act for years at Monte Carlo, starts the night with his frightening knife-and-saw skills as the perfect complement to Piff and Mr. Piffles. It’s just the right amount of edginess as a warm-up to Piff’s off-the-wall preposterousness.

There’s no question that Piff, who dazzled Mel B, Heidi Klum, Howie Mandel and Howard Stern on “AGT,” has won a huge following since his days in “Vegas Nocturne” at Rose. Rabbit. Lie. in the Cosmopolitan.

Here’s his last appearance on “America’s Got Talent”:

Now he’s landed his own residency thanks to “X Burlesque” producers Angela and Matt Stabile, whose shows share Bugsy’s Cabaret. When Piff isn’t traveling North America for gigs, he’ll be in residence at the Flamingo mostly Mondays through Wednesdays weekly.

Through the end of the year, you can catch him tonight and Wednesday, then Nov. 23-25 and 30 and Dec. 1, 2,14-15 and Dec 21-30.

WARNING: Mr. Piffles is not harmed during the cannonball stunt shooting in the Magic Dragon’s act, but your stomach might be from all the laughing.

Robin Leach of “Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous” fame has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past 15 years giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.

Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at

Follow Las Vegas Sun Entertainment + Luxury Senior Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at

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