HBO Comedy Hour: The Mr. Vegas All-Night Party Starring Drew Carey (Sat. (28) , 10:30-11:30 p.m., HBO) Taped in Las Vegas at the Hard Rock Cafe and remote locations by Moffitt-Lee Prods. Executive producers, Drew Carey, Richard Baker, Rick Messina; producers, John Moffitt, Pat Tourk Lee; supervising producer, Nancy Kurshner; director, Moffitt; writers, Les Firestein, Bruce Baum, Eddie Gorodetsky, Terry Mulroy; lighting designer, Simon Miles; production designer, Bruce Ryan; music supervisor, Nancy Severinsen; editor, Booey Kober. Guests: Wayne Newton, David Cassidy, Chipps Cooney, the Rev. Horton Heat, the Muffs, Dave Attell, Lawrence T, Michael Buffer. Host: Drew Carey. Boy, that Drew Carey, what a little rebel. He smokes, he quaffs martinis, he leers at buxom women. He wears horn-rims and a crewcut. His body cries out for a Stairmaster and a salad. And as we see in his HBO hour, when Carey makes a cable special he seems to take a certain delight in making it as painful a viewing experience as possible. It is indeed difficult to convey just how dreadful "The Mr. Vegas All-Night Party" truly is. It plays like Las Vegas Night at Temple Beth El, like the lunchtime entertainment at a public access convention, like the Jerry Luis Telethon without Jerry's kids but with Charo's kids. The only thing missing is Ed McMahon. What Carey's trying to do here in the guise of white tuxedo-clad lounge lizard Mr. Vegas is satirize the whole "Swingers"/Rat Pack/Vegas camp trend that's sweeping popular culture, embodied in the nudge-nudge/wink-wink/say-no-more style of a character who's a sexual harassment lawsuit waiting to happen. But "Mr. Vegas" unfortunately wants to have it both ways. It wants to simultaneously spoof and pay homage to the lounge state of mind, resulting in an hour that carries all the entertainment value of a video documenting your neighbor's trip to the Grand Canyon. Instead of being sly, it's merely stupid, showcasing the dangers of becoming that at which you poke fun. You know that a show has drastic limitations when the clear high point finds Carey and Wayne Newton dueting on a rollicking, finger-snapping rendition of "Danke Shoen." That is honestly as good as it gets. Hour opens with Carey doing 10 of the most lifeless minutes in standup comedy history, leading into the rockabilly tune "It's Martini Time" by the Rev. Horton Heat and his band, and then into a purposely awful comedy-magic act by Chipps Cooney. Newton then makes the unfortunate blunder of crooning a blues tune as the audience of slack-jawed, oddly clad tourists look on with blank stares. We are further treated to the spectacle of David Cassidy singing "Ain't No Sunshine," which carries all of the passion and poignancy of Tony Orlando whipping through "Purple Haze." It ain't quite Leonard Nimoy doing "Proud Mary," but it's close. The nonstop parade of the weird and the woeful includes visits with boxing-ring announcer Michael (Let's Get Ready to Rumble!!!) Buffer, a tune from the retro-grunge group the Muffs, a set by Andrew Dice Clay comic wannabe Dave Attell and an appearance by soul singer Lawrence T, who belts out a dramatic, hypnotic version of "Tobacco Road." Comedy skits bridging the segs are mostly forgettable, some of them actually featuring a guy carting around a dog and a pony. Go ahead and try not to laugh at that. Most of the other bits find Carey ogling a varying assortment of comely lasses with large breasts and multiple sequins. Or is it large sequins and multiple breasts? It's so hard to keep track. "Mr. Las Vegas" is the kind of project that a guy like Carey gets to do because he happens to be popular at the moment. His ABC sitcom is going great guns, so someone at HBO undoubtedly called up and said, "Hey Drew baby, how'd you like to do an hour special for us? About what? Oh, you know, anything. Whatever you want, Drew baby." "I've got it!" Carey must have thought. "I'll do something about utterly lame Vegas acts, and I'll execute it lamely. Its very coolness will spring out of its very lameness." From such delusions of grandeur are cable monstrosities born. If HBO has ever scheduled an original program with less going for it, it doesn't spring readily to mind.

HBO Comedy Hour: The Mr. Vegas All-Night Party Starring Drew Carey (Sat. (28) , 10:30-11:30 p.m., HBO) Taped in Las Vegas at the Hard Rock Cafe and remote locations by Moffitt-Lee Prods. Executive producers, Drew Carey, Richard Baker, Rick Messina; producers, John Moffitt, Pat Tourk Lee; supervising producer, Nancy Kurshner; director, Moffitt; writers, Les Firestein, Bruce Baum, Eddie Gorodetsky, Terry Mulroy; lighting designer, Simon Miles; production designer, Bruce Ryan; music supervisor, Nancy Severinsen; editor, Booey Kober. Guests: Wayne Newton, David Cassidy, Chipps Cooney, the Rev. Horton Heat, the Muffs, Dave Attell, Lawrence T, Michael Buffer. Host: Drew Carey. Boy, that Drew Carey, what a little rebel. He smokes, he quaffs martinis, he leers at buxom women. He wears horn-rims and a crewcut. His body cries out for a Stairmaster and a salad. And as we see in his HBO hour, when Carey makes a cable special he seems to take a certain delight in making it as painful a viewing experience as possible. It is indeed difficult to convey just how dreadful “The Mr. Vegas All-Night Party” truly is. It plays like Las Vegas Night at Temple Beth El, like the lunchtime entertainment at a public access convention, like the Jerry Luis Telethon without Jerry’s kids but with Charo’s kids. The only thing missing is Ed McMahon. What Carey’s trying to do here in the guise of white tuxedo-clad lounge lizard Mr. Vegas is satirize the whole “Swingers”/Rat Pack/Vegas camp trend that’s sweeping popular culture, embodied in the nudge-nudge/wink-wink/say-no-more style of a character who’s a sexual harassment lawsuit waiting to happen. But “Mr. Vegas” unfortunately wants to have it both ways. It wants to simultaneously spoof and pay homage to the lounge state of mind, resulting in an hour that carries all the entertainment value of a video documenting your neighbor’s trip to the Grand Canyon. Instead of being sly, it’s merely stupid, showcasing the dangers of becoming that at which you poke fun. You know that a show has drastic limitations when the clear high point finds Carey and Wayne Newton dueting on a rollicking, finger-snapping rendition of “Danke Shoen.” That is honestly as good as it gets. Hour opens with Carey doing 10 of the most lifeless minutes in standup comedy history, leading into the rockabilly tune “It’s Martini Time” by the Rev. Horton Heat and his band, and then into a purposely awful comedy-magic act by Chipps Cooney. Newton then makes the unfortunate blunder of crooning a blues tune as the audience of slack-jawed, oddly clad tourists look on with blank stares. We are further treated to the spectacle of David Cassidy singing “Ain’t No Sunshine,” which carries all of the passion and poignancy of Tony Orlando whipping through “Purple Haze.” It ain’t quite Leonard Nimoy doing “Proud Mary,” but it’s close. The nonstop parade of the weird and the woeful includes visits with boxing-ring announcer Michael (Let’s Get Ready to Rumble!!!) Buffer, a tune from the retro-grunge group the Muffs, a set by Andrew Dice Clay comic wannabe Dave Attell and an appearance by soul singer Lawrence T, who belts out a dramatic, hypnotic version of “Tobacco Road.” Comedy skits bridging the segs are mostly forgettable, some of them actually featuring a guy carting around a dog and a pony. Go ahead and try not to laugh at that. Most of the other bits find Carey ogling a varying assortment of comely lasses with large breasts and multiple sequins. Or is it large sequins and multiple breasts? It’s so hard to keep track. “Mr. Las Vegas” is the kind of project that a guy like Carey gets to do because he happens to be popular at the moment. His ABC sitcom is going great guns, so someone at HBO undoubtedly called up and said, “Hey Drew baby, how’d you like to do an hour special for us? About what? Oh, you know, anything. Whatever you want, Drew baby.” “I’ve got it!” Carey must have thought. “I’ll do something about utterly lame Vegas acts, and I’ll execute it lamely. Its very coolness will spring out of its very lameness.” From such delusions of grandeur are cable monstrosities born. If HBO has ever scheduled an original program with less going for it, it doesn’t spring readily to mind.

Hbo Comedy Hour: The Mr. Vegas All-Night Party Starring Drew Carey

Sat. (28), 10:30-11:30 p.m., HBO

Production

Taped in Las Vegas at the Hard Rock Cafe and remote locations by Moffitt-Lee Prods. Executive producers, Drew Carey, Richard Baker, Rick Messina; producers, John Moffitt, Pat Tourk Lee; supervising producer, Nancy Kurshner; director, Moffitt; writers, Les Firestein, Bruce Baum, Eddie Gorodetsky, Terry Mulroy

Crew

lighting designer, Simon Miles; production designer, Bruce Ryan; music supervisor, Nancy Severinsen; editor, Booey Kober.

Cast

Drew Carey
Wayne Newton, David Cassidy, Chipps Cooney, the Rev. Horton Heat, the Muffs, Dave Attell, Lawrence T, Michael Buffer.

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