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December 18, 2014

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Brad Garrett riffs on running in a Speedo, his canceled TV series and the first anniversary of his club

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Steven Joseph Photography / Courtesy

Comedian Brad Garrett hosted the annual Camelot fundraiser for Opportunity Village on Nov. 15. Garrett helped raise funds for Opportunity Village by auctioning off a painting at the fundraiser.

Brad Garrett's 2012 Charity Poker Tournament

Brad Garrett's annual Maximum Hope Foundation Charity Poker Tournament at MGM Grand on Saturday, Sept. 22, 2012. Launch slideshow »

Brad Garrett's Poker Tournament at Tropicana

Brad Garrett's Maximum Hope Foundation Poker Tournament included Annie Duke, Jason Alexander, Ray Romano, Larry and Camille Ruvo, Cheryl Hines and Jose Canseco at the Tropicana on Sept. 17, 2011. Launch slideshow »

Plans for a Speedo, bikini and swim shorts run through downtown as an Opportunity Village fundraiser next Tuesday have been postponed at the last moment. It was to also serve as the official registration kickoff and sign-up drive for the annual Santa Claus 5K Christmas marathon, which is still set for December.

Comedian Brad Garrett was to serve as host for the inaugural one-mile Ho Ho Speed Oh Santa Run. Several of the Strip's entertainers had also pledged support to run in the flimsiest of outfits and provide live entertainment at the four-hour event.

“Its unlike anything we’ve ever done before” said an Opportunity Village spokesman before the temporary postponement. No new date has yet been set.

Brad told me: “I wasn’t going to strip down to a Speedo. I don’t want to have a heart attack because I have a show to do the same night. I’m not a runner, Robin, so if you think I can achieve one mile of running in a Speedo, you probably fell off a cruise.

“But remember, Louie Anderson just did the 'Splash' television series, so anything could happen.

“When I look at the Speedo, it seems to me like a scorned ex wife designed it. She said, 'What can make his standout anatomy look smaller and his gut look bigger?' In Europe, it's mandatory beachwear. At least if you've got cut off shorts, you leave something to the imagination, there’s a mystery about it.”

To television viewers there’s still a mystery as to why Brad’s latest ABC TV series, “How To Live with Your Parents (For The Rest of Your Life)” was canceled. But not to the 6-foot-8 comic: “You know what the reality is? I’ve been doing this a long time and when they give you the best time slot in television after 'Modern Family' you have to bring it, and we didn’t bring it. They gave us a great, great time slot and the show just didn’t grab the audience. So onward and upward, my good friend.

“I’m working on the sequel 'Nemo, Finding Dory,' for Disney and Pixar. We are about to start recording that and there’s a couple ideas for a couple other shows out there that I will be meeting on next week and we’ll see what else I can get canceled. What can I tell ya?

“I’m contractually consigned to my comedy club in the basement of the MGM, but since it's six feet under sea level I call it the original mob museum. I’m really happy with our first year there, though. It’s everything we dreamed of and more, Robin. We’re getting great audiences even when I’m not there and tremendous ones when I am there.

Despite the unexpected postponement of the Opportunity Village downtown run, Brad remains firmly committed to the organization. He told me: “I went there with some of the executives from the MGM -- they’ve been supporters there for quite a while -- and I spent three hours there and was just blown away by how the community has made a place for people with special needs. Not only to feel loved and wanted and actually be able to be educated, but they make you feel valuable; they have jobs.

“The different hotels, especially the MGM properties, have actually given them daily jobs where they’re able to feel important, they’re able to feel a part of the Vegas Community, and they get a paycheck at the end of every week. It’s a place where they’re literally picked up at their home, they’re brought to Opportunity Village, there’s classes of music, classes of art, and it’s extraordinary. They do half of the baking for the MGM as far as the cookies and they wrap the little mints that go on the bed. I mean go and you see this, and they take such pride in it because most of their lives they were made to believe that there wasn’t a niche for them, and there really is."

Brad is also committed to his own annual poker tournament charity: “I didn’t want to hit you up for it yet, but it’s Saturday, Oct. 19, again at the MGM. I met with the wonderful charitable Wolfgang Puck who will be doing the food for all the poker players. That’s a huge get for us. As always, so grateful for your shout-outs outs with that because it really helped us last year. We had a record attendance of 300 people and we’re hoping to do that again this year. We’re limited in size but if we can do 300 again that would be great.

“Ray Romano is going to co-host with me and we’re going to have another great time. I’d love for you to kick it off with 'shuffle up-cards in the air.' That to me is an honor anytime you want to be a part of it.”

Opportunity Village has promised to let us know if and when the Speedo run is rescheduled.

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