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July 31, 2014

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Give him props: Carrot Top still delivers

If You Go

What: Carrot Top

When: 8 p.m. Sundays, Mondays and Wednesdays through Fridays, 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. Saturdays. Dark Tuesdays.

Where: The Luxor's Atrium Showroom

Rating (out of five stars): 4.5 stars

Carrot Top seems right at home in his new digs, the Luxor's Atrium Showroom.

After years at the more spacious Hollywood Theatre at the MGM Grand, in November the prop comic packed his dozen or so trunks and moved down the street.

The address may be different, but the ownership is the same -- both the Luxor and MGM Grand are part of the MGM Mirage family.

The seating capacity at the Atrium Showroom is less than half of that at the Hollywood Theatre -- 350 seats vs. 740 seats.

This creates a much more intimate setting for the hyperkinetic comedian whose muscles seem to bulge more each time I see him perform.

While the Atrium Showroom is much smaller than the Hollywood, there isn't a great deal of difference in the sizes of the two stages -- the one at the MGM is 1,800 square feet; the one at the Luxor is 1,500 square feet.

There is still plenty of room for Carrot Top to race from one trunk to the next, pulling out props that range from mildly amusing to hilarious.

While many of his props are the same ones he used at the MGM, he manages to add enough new ones to keep his show fresh and lively.

His pre-show still consists of a series of taped vignettes along the lines of "America's Funniest Home Videos." It is worth it to get to the theater a few minutes early to watch the amateur films of humans and animals caught in some embarrassing situations.

When Carrot Top appears, he hits the stage running and rarely slows down for 90 minutes.

His show consists of props, sound effects, photographs and music (usually part of a parody).

Carrot Top has been compared to fellow prop comics Gallagher and Rip Taylor.

But he's almost like a Henny Youngman on speed, if you consider each of Carrot Top's props a one-line joke.

Youngman ("Take my wife -- please") was king of the one-liners. He would go through dozens of one-line jokes during the course of a performance, just as Carrot Top goes through dozens of props.

There's the Amish hair dryer, the dinner plate for bulimics, a cookbook for those who don't cook (restaurants from the yellow pages tucked inside a Betty Crocker binder), Rosie O'Donnell's thong bikini and an endless array of others.

Much of his show is divided into segments -- there's a segment with several props dedicated to Michael Jackson; a NASCAR segment; a particularly long segment satirizing rednecks; and a rap music segment.

But there is plenty of non-sequitur prop humor, as Carrot Top seemingly pulls items at random from his trunk of tricks -- though in reality his routines are very well timed.

There is the cowboy boot with a kickstand so the cowboy won't fall over when he gets drunk; there's a pair of shoes for Tom Cruise that expand at the push of a button to make him several inches taller; and there's a microphone with a bong attached for Whitney Houston.

If you're looking for sophisticated comedy, this isn't it.

But if you're just looking for a good time and some easy laughs, Carrot Top provides both.

While some of his props miss their mark, there are so many of them that if you wait a minute or two he will inevitably pull something out of a trunk that will put a smile on your face.

Jerry Fink can be reached at 259-4058 or at [email protected]

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