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Downtown And Want To See A Show? See Gordie Brown

December 20, 2012 at 8:52 PM | by | ()

Gordie Brown was "Downtown" long before Tony Hsieh discovered the place.

We've never seen this comedian-singer-impressionist before and had formed an erroneous opinion he was performing one of those George Burns, Kermit and Louis Armstrong, "and now me" shows. We were wrong. And, when offered a media invite check it out, we didn't know we'd be so surprised. Somewhere along the way it appears as if Gordie decided to put on a fun show that made him happy. He became self aware. And, it's a bizarre mix of strange jokes and odd directions. A thoroughly entertaining mix.

A talented singer, with a tight backing band and, yes, a true talent for mimicry, a main feature of the act is spinning impressions into parody songs. The best description we heard was if "Weird Al" Yankovic did impersonations. They often turn surreal in content. The lyrics of Coldplay's "Clocks" are turned into a song about having a cold. Because they are 'playing' with a 'cold.' But, how many others do an impersonation of Chris Martin? He currently fits into a generational midpoint between Terry Fator and Rich Little. We saw all three this year and Gordie was our favorite. At the very least, he has to be the only performer out there who bridges his crowd's age and cultural interests by singing as R.E.M., Green Day, Alanis Morissette, Ray Charles, Randy Travis, Eminem and Tony Bennett. That last one's a real keeper. He has Paul Simon doing a stand-up comedy act. Willie Nelson? The pot jokes and tax jokes write themselves.

Here’s a promotional video created by the Golden Nugget. It’s a lot safer in content than some of his racier gags:

Some jokes hit, some miss. Some are directed just to the hard-working band. Some are just for Gordie to make himself laugh. Don't like one gag, wait 20 seconds. They'll be another right along. Relentless. There's zero slacking on stage, even in a mid-week show. Gordie will remind you of that. Even point out the empty seats. This is brave, confident stuff. And, frequently very funny. We defy you to laugh out loud, as the kids say. (Lots of age jokes in this show. And, the audience certainly skews older.)

It's certainly one of the most self-deprecating shows we've ever seen. Gordie warns younger folks in the audience will need to Google certain impressions, like Neil Diamond. He does a running series of George Bush and Dick Cheney gags. And, mocks their expiration date.

It's frequently raunchy and often weird. Very non-PC. The loose and relaxed performance allows him to drop in strange quips. Think a Fremont Street vibe. Not fancy, a bit rough around the edges. At least three Brokeback Mountain jokes. A clever Michael Bublé bit. Johnny Mathis singing Led Zeppelin made us laugh. Nat King Cole dueting with Natalie, minus Natalie, is just good dumb fun. Yes, you'll get impressionist standbys of Jimmy Stewart and Jack Nicholson, but his repertoire runs to dozens of voices. The advertising proclaims him the "World's Greatest Impressionist." A bold claim. But, he certainly has huge range and skills.

The second floor showroom is quite nice. The fabulous shimmering sign out front is pure Vegas. As is Gordie's very funny Elvis finale. Tickets need to be picked up and bought on the ground floor which confuses a few people who make their way upstairs. We suspect there are a lot of comps and discount tickets fueling this venture. Which is fine. It certainly didn't dissipate the energy on the stage.

This may be one of the biggest surprises we've witnessed this year. Shows run Tuesday to Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and there are all sorts of offers connected to his show, including buffet combinations. Look out for discounts in the local free coupon books. But go in with no expectations and enjoy the show. We were surprised we did. Downtown show options are limited but if you don’t want to venture to the Strip and have an open mind, Gordie Brown will start off your evening’s Fremont Street experience just right.

Archived Comments:

Saw him a few years back

BEST SHOW for the money EVER!!!!!!!!!!   I really enjoyed his comedy, and laughed incredibly hard. His impressions are fantastic.

You are bang on when saying "he does a show that suits him" This is very true, he is very comfortable with what hes doing, his audiences, and the nugget and his shows are all the better for it.

Wouldn't hesitate recommending him any day

Plus One

I've seen Gordie's show 3 times in the past year.  His high-energy performance is great, the showroom is gorgeous, and there's lots to appreciate.  He really works HARD!  Great value, too.  The show/buffet package is a steal.  

4 out of 10

While a couple of his impressions are SPOT ON, Overall I was hoping they would get someone better. Honestly... he's NOT that great! IMHO!

Gordie is okay...

It took me quite a while to go to one of Gordie Brown's Shows...I'd been totally spoiled by Danny Gans, by far the best impressionist entertainer Las Vegas has seen but...one year I got a Gordie tic and was pleasantly surprised.

Entertaining, yes...
Quality of voices, so-so...
It's the spin he puts on the voices, turning them into more of a comedy gag than a spot on impression. That's his deal, and it works great for him. Seen him 3 times now over the years.

Last year when I caught his Show again at the Nugget however, he really disappointed me by his lack of homework he 'hadn't' done in re to 2 of his routines.

He had no understanding of the Green Day song he chose, and made fun of Billy's song he'd written about the death of his father.
The other was the picture he painted of Niel Young being a totally drug crazed hippie which was very off base too and both just rubbed me the wrong way.

 I can only assume both songs were picked because of the popularity of the artists, but little research was done about the songs themselves. Unfortunately, the audience was just as ill informed as Gordie and saw no flaw in the routines.
I just expected more out of Brown because he is a talented, professional, entertainer.

Gordie Brown's Show is worth a ticket. The showroom is small, and an up front/centerish seat just adds to the fun.