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Nugget hosts Comedy Festival

Oct 6, 2004 12:28 AM

Legendary comedians Don Rickles and Sid Caesar will receive top honors at the 3rd Las Vegas Comedy Festival, to be held October 13-17 at the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas.

Other honorees will include Phyllis Diller, the late Buddy Hackett, television icon Ed McMahon, producer George Schlatter and manager Bernie Brillstein.

Rickles will receive the "Las Vegas Entertainer of the Year Award," Sid Caesar will receive the 1st Caesar Award named in his honor, and Phyllis Diller will receive the first "The Diller," which is voted on by comedy clubs nationwide.

The late Buddy Hackett will also be celebrated at the Las Vegas Comedy Festival. In addition, "The Buddy Award," named in honor of Hackett, will be presented to the "The Best of the Fest" professional stand-up comedian at the Festival.

Schlatter will receive the "Uncle Miltie Television Pioneer Award," Brillstein will receive the "Steve Allen Pioneer of Comedy Award" and McMahon will receive the "2nd Bob Hope Lifetime of Service Award."

George Schlatter is probably best known for co-creating the classic television show "Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In" and the American Comedy Awards.

Bernie Brillstein, founder of Brillstein-Grey Entertainment, has long been recognized for discovering and nurturing some of the industry’s top comedic talent, including John Belushi, Lorne Michaels, Dan Aykroyd, and Gilda Radner.

Ed McMahon, who will receive the Bob Hope Lifetime of Service Award, has championed many causes throughout his career, including his role as co-host of the annual Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon for MDA.

Mary Thomas, executive director of the Las Vegas Comedy Festival said, "We are truly delighted at this year’s legendary line-up of awards, recipients, comics and participants thus far. It brings the festival to a whole new level, and will support our celebration of comedy, the comedy industry as well as its players and talent."

In conjunction with the festival, $55,000 in cash prizes will be awarded to the winners of "Laugh Across America," a talent search to find the best new faces and professional comedic talents in the country.

The tour concluded in Las Vegas last month. Winners of the competition will be flown to Las Vegas to compete in the finals at the five-day Las Vegas Comedy Festival. Amateurs and professionals alike can also participate in two additional contests at the festival.