Las Vegas File: Renaissance Man Gordie Brown

Image Credit: Credit Julian LeBallisteLast week OneTravel chatted with Vegas Celebrity Chef Carla Pellegrino. Today Diana continues her search for Las Vegas' most interesting personalities during an interview with singer, comedian, and impressionist Gordie Brown.  


Gordie Brown wasn’t always a Las Vegas performer. In fact, there was a time when the Montreal-born Brown was a political cartoonist for the Ottawa Sunday Herald before he made the switch to entertainment. It was there his co-workers entered him into a talent contest that would change Brown’s life.


The talented performer came in first place, and then it was official: Brown wanted to entertain. With only a suitcase in hand, he took off to Las Vegas to try his luck on the show circuit. Within his first two years, Brown was opening for fellow Canadians Paul Anka and Rich Little, as well as many other stars including Jay Leno, Barry Manilow and Jerry Seinfeld.


With his success in Vegas, Brown decided to move to LA to see if he could make it as a stand-up comedian, landing on A&E’s “Evening at the Improv.” From there, his career took off, resulting in billing on popular shows such as “Hollywood squares” and more. During this time, Brown was approached by Harrah’s Corporation to create a one-man show. It debuted in Reno and netted him numerous awards, including “Best Show” and “Entertainer of the Year.”


Fresh off of his success in Reno, Brown returned to Las Vegas, headlining at many venues including The Venetian and Planet Hollywood. When Strip performer Celine Dion went on her most recent world tour, Brown joined her, opening the shows with his unique blend of stand-up and music. Today, his show is housed at The Golden Nugget. Guests can take in his humor, masterful impersonations and singing in the newly renovated Gordie Brown Showroom.


You went from a political cartoonist to a performer. If you could do a political cartoon today, what would it be about?


Gordie Brown: Well it is usually about current events, so if I were to do a political cartoon today it would be about the Rupert Murdoch scandal. I would draw him with all these bugging devices around his neck, sitting across from a psychic, trying to channel Richard Nixon to get some advice.


You've performed at Venetian, Planet Hollywood and Golden Nugget. What is your favorite thing about each of these resorts?


Brown: Venetian: I love the ornate building; it is spectacular!

Planet Hollywood: I had good parking, and I got to see my good friend, David Saxe every day.

Golden Nugget: From the owner of the building, Tilman Fertitta, on down, we are all a close family. The building, along with the showroom have such class. There are amazing restaurants, the pool ... and great parking!


If you could impersonate one Las Vegas personality, who would it be?


Brown: Barry Manilow


You do some really interesting impressions of today's and yesterday's big newsmakers. Who is your favorite person to do?


Brown: Al Pacino, George Bush, Nicolas Cage, Christopher Walken ... all a close call.


Do you ever get time to see other shows in Las Vegas? If so, what is one you could see over and over again?


Brown: Of course, Celine Dion. She’s beyond great.  Barry Manilow is brilliant.  Also, I truly enjoy David Saxe's, Vegas! The Show.


When you want a good dinner out, where do you go?


Brown: There are so many great places in Las Vegas to eat. Besides every great restaurant at the Golden Nugget, I love Capo's, Joe's Stone Crab, and Il Mulino. Near the area where I live, Gaetano's.


What's your favorite place to visit Off-Strip?


Brown: During the day, Green Valley Ranch District, and after the show, Capo's Italian Restaurant.


If you could write a theme song about Las Vegas, what would it be called?


Brown: I already wrote one, and it's called "A Strip of Vegas."


Right now your show is Downtown. Do you have a place Downtown you like to visit? If not, is there a place you would like to check out Downtown?


Brown: Hugo's Cellar [Four Queens]... It's awesome! Albert, the maître d’ is British and so wonderful.


I love Las Vegas because ...


Brown: It's the entertainment capital of the world, and the best of everything I love can be found here; hotels, restaurants, entertainers, nightlife, weather, and of course my family.



Want to catch Gordie's one man show for yourself? Get to Sin City for less with OneTravel's cheap flights to Las Vegas



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