Reality Bites

In Las Vegas, where days blend into nights and vice versa, visitors have always had trouble keeping in touch with reality. Such was also the case last week at Multimedia’s NATPE party in Vegas – the hottest ticket among the many extravaganzas tossed for TV execs at the syndication convention.

The site of the party was Liberace’s onetime residence, a rambling mansion replete with the predictable mirrored ceilings and rococo furnishings. Invited to mingle with the 500 guests were a dozen or so celebrity look-alikes, including a surrogate Dolly Parton, Ray Charles, George Burns, Elvis and, of course, Liberace himself.

Some of the guests seemed to enjoy meeting the look-alikes, even posing for pictures with them. Others found them a nuisance – especially some of the real-life celebs starring in Multimedia syndicated shows. At one point in the evening, for example, a Multimedia exec tried to introduce the real-life Phil Donahue to an important, if slightly disoriented, station manager. The station manager, convinced that Donahue was a look-alike and that he was being set up, turned away in a huff. Donahue didn’t look very amused by this rebuff, and quickly turned his attention back to the wannabe Elvis performing on stage.

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