“Big Daddys Barbeque”

Grilling Food, Sex and Marriage


“BIG DADDY’S BARBEQUE... Grilling Food, Sex and Marriage”

Starbright Theatre

Sunday, September 21, 3pm

2215 Thomas Ryan Blvd, Las Vegas 89134

Box Office: 702-240-1301

Tickets: $15

Reserved Tickets online:  SCSCAI.COM 



These days Jeff Wayne is known on the comedy circuit as “Big Daddy,” but 50 years ago he was just another Kentucky kid kicking around the glare of Newport trying to decide his next move.

Those familiar with the history of the town know its notorious reputation and its connections to some of Las Vegas’ founding fathers. Whether it’s cards and dice or wine and women, Newport for generations pulsed with the scent of vice on Monmouth Street and attracted a steady stream of customers from just across the Ohio River and traditionally square Cincinnati.

At the time most young teen-age boys are

still dreaming of playing big league

ball, Wayne had visions of making

people laugh. He took a shot at 14

and started on the long road to

becoming “Big Daddy.”

Unlike the careers of the most famous

headliners in comedy, getting laughs

didn’t rocket Wayne to stardom. He’s not

a household name. But he found work

with encouragement from veterans Kelly

Monteith and Tom Dreesen, and that put

him on the road more than a long-haul


“I started doing amateur shows around

northern Kentucky and Cincinnati when I

was 14,” he says. Now in the neighborhood

of 60, he keeps a residence in Southern

California but admits he travels so much he

barely recognizes the place.

Still, it’s the life he chose, and he’s grateful for the work, which comes in varying sizes, shapes and locales. This week, for instance, Wayne is playing the Riviera Comedy Club alongside Jimmie “J.J.” Walker. Before our recent interview, he had played a cruise ship through the Caribbean and comedy clubs from Miami to Los Angeles. He works “clean” and “dirty” and rarely turns down an opportunity.

“You’ve gotta grab the jobs when you can grab them,”

he says, adding that he’s done everything from opening

for the Judds to playing nightclubs whose names have

long since faded into obscurity.

During a routine stop at immigration following a

recent gig on a Carnival Cruise ship, he was asked

which island he had visited during his trip. He was


“I couldn’t remember,” Wayne says. “Traveling.

That’s what you’ve got to do in this business to

survive. ...

Your life is about going to airports, getting on

airplanes, doing radio shows and interviews. It

isn’t just about getting onstage. You’ve got to be

willing to do all these other things nobody wants

to talk about. It certainly doesn’t sound glamorous.

But in this business, the younger guys aren’t there to help us.”

He laughs and adds, “They’re there to usurp us.”

He started working in Las Vegas in the 1980s with help from Cork Proctor at the Marina, Dunes, Golden Nugget and others. Former Riviera entertainment director-turned-movie star Steve Schirripa kept him busy, too.

The disappearance of so many of the places he once worked finds its way into Wayne’s Vegas material.

“Enjoy yourself,” he tells his audience. “I don’t know how much longer we have.”

If comedy superstardom has been elusive, Wayne remains undeterred. It’s one of the things I like about him. He’s a funny guy, but he’s also a tenacious one. He has shown a willingness to adapt to changing times and tastes.

Between gigs he polishes his one-man show titled “Big Daddy’s Barbecue: Grilling Good Food, Sex and Marriage,” which he hopes will one day catch on like the popular “Defending of the Caveman.”

And if it doesn’t?

Big Daddy will keep moving to the next show. He’ll keep his sense of humor and keep chasing his dream.

John L. Smith’s column appears Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. E-mail him at jsmith@reviewjournal.com or call (702) 383-0295.

“The duty of the artist is to find his muse

and then let her rip!”  TED LANGE certainly

exemplifies the Renaissance Man Theatre Award

that he received from the NAACP in Los Angeles

and the Heroes and Legends HAL Lifetime

Achievement Award for Theatre. A graduate of

London’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, an outstanding actor of stage and screen, an exceptional movie and television director, and a prolific writer, comprise an award-winning and diverse show business career.  Lange made his Broadway debut in the musical hit Hair and his theatre acting career spans over forty plays including Galileo and a national tour of Driving Miss Daisy.  Lange received the Best Actor Award from the NAACP Theatre Committee for his portrayal of Louie in the Gus Edwards’ play Louie and Ophelia. Behind the Mask, Lange’s one-man show based on the life and poetry of Paul Laurence Dunbar has played to sold-out houses across the nation. He has appeared in the Classical Theatre of Harlem’s Production of King Lear, starred in I’m Not Rappaport, and is recognized around the world for his portrayal of Isaac Washington from classic television show, The Love Boat.  Lange has penned twenty-three plays.   Four Queens - No Trump, a bodacious comedy about four black women, played to rave reviews in Los Angeles, Chicago, Cleveland, and Omaha and won Los Angeles NAACP Best Play award. Evil Legacy - the Story of Lucretia Borgia was nominated by LA Weekly for Best One Woman Show.  Also written, directed, and produced by Lange was Born a Unicorn, a rock ‘n roll musical depicting the life of black Shakespearean actor, Ira Aldridge, and the musical, The Heart of Biddy Mason. Continuing his American historical play trilogy, George Washington’s Boy has received standing ovations at the National Black Theatre Festival and his new play Lady Patriot completes the series.  His theatre directing career includes over fifty productions including Othello in which he directed and starred in the stage and film version. Lange’s film directing career includes the feature film, For Love of Amy, as well as the television shows, The First Family, Mr. Box Office, Are We There Yet?, All of Us, Eve, Dharma and Greg, In The House, Moesha, and seventeen episodes of the original Love Boat. Currently, Lange is writing, producing, and directing a series for the web on youtube called Players at the Poker Palace.

The Los Angeles Times says this show is “Ferociously funny.” a Variety dubbed the show “a one-man riot.” NPR says, “With a face like Fred Flintstone and an attitude like Al Bundy, this guy is laughs plus!”  This show written and performed by stand-up comedian Jeff Wayne is directed by Ted Lange, Isaac of The Love Boat.  Jeff has performed the show over 1,000 times in over thirty cities. From its debut it was a critical and popular success, so much so a television pilot by NBC was made, and since has toured theaters around the country.  Originally the show found success following Rob Becker’s one-man show, Defending The Caveman on the Improv comedy club circuit until its break out to tour nationally.

Jeff plays a letter carrier on his day off.  He has his weekly barbeque where he invites his friends each week (the audience) as he cooks he pontificates and opines, “They say you should cut down on red meat, I stopped using Ketchup.” “You smokers out there, you know they say the secondary smoke is worse than the original smoke. Well based on that, you might as well smoke!” And he tells us about the lady we

never see but her presence permeates, his XX-wife Phyllis. “Yes we were married, divorced and then I remarried, I wanted my house back!”  There is a problem at today’s barbeque, Phyllis has been given tickets to the opera, she wants to go. Big Daddy doesn’t.  The Jackie Gleason Honeymooners aspects here several critics have commented on, as Big Daddy tries to laugh, sing and dance his way out of going to the opera.

Comedian Jeff Wayne was born and raised in Northern Kentucky.  He decided he wanted to be a comedian when he was 14 years old.  As soon as he was able he traveled west to perform and learn his craft at the famous Comedy Store in Hollywood.  A seasoned veteran Wayne had performed at clubs, colleges, corporate, cruise lines, and on all the stand-up shows on TV: HBO, Showtime, A&E, Fox, and Comedy Central.  He is no stranger to Las Vegas, having played many of the comedy clubs and show rooms as an opening act.  The late Joe Delaney of The Las Vegas Sun tagged him as a “blue collar Lenny Bruce.”  For more about Jeff and Big Daddy, go to:





Sunday, September 21st, 3:00pm




Mistinguett Productions presents


Grilling Food, Sex & Marriage


2215 Thomas Ryan Blvd, Las Vegas, 89134


Tickets: $15

Box Office: (702)240-1301

For Online Credit Card reservations go to: