Comedian Sarah Colonna talks about Las Vegas and playing blackjack

Comedian Sarah Colonna talks about Las Vegas and playing blackjack
Comedian Sarah Colonna performs her first co-headlining show with Iliza Shlesinger on Saturday at the Venetian. (Venetian)

Comedians Sarah Colonna and Iliza Shlesinger will take the stage in "Lipshtick — The Perfect Shade of Standup" on Saturday, May 2, at the Venetian. The standup stars share the stage at the Sands Showroom for one night only.

New York Times bestselling author Colonna just released her second book, "Has Anyone Seen My Pants?" The regular on the E! Network show "Chelsea Lately" was named by Daily Variety as one of its Top 10 Comics to Watch. We talked with her about upcoming performance.


You're going to be in Las Vegas this weekend. I can't think of a crazier weekend to be on the Strip.
When they booked it, I don't think the fight was announced yet or booked. Then when I found out, I was like, "That's going to be a crazy weekend."

You filmed TBS and Myspace's "Stand up or Sit Down Comedy Challenge," at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas in 2006. Was that the first time you'd been to Las Vegas?
That was the first time I performed in Vegas. It was a contest working with TBS. It was crazy. It didn't feel like you were doing a Vegas show as much because it was a production.  Everyone just did a five minute set. It was being filmed so they had an audience in there. It probably didn't feel like the ultimate "I'm on a stage in Vegas" experience.  I opened for Chelsea [Handler] at Caesars four or five years ago. That was so different. Now I'm excited to do it on my own, or with Iliza, since we're co-headlining.

Do you remember the first time you came here on your own?
I've done South Point. I've done that place twice now. The first time was three or four years ago. It's so much fun. It's off the Strip but it's 100 percent Vegas show. They have a great crowd and then they have a band after the comedians. You get to go back and hang out. They give you this nice, giant suite.

Are you driving or flying in.
I'm flying in. The Burbank to Vegas flight is the greatest.

That's kind of an infamous flight.
I've taken that flight and seen the girls with their heels on getting ready to go to Vegas for the weekend.

There are a lot of strippers on that flight too.
Yeah, that's what I mean. I should have said they have their big plastic heels. That would have been a better indicator. It's very funny to see the girls on that flight because you know they're just coming to work for the weekend.

Is there any topic that you won't touch?

I think it used to be a thing to jump on a tragedy and try to make the first joke. I've never, ever done that and I never will. I'm not not going to go up on stage this weekend and make jokes about the riots. I don't think it's just with comedians. A lot of times you see it on Twitter with people just trying to be funny about something that's terrible. While I do think it's best to find humor in tough situations, I think that national tragedies are things that should just be left alone. I would never make a Boston marathon joke. It's just not for me.

In your new book, "Has Anyone Seen My Pants?" you mention that all bets are off on playing blackjack when you're in Vegas? Do you play blackjack?

I do. I love to play blackjack. I’m kind of excited. They’re having me go in on Thursday night. The show’s not until Saturday but there’s some press to do on Friday. Now I’m a little scared because now I know I’m gong to have some free time on Friday. I believe I’m going to the New Kids on the Block concert. I definitely like to play blackjack. I definitely intend on playing some blackjack while I’m there.

Are you any good?

I think I'm good. I've won. Sometimes I play it on the phone on a plane when I'm bored; that's a lot different than playing it live. I know the rules, but then I get nervous about the people playing next to me getting mad at me for doing the wrong move and when you should and shouldn't hit. Sometimes when you go outside of those lines, people get mad at you.

You're going to be in Vegas for a fight weekend. Are you going to put money on Mayweather-Pacquiao?

No. I don’t really know anything about boxing or follow it. I know everyone’s really excited about the fight. I’m probably not going to partake in anything to do with it other than be in Vegas the same weekend.

Who would you see perform in Vegas if you weren't working?

I’m so out of the loop of what’s playing there. My fiance loves musicals, so if we can see anything music related. He loves “Jersey Boys” probably more than anyone in this entire world, which is really funny.

What was the first thing that shocked you in Las Vegas?

Probably losing money. Wait a minute. You’re going to take that and I’m not going to get that back? The very first time I went there, I was young. I think I was like 22. I just moved to L.A. and I went to Vegas with a friend. I think it was $25 that I lost, but that was a huge hit to me at that time. I just couldn’t wrap my brain around it. That’s it? That money is just gone and I have nothing to show for it except for some watered-down drinks and the buzz.

At the Venetian, at least driving through the parking garage, it seems like 60 percent of the cars are from California. Any tips for California visitors?


Fly, don't drive. The drive back is so depressing. It's the worst five hours of your life, especially on a weekend when it's busy. It's going to take you even longer because the traffic gets backed up. Just fly. It's not that expensive. You'll thank me later. The drive back is the most miserable time. You're hung-over, you lost money, you're stuck in a car with someone else. It's just not good.

Tickets start at $39.50.

Tickets: Venetian and Palazzo box office, (702) 414-9000