Bankers Casino in Salinas launches live comedy with half of Kid ‘n’ Play.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Entertainment and gambling have a symbiotic relationship in Las Vegas and Atlantic City. So why not in Salinas?
Recently, with the grand opening of a VIP Lounge and restaurant, Bankers Casino on Monterey Street in Salinas added food and live entertainment to their roster of card play (Texas hold ’em, draw poker and blackjack).
To help break in the VIP Lounge, Bankers hosts an all-star comedy night featuring Los Angeles-based comedians Christopher “Kid” Reid, Darren Carter and Sebastian Cetina on Friday, June 12.
The story of Bankers Casino began in August 2008, when local businessmen Hector Campos Sr. and Sal Jimenez turned the old-school Moose Lounge into a state-of-the-art, 24-hour card room.
“We wanted to have something with a big-city feel,” Jimenez says. “It’s something people in the area have wanted for a long time so they don’t have to drive to San Jose or San Francisco.”
The new lounge takes the visions of Jimenez and Campos further, bringing it closer to a true casino experience: It features comfy couches, large-screen projectors and a live performance area; the restaurant, meanwhile, serves fresh seafood and steak with a Latin flare prepared by Chef Manny Gastelum, former owner of El Camaron in Oldtown Salinas. Currently, only beer and wine are offered but a full liquor license is in the works.
Jimenez says that adding the entertainment facet to Bankers Casino will yield bigger turnouts. The VIP Lounge will regularly host an R&B night, karaoke, Latin music night and, of course, a comedy night.
The three comedians perfoming in Friday’s show have had widespread success, with appearances on Comedy Central, HBO, Showtime, Last Comic Standing, and Comicview.
Christopher “Kid” Reid, known for his foot-high-top fade haircut and his ’80s hip-hop duo, Kid ‘n’ Play, has since cut his hair and started a career in comedy.
Reid’s take on dating: “I date black women because they’re supremely confident even when they’re 1,000 percent wrong. I was driving with my lady the other day and she said to look at the speed thermometer because I was driving too fast. I said ‘Don’t you mean odometer?’ She said, ‘Odometer? That’s the black guy running for president.’”
Comedian Darren Carter has blown up around Los Angeles for his dead-on impression of Snoop Dogg. Snoop himself was so impressed by Carter’s impression that he asked him to perform at his annual family reunion.
“You can’t help but feel happy when you see Snoop. He has that look like everything’s going to be OK. You should put him at the bottom of the television when you’re watching the news and get rid of that negative scroll: Tomorrow there’s a slight chance of rain; (in Snoop’s voice) fo shizzle nizzle it’s a drizzle.”
Hosting the comedy night is Sebastian Cetina, a standup who covers everything from first dates to e-mail breakups to floor shopping at TJ Maxx.
In one bit, he describes his bachelor party in Vegas, hosted by 10 cheap friends who get him two strippers for $29.95.
“They show up at the door already naked. One of them had only one implant: a 36D and a 32B roped off and under construction. They want to give us lap dances but didn’t even bring a radio. I had to put the alarm clock radio on. You ever try to find a station on these things? I’m searching and I look back and they’re dancing to commercials.”
“It’s important to be able to laugh in these tough times,” Jimenez says.
ALL-STAR COMEDY night starts when doors open at 7pm; the show follows at 8:30pm at Bankers Casino, 111 Monterey St., Salinas. $20. 422-6666.