back to school, las vegas, penn and teller, star trek, terry farrell, TV, Uncategorized

Valerie Desmond is Getting Married – The Time I Met Terry Farrell

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Terry Farrell – Back to School

In honor of Terry Farrell and Adam Nimoy (Spock’s son) getting engaged, here is a brief recounting of my encounter with Ms. Farrell.   I hope this will not bring on a restraining order, but I digress.

For one glorious year, actually more like nine months, I had the pleasure of working with Penn and Teller on their show Sin City Spectacular.  It was amazing.  If you haven’t seen it, try and find it.  During that time I produced many bits, but it was one that didn’t happen that stood out from the rest.

When I was assigned a celebrity, I tried to find some unique talent that they could bring to the table.  Sean Hayes played the piano and then went on a rant about the Gettysburg address, Judge Reinhold whistled by a campfire and then walked away with a fake armadillo while Gordon Clapp of NYPD Blue fame went bare assed while read a page from his diary which turned out to be a Penthouse forum encounter with his Emmy.

When someone didn’t have a secret talent or couldn’t think of something they wanted to showcase, it was left up to me to try and find something, anything, for them to perform. The fall back was having them do a trick with P&T.

One day I got assigned Terry Farrell.   Yes, Terry Farrell or as she would always be known to me, Valerie Desmond from “Back to School”.  Others might know her as Dax from a little show called Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

So Terry and I spoke and laughed and in the long run, she decided to leave it up to me to come up with a funny bit, bad idea.   I mean I was the guy who once proposed pubic hair makeovers as a show topic.   A couple of days later I called Terry, I now had her home number, and proposed something along these lines:

“Even though you can’t really sing or dance, Why don’t we pretend you’re in a 50’s girl group singing the song “Lollipop”.   The backup singers will be singing while you go to work licking a lollipop.  Things begin to get out of hand and in a sexual frenzy you run into the audience and begin to give someone a lap dance.  As you’re about to reach orgasm, the song will end and Penn and Teller will come out and say goodbye.”

There was silence, but this was good.  It wasn’t dismissed out of hand, a minor miracle. In fact, she thought it was funny and was game. This was easier than I thought.  Talk Soup here I come.

Now, bits like this can sometimes take on a life of their own.  The more time someone has to think about the bit, like the one above, the more likely they might realize that its not the best idea.  Time was not my friend.

As someone who never slept, especially in the days before we would fly out to Vegas to tape the show, I was prone to checking my work voicemail incessantly.   With three days to go I thought I was safe, but then, at 5:00 AM,  I got a message from Terry saying she had rethought the idea and wasn’t game anymore and said we should talk later. Calculating that she had left the message only minutes, ok maybe a few hours before, I decided to write up a quick revision, fax it over and call her to review it.  I mean who doesn’t like getting a call at 5:30 AM from a frantic producer who’s trying to get you to perform oral sex on a lollipop.  It went to voicemail. Not one to give up, I called again. She didn’t pick up.  Needless to say, several hours later I got a call from her publicist who wasn’t too pleased.   After that. I didn’t speak to Terry until Vegas.

A few days later, we were to meet face to face.  I was nervous, even more so then normal.  What would she do, what would she say.  I was ready for anything.  In the long run, she was cool, laughed about the whole thing, but said if I ever contacted her again she would file a restraining order.  I’m not sure if she was kidding or not, but I didn’t intend to find out.  Unfortunately, she didn’t do the bit or even the 5:15 AM rewrite below,  but I did get her to leave a voice mail message, as Valerie Desmond, for my friend.  It’s still his most prized possession.

As a post script, the following year I met Terry again while I was working at Donny and Marie.  I tried again, but the lollipop bit didn’t work out there either…and fortunately it didn’t result in the threatened restraining order.

Terry Farrell bit Part 2 – written and faxed at 5:15AM



las vegas, photos, travel, Uncategorized

Friday Night in Downtown Vegas

I love Vegas.  I love the lights, the action, the fact that as soon as you step off the plane you skin begins to feel like a lizard.  Now while the strip has its charm, like being able to walk, or more likely uber, from New York to Paris to Venice, the real magic happens in and around Freemont Street in Downtown Las Vegas.  As soon as the sun goes down, the area takes on a life of its own, the likes of which you have most likely never seen before, nor will you ever see again.

Freemont Street.

People all dressed up for a night out on Freemont Street.


Western Hotel 

This was the only time I gambled in downtown.  I walked down an abandoned street to get this picture.  Walking back I saw a mysterious figure in the shadows.  Passing by, my fears were diminished as I saw it was just some guy taking a dump in the alley.

Old entrance to the Western Hotel.

The Western Hotel once again.  Heads everywhere and a chest scrawled into the glass.

Elvis out for a stroll

Elvis out for a walk.  One of several out and about on Friday night.

KISS in all their glory

Speaking of celebs, one of the two KISS bands downtown.  Moon boots and a thong, a perfect look.

Llamas Stay Free

Sold Out…and a sign from election night.


This picture is a visual smorgasbord encompassing all that is downtown.  Of course, the highlight for me is the woman fondling the big balls.


And in closing, a short video of a giant flame throwing preying mantis playing Huey Lewis which greets you at Container Park.  Of course it does.


Script, Uncategorized

Playing Craps in Vintage Vegas

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El Cortez – Downtown Vegas

I love Downtown Vegas.   With the old hotels on the strip now gone, this is the one place that retains some of the history of Vintage Vegas, that and you don’t have to walk five miles to get to the next hotel.  As someone who adheres to the dress code of shabby prep, Ralph Lauren clothes that are either too big or too wrinkled and most time both, I fit in with the eclectic mix of hipsters, street performers, midwest first time visitors, locals, drunks, beggars, punk kids and every other cliche you can think of.  At the end of Freemont Street, past the canopy that lights up at night, past the Heart Attack Grill with people happily weighing themselves hoping to eclipse 350 pounds so they can get their free meal sits the El Cortex hotel, which, since 1941, has entertained guests.  As you enter, you can feel the history, among other things, oozing from the walls.  One day I found myself inside and for some reason drawn to the electronic craps machine.  A few words may have been changed, but following is an almost verbatim blow by blow of what happened.  I changed the names to protect the innocent and because this, most likely, in some form, will wind up in a movie I’m writing.

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Same type of Craps machine, different characters playing


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