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A real comedy ace: Wayne Brady on food, manners and what he finds funny

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By his own admission, Wayne Brady is a “picky” man—at least when it comes to food. So when he says a restaurant is worth dining at, you better believe it’s good.

The funnyman, who returns Jan. 4 as part of The Mirage’s Aces of Comedy lineup, knows his Las Vegas restaurants quite well having headlined in the Entertainment Capital of the World before. When asked what some of his favorites were, Brady quickly rattled off a few mouthwatering eateries in town.

“I’m a big fan of steak, although I don’t eat it very often,” he told Examiner.com. “When I’m in Las Vegas, though, I love going to CUT—the rib eye there is amazing. Craftsteak is also super; the drinks are just phenomenal. Whenever I’m at The Mirage, I love going to Stack before my show. The food there is like crack. The Pigs in a Blanket are great—actually, all the appetizers are amazing. I also love a good dessert, especially the red velvet cake and milkshakes at Serendipity 3.”

While Brady may enjoy Las Vegas’ many delectable restaurants, he doesn’t always enjoy the types of crowds that come along with them.

“I’m a bit old-fashioned,” Brady explained. “I was raised in a strict, disciplined household, so manners were a huge part of my upbringing. I learned you should treat people a certain way, and when you come to Las Vegas, a lot of people just do what they want to do and let loose. That’s fine, but you’re still in the real world; you don’t exist in some different realm where what you do doesn’t affect others. So if you sneeze, you still need to cover your face. When you’re trying to get to your seat, you don’t step on someone else’s foot. It’s just common sense.”

Known for his natural ability to entertain audiences, the versatile performer promises guests “a little bit of everything” during his Aces of Comedy engagement, including a truthful Q&A with the star on one condition.

“I have the audience write questions on a piece of paper, and I promise to answer them 100 percent truthfully if they own up to the question when I read it aloud,” Brady said. “I find people like to remain anonymous whenever they ask an asinine question.”

While Brady said he uses the Q&A session to “build a connection” with his audience and open up a dialogue (“I don't just want to be that guy they saw on TV,” he stated), his answers also serve as another way to entertain ticket holders.

“Usually the answers will lead to a scene, a song or a story, so really it’s just another level of improvisation,” he stated.

Although the “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” star may be considered by many to be a master of improv, Brady said he’s “constantly learning” the craft despite the fact he’s been doing it since he was 19. When asked if he was surprised at all when the CW decided last summer to revive the classic TV show that made him a household name, Brady just said that once the conversation started to bring the series back, it simply “made sense.”

“I mean, worldwide the show is still on the air—India, Canada, Mexico, Australia—and college students and teenagers are still watching it online,” Brady noted. “People like to laugh.”

Even though Brady may often be associated with “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” (he actually won an Emmy in 2003 for his performance on the show), he doesn’t consider himself to be an improvisationalist. In fact, he said he “doesn’t enjoy” when people classify him as one type of performer over another.

“I don’t consider myself to be anything, I just happen to do all these different types of things,” he said. “Why limit myself to just being a singer or a comedian or an actor or a game show host? It’s easy for people to categorize you one way, but I love doing it all.”

And “doing it all” he is. Aside from his Aces of Comedy appearances (Brady returns to The Mirage April 11) and his other upcoming tour dates, the “Let’s Make A Deal” host is busy working on a new CD, which he hopes will be out by March or April.

“I’m not certain of all the stuff that will be on it yet, but it will have a mixture of old-school rock and hip-hop,” Brady said.

When asked if he ever thinks about returning to Las Vegas full time, Brady honestly replied, “not particularly,” but was quick to add “never say never.”

“If I was in Vegas full time, I wouldn’t be able to be on TV full time,” Brady, who most recently could be seen guest starring on CBS’ “How I Met Your Mother” and Kevin Hart’s BET series “Real Husbands of Hollywood,” explained.

For now, the consummate performer simply wants to continue to entertain audiences through a variety of mediums—which is fine by his many devoted fans. But what does the man known for making millions laugh find funny himself?

“I love when kids or animals fall or have some type of accident, and how when they recover you can always tell that they’re hoping no one else is around,” he said. “Whenever my dog slips or falls off the bed, she’ll always check to see if anyone noticed. It just goes to show you, no matter where you sit in the animal kingdom, no one wants to look stupid.”

Wayne Brady performs inside the Terry Fator Theatre at The Mirage Jan. 4 at 7:30 p.m. and April 11 at 10 p.m. Tickets cost $39.99, $49.99 and $59.99, plus tax and service fees. To reserve your seats, call 702-792-7777 or simply click here.

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