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Pay-to-play is big business in Vegas

By Chuckmonster on Monday, 20th March 2006 2:24pm
  » filed under Las Vegas  comments: 0


To pitch his product, George Wallace has glad-handed every concierge in Las Vegas and talked up hundreds of taxi and limo drivers. He's gotten up at 4 a.m. to do drive-time radio on the East Coast.

He's pored over spreadsheets, working to stretch the hundreds of thousands of dollars he spends on billboard, newspaper and radio ads.

Then, shortly after 10 p.m. five nights a week, Wallace steps onto a stage he rents at the Flamingo Hotel and Casino and presents cocktail-sipping audiences with what he's been selling: the George Wallace show.

Wallace, 53, is a comedian, a friendly bear of a man who once wrote jokes for Redd Foxx. Now he draws laughs with a grumpy shtick of his own, a harangue on subjects ranging from a nephew in baggy pants "I wanted to kick his tail, but I didn't know where it was" to indulgent ministers who preach "six commandments and four do-the-best-you-cans."

But to perform his comedy, Wallace also has had to become an entrepreneur of sorts. He takes a multimillion-dollar risk by literally paying to play in Las Vegas.



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