Norm Clarke, who is set to observe the second anniversary of his quarterly interview series at The Smith Center in March, didn’t set out to be the James Lipton of Las Vegas. Conversations with Norm, which welcomes Pawn Starschieftain Rick Harrison to Cabaret Jazz Dec. 9, does resemble Lipton’s Inside the Actors Studio, but it may be more accurate that both share the nature of presenting live career-retrospective Q&As.
“The format from the start has been chronological,” said the longtime Las Vegas Review-Journal columnist. “The idea is to take the audience on the guest’s life journey, from the beginning and through the experiences that formed their careers.”
The inaugural interview took place March 2014 with ventriloquist Terry Fator. “It was the most shocking celebrity interview of my career,” said Clarke. “Turned out to be a perfect first show because of the buzz it created.” Rita Rudner, Frank Marino, Wayne Newton, Carolyn and Oscar Goodman, and most recently Rich Little have subsequently joined him onstage at Cabaret Jazz. “The experience has been one of the most gratifying things I’ve ever done. How often does one get the opportunity to sit down with legendary people and have them share their life story with an audience?”
Clarke explained the reaction to a Las Vegas Review-Journal Q&A with Austin “Chumlee” Russell two years ago was “off the charts. It’s still getting hits. Over 80,000 the last time I looked. I recall that he said they have Nazi stuff come in a lot but don’t touch it. I’d like to talk to Rick about that and other taboo genres. He told a few years ago that government ‘Men in Black’ showed up one day wanting to see a rocket used to shoot down planes. And they wanted it ‘now!’”
Tickets for Conversation with Norm on Dec. 9 are available now and can be purchased at the box office, by phone at 702.749.2000 and online here.
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