World Champion Los Angeles Lakers center and music/film superstar Shaquille O’Neal will host the second Shaquille O’Neal All-Star Comedy Roast on Friday at the MGM Grand EFX Theatre. Celebrity guests will join O’Neal to roast his special guest of honor, Dallas Cowboys superstar running back Emmitt Smith. Proceeds from the event will go to various charities, including Kidz Education Experience Program, selected by O’Neal and Smith’s Open Doors Foundation.
Shaquille O’Neal’s All-Star Comedy Roast II will consist of three special fundraising events hosted by MGM Grand. The evening will begin with a private "All-Star Reception" at Olio! restaurant featuring O’Neal, Smith and other celebrities, followed by the All-Star Roast in the EFX Theatre. The "All-Star Post-Party" will be held at the Studio 54 nightclub.
Tickets priced at $100, which includes admission to the roast event and "All-Star Post-Party," and $50, not including applicable service charges, can be purchased through any MGM Grand box office outlet. To charge by phone with a major credit card, call (702) 891-1111 or (800) 929-1111. Tickets are also available for purchase at www.mgmgrand.com. V.I.P. packages that include tickets to all three special events, as well as an option for air and hotel arrangements, are available by calling (866) 945-2134.
A Shaquille O’Neal All-Star Comedy Roast II video and DVD will be produced and distributed nationally as a mechanism to raise additional funds.
"I believe that all success is a by-product of generosity," said O’Neal. "Someone who is willing to invest their time, knowledge, expertise or even money to help someone else, that’s what it’s all about. Behind all the lights, all the cameras and all the fanfare of this year’s roast is an action”¦ an activity undertaken by a group of well-meaning individuals to accomplish a greater good. Bottom line is that this roast puts the fun in fundraising."
"It is great to see someone of Shaq’s caliber as committed to raising money for charity as I am," said Smith, who is closing in on Walter Payton’s NFL all-time rushing record. "I wish more of us could get involved in making a difference for the community. I am a little nervous about being roasted, but I don’t think any of the celebrities on the dais will hit harder than the guys that hit me on the field, so I can take it."
"This year, we’re going to pay special homage to a courageous running back who will offer himself at the gauntlet, as I did last year, to be roasted by a host of celebrity friends calling themselves roasters," O’Neal added. "Or you could say the reverse, ”˜a host of celebrity roasters calling themselves friends.’"