Vegas on TV

September 3-9

The Godfather (Sept. 3, 12:30 p.m., AMC): C’mon, you remember this 1972 classic’s Vegas connection, don’cha? Ya know, when the Corleones muscle in on the territory of Bugsy Siegel-inspired Moe Green (Alex Rocco) — who is later shot through the eye (Bugsy-style!) but not before he accuses Corleone weak link Fredo (John Cazale) of, um, making love to (not exactly his phrasing) cocktail waitresses two at a time. It’s coming back to you, right?

 Rush Hour 2 (Sept. 3, 4:55 p.m. and Sept. 7, 12:25 a.m., MAX): Cop cutups Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker somehow wind up in our town (don’t ask how) at the “Red Dragon” hotel-casino to solve a counterfeit money laundering scam in this 2001 martial arts laugher-sequel. Guess who played the Red Dragon? The now-defunct Desert Inn, which had already closed before filming began, but was all dressed up in a Chinese-palace theme.

 American Ninja Warrior: Las Vegas Finals Night (Sept. 3, 8 p.m., NBC; and Sept. 6, noon, 1 p.m., 2 p.m., 3 p.m., 7 p.m., NBCSN): Ridiculously toned athletes face off right here for our entertainment and amusement.

Pool Kings: Vegas Jackpot Swimming Pool (Sept. 3, 8:30 p.m. and Sept. 4, 3:30 a.m., DIY): A Vegas family hits the aquatic jackpot when the titular Pool Kings (Paul and Brian) turn a narrow desert yard into a wonderland of splash pads, an outdoor kitchen and a volleyball net. We’re very happy for them.

Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern — Vegas Road Trip (Sept. 4, 7 p.m., TRAVEL): Zimmern’s “voyage of self-discovery” sends him across the Mojave Desert, climaxing in a meal with our very own veggie-monikered Carrot Top. Beware, Zimmie: Foods are favorite Carrot Top props. He might eat them. Or he might fling them. But at least you’ll get them with a giant side dish of shtick.

Leaving Las Vegas (Sept. 5, midnight, SHO and Sept. 8, 3:20 a.m. SHO2e): Downbeat but poignant — and featuring an Oscar-winning performance from Nicolas Cage — this 1995 drama finds Ben Sanderson (Cage), an alcoholic Hollywood screenwriter, arriving in town for an intentionally fatal bender. Along his drunken path, he connects with Sera (Elisabeth Shue), a sympathetic prostitute, forming a sad but unique bond. Famously intense in his acting approach, Cage reportedly prepared for his role by filming himself drunk to study his inebriated speech patterns. Whether that constitutes method acting or a weird way to pick up bar hookups is up for debate.

 The Las Vegas Story (Sept. 5, 4:15 p.m., TCM): 1952. Vegas and film noir? They go together like bagels and lox. And it gets pretty noir-ish in this 1952 entry co-produced by Howard Hughes and toplined by Jane Russell and Victor Mature, with support from Hoagy Carmichael and Vincent Price. In a suspenseful nutshell: a planned Vegas robbery results in murder, deceit and umpteen complications. Keep an eye out for a few of the era’s Vegas locales, as some of the flick was shot here. Historical nugget: The Las Vegas Story was mainly scripted by Paul Jarrico, who was denied screen credit by Hughes because of Jarrico’s pro-communist views that got him blacklisted during the Sen. Joseph McCarthy-era communist-hunting hysteria.

 The Hangover (Sept. 5, 5:35 p.m., MOMAX): Cinematically speaking, our city is still hung over from The Hangover, the raucous 2009 comedy about a missing groom and a bachelor party gone off the rails that is a veritable Vegas smorgasbord. Bradley Cooper, Zack Galifanakis and Heather Graham (as a stripper/escort, of course) topline this Vegas joyride that gives us such sights as a tiger in a bathroom, a chicken in a living room, a baby in a closet, a mattress impaled on a Caesars Palace statue and a naked man in the trunk of a Mercedes. … Oh, and Mike Tyson.

Friends: The One in Vegas (Sept. 6, 2 and 2:30 p.m., TBS): In this two-parter, the gang goes to Vegas to visit Joey, while Chandler and Monica celebrate their first anniversary as a couple and literally roll the dice on whether to get married. Quippy one-liners spew out like the Bellagio fountains. Now everybody sing: “So no one told you life was gonna be this way …”

Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives — All Vegas, All the Time (Sept. 7, 6 p.m., FOOD): Guy Fieri cooks up a Vegas storm with students at UNLV, which is also his alma mater. And since he’s here, he might as well check out a Bulgarian tapas joint. What a Guy.

My Lottery Dream Home — Vegas Dream House (Sept. 7, 6 p.m., HGTV): A retired boxer searches for — yup, you guessed it — his Vegas dream home. He plans to buy it with his $1 million scratch-off winnings. That should be enough scratch to get a really dreamy one.

The Hangover Part III (Sept. 8, 9:45 a.m., TBS): All hail the return of the Wolfpack in this 2013 trilogy-ender in which the gang (Bradley Cooper, El Helms and Justin Bartha) try to get off-his-meds Zack Galifianakis back on track with a road trip to You-Know-Where. Bring on the mayhem, dudes.

Futurama: Viva Mars (Sept. 8, 11:03 p.m., SYFY): Animated satire sets its futuristic sights on Las Vegas — on Mars, of course. Among the visual Vegas riffs: a shrimp buffet, a white tiger, a jacuzzi, acrobats and a suit made entirely out of cash.  In this episode, the crew attempts a casino heist to recover stolen goods. Isn’t it nice to know that even in the 31st century, the central plot point from “Ocean’s 11” still survives?

— Steve Bornfeld

Dates, times and channels provided by All times are Pacific, check your local listings for your time zone and channel guide.

Previous post

Channeling history

Next post

Vegas Movie Quips: September 2018

Las Vegas Newswire

Las Vegas Newswire