Last weekend, I was able to catch a performance of David Spade as he was performing stand-up comedy at The Showroom at The Venetian. David Spade first made a name for himself as a standup comedian in the mid-80’s which ultimately earned him a spot on the cast of Saturday Night Live in 1990. It was there that Spade created several notable characters that became part of pop culture such as the Dick Clark receptionist that greets each huge celebrity with a condescending “And you are?” Perhaps his most popular role on Saturday Night Live was a segment called “Hollywood Minute” in which Spade took sarcastic and bitter jabs a various celebrities. After six years on Saturday Night Live, Spade launched his movie career. His most notable role was probably that of sarcastic straight man to Chris Farley in Tommy Boy and Black Sheep. Spade has gone on to star in Joe Dirt, Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star, and more recently The Benchwarmers. He also earned him an Emmy nomination for his role of Dennis Finch on Just Shoot Me! and currently stars in Rules of Engagement on CBS. Even with his busy schedule Spade finds time to return to his stand-up roots.
Spade’s opening act was a young comedian named Bobby Miyamoto who was well-received by the audience. His manner was a little offbeat and at times obscure, but it worked well for his persona. He spoke about his Japanese heritage and the fact that he was born in Hawaii but raised in Idaho (for which he is still angry with his parents) as well as the chaser pill that eliminates hangovers. His topics were greatly varied, but his comedy was consistently funny. Miyamoto regularly opens for Spade, and I can see why. He does an excellent job warming up the crowd.
One of the most interesting moments occurred between Miyamoto and Spade. Although he is not a regular opening act for Spade, comedian Kevin Farley (younger brother to Chris Farley) did a short set. If you are a fan of Chris Farley, this is as close as you will ever get to seeing him. It was slightly unsettling, but Farley proved himself to be a great comic. Aware of his physical similarities to his brother, Farley did an eerily accurate impersonation of Chris Farley’s “La De Freakin’ Da” from his SNL days that seemed to loosen the audience up. However, Kevin Farley did manage to have his own comedic voice and showed that he is not merely riding on his brother’s fame. His manic set covered topics like drinking and fast food restaurants to his disdain for public displays of affection. It was a pretty good, although short, set but a welcome bonus. Then came David Spade.
Spade’s comedic style is sarcastic yet causal. He is so laid back that it doesn’t seem as honed and polished as it clearly must be. You might think he’s up there just talking to you off the same way he would with a group of buddies. Perhaps most surprising is the energy level that Spade brings to the show. Spade manages a balance of being blase while also becoming very animated in his story telling in which he often acts out the scenarios of his act. It really adds to the show and makes it enjoyable to watch. It is also a great benefit to the audience, and you are certain to have a great view of Spade throughout the show.
Spade’s specialty seems to be an ability to point out what’s ridiculous, which makes Las Vegas the perfect venue for his comedy. He started right with the Las Vegas hotels and their ridiculous themes including hotels that need to go away (The Excalibur) and the difficulty of getting to your hotel giving directions like, “Take the elevator to the 40th floor and then get on the shuttle. Now it’s going to feel like you’re going into another building because you are…” For anybody staying at a Vegas hotel it was instantly relatable. He described the Rehab Party Pool at The Hard Rock Hotel as “500 Guidos and one waitress.” He then took aim at The Playboy Club in The Palms in which he ended up comparing (and hilariously acting out) Hugh Hefner as a “Weekend at Bernie’s” Scenario.
Spade went on to point out the absurd things that people do like when crossing the street they will swing their arms like they want to appear to be getting across faster but their legs don’t go any faster at all (a fake run). He acted out Snooki getting her spray tan and one of his best bits was about how people think things in their head to justify their actions. For example, when he cuts through a gas station to avoid a traffic light he will say in his head “Do I need gas? Nope” and keep driving so he doesn’t feel like he is intentionally doing something wrong. Some of his greatest material is stories from his own life, especially those involving his mother. This includes her obsession with Costco and a great story in which her house was full during the holidays so she made him stay with the neighbors.
The Showroom at The Venetian proves to be a great venue for Spade. The 742-seat theater provides just the right amount of room to make the show enjoyable. The seats are comfy and have plenty of leg room. At no time did it feel crowded while at the same time held enough people to bring large waves of laughter. The best part is that the size of the theater makes it nearly impossible to have a bad seat. From every seat there are no obstructions and you are never too far away from the stage. That combined with Spades movement around the stage make sure you will not be straining to see Spade on the stage.
Overall, it was a great show. Spade really seems to have no lost any of his talent over the years and if anything has improved. He seems more comfortable with himself and relaxed on the stage. If you are planning a trip to Las Vegas and looking for a great comedy show I cannot recommend Spade more highly. He seems to be at the top of his game and it was a blast to see.
Review By: JMCharries
David Spade Show Link: http://www.venetian.com/Las-Vegas-Shows/Headliner-Shows/David-Spade/
The Venetian Official Link: http://www.venetian.com/