Grandma Lee keeps an audience laughing at the Orleans

Jun 14, 2011 3:00 AM

LOTS OF LAUGHS: With all the comedy clubs around town we thought it was time we checked one out. Of course it’s not like seeing Shecky Green, Rich Little or Joan Rivers, but all the big name comedians started out small, many of them in the once prolific lounges of Las Vegas casinos.

And, laughing is a good thing. There have been studies showing it can help relieve pain, increase happiness and even improve the immune system. It certainly seems like a win-win situation.

So with thoughts of health and happiness we ventured to Big Al’s Comedy Club at The Orleans, which is currently featuring Grandma Lee.

We weren’t sure what to expect as this sweet looking, toothless, elderly woman walked onto the stage with the assistance of a cane.

But her salty vocabulary, Oklahoma twang and deadpan face worked well as she drew from everyday experiences, including her job as an operator for directory assistance, to keep the audience laughing.

Grandma Lee is also a great example of how laughter can heal. After this feisty 77-year-old lost her husband to cancer in 1995, she began attending a comedy workshop to help her cope. Now, less than seven years later, she’s been a contestant on "Last Comic Standing" and "America’s Got Talent," and is currently playing Vegas.

TOURING FRENZY: Veteran promotions man Bobby Brian called to say hello during a brief stop in Las Vegas recently. The wizard of contests said he’s been doing a whirlwind tour of the country’s gaming locals helping casinos set up contests, promos and other games for their patrons.

"The biggest interest seems to be in football-type promotions," said Brian, CEO of AGame Marketing. "In fact, our ‘Fortune Football’ is our top product right now, but we also offer a dice roll, slot pull and much more. We have some of the most creative people in the business working for us."

The Dallas-based company is able to provide as much or as little as the casino requires, from simply prize insurance for up to $1,000,000 to all the bells and whistles, even a marketing program.

"We do whatever it takes," Brian added, "and work easily with both gaming giants and little mom and pop operations."

CHARMING: A few weeks ago we went to the new Tivoli Village shopping center where they have a farmer’s market every Saturday morning. However, we spent so much time checking out the fruits and vegetables we never got to any of the shops.

So of course we had to go back. This time we only looked at the stores. One we found especially intriguing was Charming Charlie.

This boutique is a fashion accessory gold mine. It is loaded with earrings, necklaces, bracelets, handbags, scarves, belts, hats and more. And it is so easy to find exactly what you’re looking for because everything is grouped by color, almost any color you can think of.

The prices were also reasonable. There were items for a little as $5 and we did not find anything over $50.

See you around town.