Labor Day Laughs

Experiencing comedy served up as a variety show at the Riverside Resort was simply an experiment four years ago. The powers that be often test the waters to see if a popular show in Vegas or elsewhere will do well in Laughlin. Some shows fare better than others. The once a year comedy festival held over Labor Day weekend is one of the successes.
Audiences loved it. It was like discovering a hidden gem on the entertainment landscape — more along the lines of an underground club in Vegas, known only to a lucky few.
The word is out and the End of Summer Comedy Festival is back at Don’s Celebrity Theater, to celebrate the season’s final days over the holiday weekend. What better way to send off summer than to spend it laughing?
The show consists of a full slate of comedians performing each night, on one stage. Emcee and performer Gabe Lopez will lead the charge. The lineup includes twins Cory and Chad Edwards (a.k.a. the Smash Brothers), DJ Cooch, Kabir Singh and Greg Wilson.
“This is our fifth year back in Laughlin,” Lopez said. “I can’t even believe it. We’ll have the same lineup every night. We’re trying to bring a little bit of everything and I want to make sure the crowd knows it’s really getting five headliners.”
Each performer headlines comedy clubs across the country but audiences will get a condensed version of their acts to keep the show at 90 to 100 minutes.
“We want to hear, ‘Oh, I like that guy, oh, I liked that guy better, oh, I like this one even better,’ that’s the goal,” Gabe said.
What makes this year’s show different? Fans of past shows picked the lineup.
“We went through an online vote last year for all the people in the Bullhead City and Laughlin area, basically everybody who lives there locally,” Lopez said. “It was real organic where I was writing down their responses when we asked them who their favorite comedians were out of the four previous shows. Luckily I was one of them—and then the other four—the five of us were the top ‘vote-getters.’
“In my opinion, this is the best lineup we’ve had in the five years we’ve been out there because each comic is a beast in his own right,” he added.
The twins, DJ Cooch and Lopez performed all five years. Kabir participated last year.
“Greg Wilson was there two or three years ago, and people still remembered him,” Lopez said. “It just made my job easy this year and it just all came together. This is the only comedy that the Riverside does, so we really, really, really want to prove ourselves and hopefully get invited back next year.”
Lopez said creating the lineup himself is usually challenging because of egos. But these guys have learned to leave those in the suitcase, at least for five days.
“You have to ask yourself, ‘okay, who is funny and who is going to fit in,’ because literally the five of us are spending 24 hours a day together for five days straight,” he added. “So also the question is, ‘can we tolerate each other?’
“For the most part, we’re alone,” he explained. “We’re all headlining in our own spots, so we just have to see about ourselves. But this is a special case where all five of us will be together. Everybody’s excited but then we’re concerned when it’s Saturday afternoon and someone’s thinking, ‘I’m starting to get sick and tired of this guy’s chatty mouth’…that type of thing.
“Then come the following week, it’s ‘I miss you guys.’ Those are the text messages that start coming in. ‘Remember last week when we were partying all night long?’ ‘Yeah, remember when you were in my car and you threw up outside the window, but the window was still closed and it all went inside my car? Remember that?'”

More about the lineup…
Gabe Lopez began doing stand-up over a decade ago when he was given the opportunity to perform at open mic night at the Improv Comedy Club in L.A. He produces a comedy show in Vegas called “The Dirty at 12:30,” offered up at the Grandview Lounge inside the South Point Hotel and Casino. A version of that show is what he brings to Laughlin.
So a word of caution here—these shows will contain strong language, adult subject matter, and sexual content. In other words, adults only please.
“My comedy style is very observational and uncensored,” he said. “I start shows like the one we do at “Dirty at 12:30” by telling people it’s a very open-minded show. If you’re easily offended, get out. That sets the tone. In the first minute I bring up my talented friends and we knock it out of the park.

Smash Brothers
Cory and Chad Edwards, a.k.a. The Smash Brothers are identical twins born and raised outside of East L.A., by a mail carrier mother and a crazy biker dad. Cory, is the so-called “Good Twin,” with a laid-back style that keeps the duo grounded. Chad is the “Evil Twin” with wild party stories.
“Obviously we’re identical twins, so we talk about a lot of things that we can do nobody else can do,” they say. “For instance, I used my brother’s driver’s license until I was 25 years old.
“As we’re getting older our comedy is talking about the differences between people over 30 compared to today’s newer generation. We talk about how they’re disconnected and they don’t go outside and play any more. When we were kids, from the minute we woke up until the streetlights came on, we were never inside the house. Otherwise, you had to do chores.”

DJ Cooch
Jorge Aldana (a.k.a. DJ Cooch) is a West Coast DJ/remixer who had his own show at Universal Citywalk called the “Latino Dance Party.” He parlayed his DJ ability (in multiple languages) into a comedy career.
“My comedy is physical,” he said. “You’ll see more action in my show. I don’t do dirty, though I cuss here and there. But I don’t go for that ‘wow he’s really dirty’ thing. I go for stuff about my situation, what’s going on in my life, things I see. It’s my connection to the audience that works. They know it’s coming from the heart.”

Kabir Singh
Singh should sound pretty familiar to lovers of comedy in Laughlin. He took home first-place prize in 2017 at the Laughlin Laugh Fest Knights of Comedy competition.
Singh has been performing in comedy clubs and winning comedy competitions across the country for years. Hailing from Portland, Oregon, Singh is the 2009 and 2010 winner of the major Bay Area Stand-up Comedy Competition beating over 160 comics from all over the U.S, and the 2014 San Francisco International Comedy Competition.
His humor is all about his Indian heritage, growing up in Portland, Oregon with his stereotypical parents. It didn’t take Singh long to realize it wouldn’t be easy making friends at school, so he used his comedy to help with that, becoming known as the funniest Indian kid in Oregon, not too difficult considering he was the only Indian kid in Oregon.
When he was 9, his family moved to Bombay, India where he was bullied for being American, which taught him how to make people laugh in no less than three languages. So his life experiences and culture clashes give his comedy a whole different perspective.
Singh also successfully toured the UK and Asia with sold out shows, on his 14-city international tour in 2015.

Greg Wilson
Greg Wilson started his comedy career as a member of the Ad Libs, a Dallas improv theater troupe. He went on to develop his own shows: “The Comedy Madhouse” in Las Vegas and later, “The Greg Wilson’s Stand-Up!SMACKDOWN!” in New York City. He is a regular performer at major comedy clubs and has appeared in a variety of television series, including “Modern Family.”


END OF SUMMER COMEDY FESTIVAL

Don’s Celebrity Theatre at the Riverside

Thursday-Sunday, Aug. 30-Sept. 2 (8 p.m.)

See “Showtimes” for ticket info