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Viva Shaf Vegas (1986)

TV Movie  -   -  Comedy
7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 21 users  
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Faced with making a lasting marital commitment to his uptight New York girlfriend, PAUL SHAFFER (Musical Director of TV's LATE NIGHT WITH DAVID LETTERMAN) seeks life answers to his hip, ... See full summary »

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Title: Viva Shaf Vegas (TV Movie 1986)

Viva Shaf Vegas (TV Movie 1986) on IMDb 7.1/10

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Faced with making a lasting marital commitment to his uptight New York girlfriend, PAUL SHAFFER (Musical Director of TV's LATE NIGHT WITH DAVID LETTERMAN) seeks life answers to his hip, showbiz problems. Shaffer - along with his existential screenwriter buddy (Tom Leopold) - blow The Big Apple for the some glitz and glitter of flashy, fleshy Las Vegas! "Shaf"'s odyssey for meaning in his life bounces him through tacky Vegas tribute shows, hook ups with wild trailer park babes, the wrath of jealous boyfriends... and ends up making him the star of the tackiest musical production ever to hit Sin City! Written by British Dominion - Las Vegas, NV

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Comedy

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Carlo... aaand Carlos!!!!!
25 August 2005 | by See all my reviews

Paul Shaffer, the great band leader of David Letterman's many TV talk show incarnations (and by way of Saturday Night Live, and Canada no less) gets his one, and so far only, showcase for his natural quick wit and musical styling in the rarely-seen but totally hilarious "Viva Shaf Vegas".

How can you NOT like this...? It'll be an instant cash-out if you aren't juiced into the whole hip late 60s/early 70s Vegas irony endeavor of it's A+ league of co-conspirators - but if you ARE, then the rewards are more than plentiful. This thing plays like 60 minutes of Las Vegas-by-way-of-New York in-joke that maybe only those who truly "get" Shaffer and director-co-writer Harry ("Spinal Tap") Shearer's vicious, ripe satire of Sin City C-list celebrity worship coupled with navel-gazing mock-introspective documentary could provide.

Shaffer plays himself in a gloriously self-involved performance, diddling his way through a post-Sinatra, pre-Mirage Las Vegas with various questionable conquests and wonderful musical interludes that showcase both his wonderful comedic timing as well as his exceptional music chops. The HBO special smartly references Shaffer's NBC day-job (with Letterman himself making a video appearance) as well as his SNL "Blues Brothers" involvement in hilarious ways. It's short running time features many Shaffer performances of great 60's soul and R&B tunes weaved smartly into the storyline.

The punchy script - co-written with second-billed Tom Leopold and director Shearer- is endlessly quotable and fun from beginning to end. What a treat it is to pull this well-worn VHS and watch it with friends who are in on the glitzy, silly joke. Maybe a DVD sometime soon, huh, HBO? Highest recommendation to the "Spinal Tap" and "Best In Show" set. Don't miss it, and I mean that sincerely, from one performer to another.


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