How Carrot Top built his comedy career all the way to Las Vegas – Orange County Register

Scott Thompson doesn’t see himself as an apple that has fallen too far from the tree.

Coming from a family with a father working at a NASA space center and a brother in the Air Force, Thompson, aka Carrot Top, realized he didn’t quite fit in.

“I was like, ‘I want to be a comedian,'” Thompson said in a recent phone interview. “And my dad says, ‘No you won’t, you’re going to work at NASA Space Center and you’re going to be an engineer.'”

Thompson felt he lacked the brains to follow in his brother’s and father’s footsteps, so he didn’t let go of dreams of making it in weird businesses. In college, he stumbled upon an open mic night that gave him the confidence to pursue comedy and put on shows under the stage name Carrot Top, given to him by a high school swim coach.

Since then, he’s made a name for himself by appearing in multiple cameos on television shows like Scrubs and films like The Hangover. Thompson has also participated in Gene Simmons and Flavor Flav’s “Comedy Central Roast” and has a Las Vegas residency at the Luxor Hotel & Casino. Thompson will be performing his show on Friday, January 13th at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino.

“It’s kind of a loud rock ‘n’ roll comedy show,” Thompson said in anticipation of the show. “There’s a lot of props, music, video projections on the wall and it’s very interactive.”

When he first started comedy, it was mostly a side hustle that helped him earn extra income alongside three different jobs he worked to get through college. Thompson eventually told his parents how he was making some extra money doing stand-up on the side, but they couldn’t fathom what that meant until they saw him perform live.

“It was years before they came to see me perform, and when they did, my dad was blown away,” Thompson said. “My dad said, ‘I had no idea you were funny. You weren’t funny as a kid.’”

Looking back on how he built his routine, Thompson said he was heavily influenced by the late stand-up comedian Leo Anthony Gallagher Jr., known for his props and observational routines with signature acts like smashing a watermelon with a sledgehammer was.

As a young comedian looking to break into the comedy world, he wanted to emulate Gallagher’s routine while adding some of his own flair. One of the first props Thompson recalls was a stolen neighborhood watch sign with a punch line, which the neighborhood watch criticized for failing to stop him from taking it.

“I started creating visuals that were clever and also funny,” Thompson said. “Now it’s evolved into so-and-so storytelling. I’m more comfortable on stage telling stories rather than relying on rapid-fire props.”

Although Thompson was successful in his routine comedy performances on his college campus, he found himself in a different world when he was performing in the comedy clubs. In college, age demographics were fixed, making it easier to target jokes at audiences, but comedy clubs had more diverse audiences.

“I had to figure out how to come up with jokes that would appeal to all ages, and then I started making more props, telling stories, talking about my family and current events,” Thompson said. “The show is really very observational.”

Thompson didn’t find immediate success, but like many dream chasers, he decided to devote himself to comedy full-time, giving up all his other jobs and commitments. Despite his best efforts, booking shows became a problem, ultimately forcing him to take a break.

Eventually he went back to working odd jobs in bread factories and shucking oysters until a friend called him to perform in a slot that needed to be filled.

“I was so nervous because I hadn’t done a show in a year, but I accepted the gig and it was non-stop from that day,” Thompson said.

His stays in Las Vegas are among his most prominent career highlights.

The stand-up comic earned his first residency at the MGM Grand and later a residency at the Luxor Hotel & Casino, which he has operated since 2005, increasingly associating him with Sin City’s entertainment industry.

At first, Thomson was reluctant to accept a residency, not knowing how much he would enjoy it. After a year he was sold and was enjoying the city, going home every night and entertaining a steady crowd.

“People bring it up like I’m the longest-running comic here in Las Vegas,” Thompson said. “It’s an incredible honor to be a resident all these years and it’s been quite a journey to come here.”

carrot top

When: 8 p.m. Friday, January 13

From where: Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, 84-245 Indian Springs Parkway, Indian

Tickets: $29-$69

For more informations: How Carrot Top built his comedy career all the way to Las Vegas – Orange County Register

Adam Bradshaw

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