Friday, April 18, 2008

Danny Gans: Now It Can Be Told

[UPDATE, 5/2/09: FOLKS, I'M SHUTTING DOWN THE COMMENTS ON THIS POST AS IT IS SIMPLY INAPPROPRIATE GIVEN THE CIRCUMSTANCES. I STAND BY THE REPORTING IN THIS POST AND WON'T REMOVE IT, BUT IT'S TIME TO MOVE ON. CLICK HERE FOR THE LATEST DANNY GANS POSTS AND BREAKING NEWS ON VEGASHAPPENSHERE.COM, INCLUDING THE LATEST ON HIS PASSING. THANKS. --sf]

Here we go, folks. This should be fun.

With Danny Gans all ready to say buh-bye to MGM Mirage and head to Wynn/Encore, folks throughout the company are becoming more and more candid about what a fright show working with him and his manager, Chip Lightman, has been. Steve Wynn told me yesterday that he felt he'd gotten lucky to land Danny because MGM Mirage reopened negotiations on Gans' contract to extend it, a notion that elicited very loud laughter from many I spoke with over there.

The best tidbit I picked up yesterday from a key hotel source had to do with the unbelievably tacky manner in which Gans and Lightman barely waited for Roy Horn to emerge from surgery in October 2003 before they started bugging MGM Mirage brass to give Gans the larger Mirage marquee. It was shocking, even coming from Gans and Lightman, that it was only days after Roy was bitten by a tiger on-stage and the duo were aggressively seeking to enforce an unusual part of the Gans contract that indicated he would receive the larger marquee if the Siegfried & Roy act ever closed. Of course, nobody expected it to close in the manner in which it did.

I asked if that incident soured some in the company on Gans, whose career has hit a bizarre glass ceiling in Vegas. (Seriously, how is it that he's never had a sitcom? An HBO special? A guest role on "The Simpsons"? This lack of broader success has strained the Gans-Lightman link in the past.) The answer: "It really just confirmed for a lot of people what they already felt about Danny and Chip."

Apparently, there were some pretty intense negotiations that had to go on later to get Danny not to remain on the big marquee when the Cirque show "Love" came along.

All I can say is, thank GOD they weren't wrapping buildings in show ads back when Danny first negotiated that contract. It's one thing to stay in the room in Toni Braxton's crotch, but...

17 comments:

Gerard Helmsley said...

I don't understand why Wynn is so high on Danny. It's like he went out on a limb, took a real risk, retreated to the same-old. Very disappointing.

Anonymous said...

He did take a real risk--unfortunately there isn't really a "winning" side to it. Danny Gans from a business perspective is a losing hand. He doesn't perform very many shows, he has one of the worst cancellation records in Vegas, a manager who is a pain, and Gans lacks wide market appeal. What Wynn does have is access to Gans' potential fan base of 60+ year olds with too much money. His 'talent' seems to be lost on most of us who aren't ready for the retirement community. If anyone could exploit this market I think it could be Wynn but unfortunately, there seems to be too many other factors stacked against him.

Anonymous said...

If anyone wants to hear the real story about Chip Harold Lightman story, respond to this blog. Chip owns the Coachman Inn in Las Vegas and does not pay his vendors for product he buys. He serves drunks and underage customers fro their hard erned paychecks. Harold thinks he can get away with anything because Big (short and fat) Bucky Bucannon is his partner. Chip is an ass. Blog away.

Anonymous said...

Yeh man. What kinda guy gets busted with his own kid who is underage gambling in a casino? The Gaming Board gave him a second license even after he got busted. I guess it's good to have friends to cover your ass. Danny Gans should think twice about associating himself with cheats.

Anonymous said...

Danny gans is a class act,,,,,best show in Vegas..period

Anonymous said...

I want to know why Danny fired Chip then re-hired him?? Does anyone know the truth behind this?? I agree with everyone else, Danny should get away from this guy!

Anonymous said...

RE: "If anyone wants to hear the real story about Chip Harold Lightman story, respond to this blog."

I'M RESPONDING, I WANT TO KNOW!! WHAT HAPPENED?

Anonymous said...

I was at the Mirage this week and walked down to the DG Theatre about 30 minutes before the curtain. I never saw so many elderly people who werent dressed in their pajamas in my life. DG is going for the Wayne Newton audience, that's for sure.

Anonymous said...

My husband and I have seen Danny Gans at the Mirage and loved every minute of it. We are happy to hear he will be at Encore. Great entertainer and we laughed our pants off! Great singer too! Great variety. You will love his show.

Anonymous said...

This is a very sad and dissapointing case. Danny & Chip, what a combo, that Chip has poisoned Danny so much that even Danny doesn't know who Danny is anymore! The show sucks, the band kicks ass and the management is only in for the money, of course. They should have kept Melanie at least she had some common sense and brought some actual "management savvy" to the show. Chip is a cheap car sales man with a warped mined and has completely change Mr. Gans in everyway. The guy is an ASS in the purest sense... it's hard to respect such a person as "danny gans" when he re-hires a person like Chip who is a pig. Now put that in your soup and eat it! ABSOLUTELY DISGUSTING!

Anonymous said...

Chip Lightman is a disgust

Anonymous said...

Chip Lightman has to be the worst manager he really is cheap and acts like he's God. He needs to treat people better or I'm sure Danny Gan's will fall due to Chip's horrible relationships with a lot of Vegas bests

Anonymous said...

Years ago that Scumbag lightman would try to beat my company out of a contract for some production gear for some Ganz dates, and he threatened me with that old tired line of "I'll break You, and you'll never work in this business again!".... Relax Chip you can always get a job washing dishes at McDonalds... Hurry up and die yourself so I can come piss on your grave you Loser!

Oh yeah, RIP DG!

Anonymous said...

We saw him once @ the Mirage. Free comped tickets, nearly front row. We didn't really care for him so much because he was so rapid fire - switching from one impression to another every minute or so.

But he did put a lot of energy into his work, and that is probably part of what did him in - overwork.

Anonymous said...

Wow, you people are really nice. I am 47 years old and I saw the show with a friend and our two college-aged daughters. We ALL loved every moment of it. They guy is (was) incredibly talented, and if you all had any sense of talent ... you would know that. He passing is beyond sad, and he and his family deserve nothing but respect. Maybe it's time to cut the negative banter on this one.

Anonymous said...

"Maybe it's time to cut the negative banter on this one."

Maybe not. I think Danny Gans was a talentless hack and have no idea why he was so popular. His rapid-fire delivery helped disguise the fact that his impressions were mediocre at best. Save your fingers -- I won't be back to this message board to read replies. I only came here because I'm curious to learn the cause of his untimely death. My guess? I'm putting my money on Cocaine.

Larry Bagby said...

Danny Gans has been my favorite entertainer for years. I can't imagine how anyone can take his place. He was a very talented and gifted entertainer and my prayers go out to his wife and 3 children and all the millions of fans like me who will truly miss him and his unique gifts to keep us smiling and in awe!