By Dianne R. Davis
Photos by Dianne R. Davis or Burt Davis
Jeff Biladeau Got Me There
Who would have thought I’d be spending Saturday night at Meatheads, a tiny Video Poker Bar. But a friend from New Hampshire wrote t her cousin’s son, comedian Jeff Biladeau, would be performing there and could I go see him and maybe write something about him.
So there I was at a show that reportedly would begin at 10 P.M. It’s only a $10 cover and you can be up close to five comics counting the MC. We got there in time to chat with Jeff prior to the show.
He’s only 26, but told me he started writing “stupid jokes” at 14. The kid’s no slouch. He graduated from the University of Southern Maine with a 3.7 GPA. Comedy beckoned. So now he works at Home Depot. They all need a day job. Jeff told me that there just aren’t a lot of outlets for comedians in Maine, so for the last four years, San Diego has been his home base. He was in town for a Friday night gig at the Attic in downtown Las Vegas and Saturday night at Meatheads. Jeff honed his skills while working as a writer on a sit-com, but confesses that he’d, “love to make it in comedy.”
Jeff’s preference is for improv. “ I don’t get a rush from telling the same jokes.” But he does get a rush when, “girls pick me up after shows.” He also enjoys the thrill of making a new person laugh. I asked him what the downside is and he lamented the politics that come with comedy. “You think someone is your friend, but they just want time on stage.”
Time on stage came for the comics in a show that went a little too long at more than two hours. MC and comic Marlen Baker started things off with a warm up and an introduction to Rocky Maurice. This guy might have a future, but for now, he’s in the starting gate with cheat sheet in hand to help him recall the next story. Don’t expect him at any kids’ parties. I can’t print any of his jokes.
Kyle Ray was up next and had more stage time. Kyle started performing at age 10, has been in a few movies, and is a regular at the San Diego Comedy Store. Each of the comics gets more stage time then their predecessor leading up to the “headliner”.
Jeff was up next with a bunch of single guy jokes and a little toilet humor. He isn’t there yet, but he’s good and could have a future after a little more seasoning. He’s got a pleasing quirky style, but as with the others and appropriate to the venue, there aren’t too many jokes that could be told when kids are in the room.
Gooch! That’s the stage name for Brandon Hahn. You can hear him at work at his day job on KOMP 92.3, the Rock Station, in Vegas. He loves doing comedy and says, “It’s the only thing that makes me feel good.” Gooch‘s idols are Chris Rock, Dave Chappell, Brian Regan, and the incredible George Carlin. He’s got a lot more experience behind him and it shows. His humor flows and it’s clear that at any given moment he can take it in just about any direction and run with it.
Be advised, my husband and I were clearly the oldest people in the room. Gooch ran with that, as did most of the others. Hey, I can’t fault them at all. And if we didn’t have a good sense of humor, we didn’t belong there. So, old people jokes flowed not just from Gooch, but some of the others as well. We weren’t the only ones singled out. In a venue that includes about 40 seats up close to the performers ( and seats at the bar with closed circuit telecast of the comedy), anyone was fair game.
All in all, I went, I interviewed, I laughed. I think you will too. Check out Saturday nights at Meatheads. And hey, if you think you’re funny, they’ve got open mike on Tuesday evenings. Meatheads is located on 1121 Decatur at Charleston.
Gooch Brandon Hahn
Artie Schroeck and Dale Rampton will entertain at a performance entitled Vibe Summit on Sunday afternoon, April 18 at 2:00 p.m. at the Whitney Library Theater. The two will be backed by a rhythm section which includes pianist Ron Simone, base player Dick Jones, and drummer Bob Chmel.
The Theatre is located on 5175 E. Tropicana, just east of Nellis. The event is sponsored by Vegas Jazz as part of its Jazz at the Library series.
I’ve had the pleasure of seeing Artie Schroeck perform, so it comes as no surprise that this man was born into a family filled with music. In addition to the vibes, he plays drums and piano and most likely more that I don’t even know about. I do know that he has worked with the likes of Neil Diamond, Paul Anka, and Frankie Vallie and the Four Seasons for whom he wrote the hit arrangements for “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” and “Can’t Take My Eyes off of You.”
Rampton’s background includes symphonic experience with both the LV Philharmonic and LV Chamber Orchestra well as jobs with Vegas stars including Sammy Davis Jr., Tom Jones, Andy Williams and Cher.
Vegas Jazz, a.k.a., The Las Vegas Jazz Society was founded in 1975 by renowned jazz artist Monk Montgomery. It is a 501 c3, non-profit, run by an all-volunteer board. The organization provides 10 scholarships annually to the College of Southern Nevada's Summer Jazz Camp.