Las Vegas Legends

LAS VEGAS LEGENDS
STEVE ALLEN & JAYNE MEADOWS

 


"Humor is a social lubricant that helps us get over some of the bad spots."
- Steve Allen

Frank Sinatra

Dean Martin

Dean Martin Live in Las Vegas

Frank Sinatra
with Dean Martin

Jerry Vale

Sammy Davis, Jr.

Elvis

Lola Falana

Don Rickles

Sonny & Cher

The Supremes

Steve Allen and Jayne Meadows

Edgar Bergen & Charlie McCarthy

Louis Prima

Pat Cooper

Johnny Carson

Mort Lindsey

Liberace

Totie Fields

Wayne Newton

George Carlin

Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme

Redd Foxx

Las Vegas & The Mob

Henny Youngman

Rodney Dangerfield

How Las Vegas Has Changed Since the 1970s

How Las Vegas Has Changed Since the 1960s

More on How Las Vegas Has Changed Over the Years

Vegas Fashion

Joan Rivers

Las Vegas Postcards

Let Vegas Come to You

BONUS: Garry Shandling in Las Vegas

Steve Allen / comedian / Las Vegas Legend

Los Angeles Times, March 12, 1961: "Many-faceted Steve Allen reveals yet another facet Thursday when he invades the Las Vegas gold coast for the first time. With him for his assault on the Flamingo hotel will be his wife, Jayne Meadows; mother, vaudevillian Belle Montrose; and Gabe Dell, a regular from his television show. They will be accompanied by three black caskets. As Steve tells it: 'We broke the act in last week in Fresno. About the only problem was transporting three black caskets around. It looks pretty weird when you come up to a motel and instead of suitcases you unload coffins."



Known primarily as the pioneer of television talk and variety, humorist Steve Allen was also a big draw in Las Vegas, you can see him and his wife Jayne Meadows briefly in the movie Casino as Robert DeNiro's character is walking around the showroom.

Steve Allen was a practiciner of observational humor, he was quick witted which msade him especially suited to the talk show game. We don't have examples of his Vegas act but this Tonight Show clip will give you an idea of his easy going manner.

 

Steve Allen and Jayne Meadows first played The Flamingo back in 1961. Meadows told reporter STEPHEN MICHAEL SHEARER, "We just looked at each other. We both sat there horrified, me particularly. With Steve it didn't matter, he was a brilliant comedian and all. But I thought, 'What in the world am I going to do?' when I saw all those girls, half-naked most of them!"

"I looked at Steve and said, 'I can't do it!' And he said to me: 'We have to. We've already signed the contract.' And I thought, 'This is ridiculous!' I knew why we were invited to appear there. Steve was the 'fair-haired kid' on television having started 'The Tonight Show,' literally inventing late night television. And he was a comic legend. I had been on a hit television show ('I've Got a Secret'), which was rated number five for seven years in a row. But I mean, I was the daughter of Anglican Catholic (High Episcopal) missionaries, born and raised in China. I never thought I would be on a stage in Las Vegas!"

They triumphed with a blending of standup and sketch comedy; in fact their initial run was extended and Steve Allen and Jayne Meadows became a mainstay on the neon Strip. As a couple they exemplified the quiet elegance Las Vegas strove for.

If you want to see, in action, a Casino in the movies, check out Casino starring Robert DeNiro. In it you'll see Stevo and his wife Jayne Meadows.

Steve Allen passed away in 2000, he had written an untold number of books and over 14,000 songs including "Impossible", "This Could Be the Start of Something Big", and the "Theme from Picnic."


BONUS: Here we have Steve along with Johnny Carson prank calling fellow talk show host Jack Paar.

 

From a 1959 show with the Three Stooges:

 

 

"I used to be a heavy gambler. But now I just make mental bets. That's how I lost my mind."
- Steve Allen

"The hair is real - it's the
head that's a fake."
- Steve Allen


STEVE ALLEN
& JAYNE MEADOWS

YOUR GO-GO HOST: Billy Ingram

Punk Book
Punk - a look at the gay and Punk / post-Punk landscape in Los Angeles in 1980.

 

"Man, I really like Vegas." - Elvis

 

 


Las Vegas Legends