Brad Garrett’s Comedy Club
At a Glance
What is it?
A comedy club from former “Everybody Loves Raymond” star Brad Garrett.
Where is it?
In the Underground (the underground shopping arcade between the lobby and the parking garage) at MGM Grand on the South Strip.
Is it worth the cost?
It depends on who will be performing.
Why should I see this show?
You are a fan of stand up comedy.
What else do I need to know?
Brad Garrett performs here about once a month; the rest of the time it hosts other stand-up comedians.
What’s the bottom line?
A guy walks into a bar…
I don’t normally review comedy clubs since the experience of visiting one usually totally depends on the people standing on stage trying to make you laugh. If they’re good, then you’ll probably have a good time regardless of the specifics of how the club is laid out or how the service from the wait staff was. Bad comedians will ruin a terrific theater and great cocktail service. Since most of the comedy clubs in Vegas – like most comedy clubs pretty much everywhere – don’t have a regular set of comics, it’s impossible for me to tell you if the show you are going to see is any going to be any good or not.
Brad Garrett’s Comedy Club at the MGM Grand is a bit different. It’s got all the comedy club tropes including caricatures and pictures of funny people all over the walls, cocktail tables and chairs with a few booths, and a small stage and a microphone. But what it also has is the club’s namesake, comedian and actor Brad Garrett.
He may be best known for his role as the long-suffering brother of Ray Romano’s character on “Everybody Loves Raymond,” but Garrett has been doing standup comedy for decades and has had a host of other roles in movies and on TV, including a 2013/2014 stint in a recurring role as Robin Williams uptight, gay business partner on “The Crazy Ones.”
Garrett isn’t on stage every night at his eponymous club but he is there often enough that you should be paying attention to the schedule when you are booking a trip to Vegas. It’s worth the extra effort and extra few bucks to catch a show with him acting as the opening act and emcee.
Those expecting the family-friendly Robert Romano will be in for a bit of a surprise. Garrett’s stand-up style is more in keeping with Don Rickles, with insults aimed at pretty much every social, racial, and gender target hurled at various audience members with stunning speed. In other, less capable hands, this type of comedy usually either offends or bores me, but Garrett is so crafty that he managed to not only make me laugh, but made the people he was insulting laugh even harder. I think it’s because he wasn’t telling hateful jokes about Mexicans in general, but rather teasing the specific couple of Mexican descent in the front row and poking fun at the race-related stereotypes we all at least know about. His material doesn’t come off as mean-spirited or angry and despite its decidedly R-rated, boundary crossing nature, feels downright good-natured. It’s just a joke, folks.
However, be warned: don’t sit in the front row if you don’t want to be the butt of the jokes. The second row is a little iffy, also.
Garrett’s long history in the stand-up comedy world means that his club probably has the pull to be able to book better-than-average comedians. The three I saw along with Garrett were all accomplished – with numerous “Tonight Show” appearances, comedy specials, and the like – but more importantly they were consistently funny. Again, your mileage may vary. Here’s a hint: check the schedule and then go on YouTube to catch some clips of the comedians that will be performing when you are considering a visit. It’ll help you determine whether or not these will be people you want to spend a couple of hours with.
And again, not that it matters all that much, but the club itself is very nice although hard to find if you don’t know where to look. It’s in the MGM Grand Underground shopping arcade, which goes from the lobby to the parking garage. They put a lot of chairs in a fairly small space but it didn’t feel too crowded, the chairs were comfortable, and the sightlines were good. They offer a full bar of moderately high-priced drinks and three different kinds of gourmet popcorn, all served by attentive cocktail waitresses. I’ve been to most of the comedy clubs in town and this one has the best vibe as far as I’m concerned.
Just remember my warning about the front row.