If you ever doubted that Las Vegas is a real, honest-to-goodness community like others all over the country, you only had to be in the ballroom at The Palms Sunday afternoon at 3 pm for the Second Annual Funny Bones benefit.
The Funny Bones Foundation was formed by comedian Sammy Shore and Matthew Brooks, DVM of the Town Center Animal Hospital. Its mission statement explains the organization was founded “to provide financial support to abandoned animals in need of advanced medical & surgical care that are under the care of established non-profit rescue organizations in Clark County by generating funds through comedy events and fund raising.”
It is, Shore notes, “the only Foundation that will bring all the Clark County rescues together. We focus on animals that don’t otherwise stand a chance by providing medical care for them.”
Last year, following the death of Shore’s pet, enlisting the help of musician James D’Arrigo and his wife Samantha Radcliffe D’Arrigo, owners of a company that designs and sells clothing for “dogs and their people,” they put on the first fundraiser. With the help of a host of performers, they raised $16,000.
This year’s show, in addition to Shore — serving with Bobby Slayton as co-host — brought together comedians Gilbert Gottfried (“I love animals. I love bacon.”), Fielding West, Vinnie Favorito. Sammy’s son Pauly Shore, Louis Anderson, James P. Connolly, Dennis Blair, Robert Duchaine, George Wallace and Geechy Guy. Also on the bill were actress Catherine Hickland who is now focusing on hypnotism, The Rat Pack Show’s Sammy Davis, Jr., Doug Starks, and female impersonator Kenny Kerr. Singer Domenick Allen paid tribute to Charlie Callas, the comedian who died last week.
That this is a generous city was demonstrated by the packed house and warm reception that greeted every performer. In addition, George Wallace (who was in San Francisco and New York earlier that day), invited everyone in the audience to bring their Funny Bones ticket stub to the Flamingo during February to be admitted to see him for free.
The show ran more than three hours but the energy of performers and audience never flagged and, as they left, audience members were talking about next year’s event with obvious anticipation.