Celeb celebrations: November
Here’s a great big birthday SMOOCH to all these Vegas-linked celebrity revelers this month. Perhaps we’ll even throw you a party, if you promise to dress appropriately – i.e., not in your birthday suit.
11/10: Don’t wrassle with the decision to wish Vegas-born wrestler Ryback — a former Palo Verde High School/CCSN/UNLV student and Monte Carlo hotel-casino employee — a thunderous 37th birthday. If you don’t extend congrats, you could wind up trying to survive his signature “Boulder Holder” and “Shell-Shocked” moves. Guess who’d win?
11/11: You won’t wind up snoozing with the fishes if you wish a happy 53rd birthday to local journalist/author/Mob Museum muckety-muck — i.e., senior director of content — Geoff Schumacher. For the celebration, leave the cake, but take the birthday cannoli. (If that doesn’t sound sorta familiar, re-watch The Godfather.)
11/12: Ring dem 33rd birthday bells for Arianny Celeste. The Vegas-born-and-bred UFC ring gal, who attended Eldorado High School and UNLV has also provided admirers quite an eyeful in the pages of FHM, Maxim and Playboy magazines and will appear in the upcoming Andy Dick flick, Brass Knuckles.
11/12: It would be quite fashionable to wish a happy 44th birthday to fashion designer/Vegas native Laura Dahl, who is also the sister of Las Vegas Academy graduate/Criminal Minds co-star Matthew Gray Gubler. If you want to throw her a birthday bash, be sure it’s a stylish one where the women wear only Dahl originals.
11/13: How about sending a mean birthday tweet to Vegas-raised late-night/Oscar night host Jimmy Kimmel to mark his 51st birthday? The popular funnyman is planning on opening his own comedy club here in town. You think he might book Jimmy Fallon and Stephen Colbert – just to keep an eye on the competition?
11/16: Though she never once took a Vegas stage to dance or warble a tune, give a 60th birthday shout-out to actress Marg Helgenberger. Why? She became part of the Vegas fabric for, well, examining blood spatter for a dozen years as showgirl-turned-forensic cop Catherine Willows on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. Can you name another showgirl — real or otherwise – who won two Emmy Awards?
11/17: Oh, what a night — every night that Jersey Boys lit up the Strip. And even though he hails from Da Bronx, his theatrical avatar was such an integral part of that enduring musical that we must salute singer/producer/Four Seasons legend Bob Gaudio on birthday No. 76. Dude still Walks Like a Man.
11/20: Who did Mom like best? Well, today it would have to be Dickie – as in the Dick Smothers half of the legendary Vegas stalwarts, The Smothers Brothers — who turns 79. No word, however, on the age of that famous upright bass fiddle he plucked for 45 years next to brother Tom. Oh, and let’s not forget that he also played a Nevada senator who incurs the wrath of Robert De Niro — never an advisable move — in Casino.
11/20: Somewhere, Joan Rivers is looking down and wishing an acerbic-but-loving 55th birthday wish to female impersonator/Joan Rivers doppleganger Frank Marino, Las Vegas’ proudest diva and the former star of the very-long-running An Evening at La Cage and Divas Las Vegas.
11/22: In memory of … Rodney Dangerfield, the iconic, sad-sack comedian who left us in 2004 at age 82 after a career that including headlining Vegas showrooms for 30-plus years. For a time, Dangerfield was also a Vegas resident. And if he were around today, he would, at age 97, have our profound respect.
11/25: Abracadabra — and just like that, local comedy-magician Murray Sawchuck presto-changes into a 45-year-old, while still up to both his old and new tricks at the Tropicana Hotel-Casino. Knowing the man dubbed “The Dennis the Menace of Magic” as we do, we wouldn’t be surprised if he could magically become 18 again.
11/26: In memory of …. Robert Goulet, and we still can’t fathom why the Vegas perennial who sang “If Ever I Could Leave You” did in fact leave us in 2007 at age 73. However, even if he were still with us today at age 85, the stunningly handsome star of Camelot could still play Sir Lancelot with utter believability — and that famous twinkle in his eye.
11/26: We get the distinct impression that impressionist/Vegas headliner-resident Rich Little is hitting a milestone by becoming an 80-year-old. We would wish him a happy birthday in the voices of Jimmy Stewart, Richard Nixon, Johnny Carson and Jack Benny, but he’s way better at it than we are.
— Steve Bornfeld