Bill Murray’s smarmy “Saturday Night Live” character, Nick the lounge singer, wasn’t a laughing matter in Las Vegas.

The subject came up during my April 15 “Conversation with Norm” at Myron’s Cabaret Jazz at the Smith Center for the Performing Arts. The panel discussion was titled “The Evolution of Entertainment in Las Vegas”  and featured Myron Martin, Clint Holmes, his wife Kelly Clinton, Earl Turner and John Katsilometes.

It is known locally as the “Bill Murray Era.”

Through much of the 1980s, Las Vegas was going through a transitional time. No new casinos had been in built in decades and there was an absence of mainstay headliners.  Wayne Newton was in Branson and Siegfried & Roy were preparing for a world tour.

Murray added to the slow times by creating an image problem for the lounges.

“When I first started performing in New York,” recalled Clint Holmes, “I would run into people who said that when they thought about Vegas, they thought about Bill Murray.” Holmes said he would sit them down and explain the characterization was far from the truth.  

 You can catch Holmes and Earl Turner’s “Soundtrack: Your Songs. Our Stories. The Show” at the Westgate International Theater, the former home of Elvis Presley, Thursday through Sunday, 7 p.m.

Norm ClarkeComment