BOB ANDERSON: THE NIGHT DEBBIE REYNOLDS STOLE THE SHOW
Of the many heartfelt tributes I’ve read about the late show business icon Debbie Reynolds, this one meant so much because it captures an era that took Las Vegas to another level. It’s an excerpt from Bob Anderson’s Twitter feed after he learned Debbie died Wednesday, a day after her daughter, Carrie Fisher, passed away. Most of you know Bob as one of the foremost Frank Sinatra impressionists.
Bob does an amazing job of recreating a special evening at the Desert Inn. He puts us at a front-row table. You can hear the clinking of glass and a wave of excitement rippling through the audience. “This night everybody showed up, the cast from Guys and Dolls and Frankie Randal, Robert Goulet and his wife Vera, Tom Dreesen, Debbie Reynolds and Rip Taylor, my wife Karen and a few of our friends and a whole bunch more.
“Everybody got up and joined me on stage doing whatever amount of time they wanted. Jack Jones sang, Robert Goulet sang, Tom Dreesen did his thing and then Debbie Reynolds came up and we did about two songs together and she told me to go sit down because she really feels like entertaining. So...I did.
“Debbie stayed on for over an hour walking through the audience entertaining everyone and she was drinking Dom Perignon... and at a pretty good pace. She started the evening sitting at my table with Karen and some friends and she kept ordering more bottles of Dom Perignon. She had the place jumping and she was so on...and tore the place apart. They were giving her more standing ovations than I had ever seen anyone get before.
“So after sitting back down at our table, the show was ended and surprisingly one of the waiters hands Debbie her booze bill and it was 7500 dollars. I said, what did he just give you Debbie, she said my bill for being allowed to sing to these people.
“The Academy Award actress just did over an hour in the packed lounge at the Desert Inn and brought the house down and they gave her a bill for 7500 dollars!
“I grabbed the check and went out to the casino and found the President of the Hotel Burton Cohen and told him that they just gave a bill of 7500 to The Unsinkable Molly Brown and he was pissed!
“Burton Cohen was one of the great guys in Las Vegas and we all loved him. He tore the check up and grabbed Debbie and they started to dance on the stage and everybody started entertaining all over again and all the drinks were on the house.
Bob concluded: “THOSE WERE THE GOLDEN DAYS ON THE VEGAS STRIP. I'm glad I was a part of it.”