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Q&A with Carrot Top

Category Show and Tell

|by Maureen Mariano |

Known for his trademark mop of curly red hair and mastery of hard-hitting prop comedy, Carrot Top continues to send audiences into a nightly frenzy at his highly acclaimed show at the Luxor. ShowTickets caught up with the comedy superstar, whose real name is Scott Thompson, as he talked about his impressive three-decade career and hilarious live show, now in its 10th year at the Las Vegas hotel. From his observational humor and take on current events to his outrageous inventions and quick wit, it goes without saying—you can’t stop Carrot Top.

Carrot Top

ShowTickets: How did comedy start for you?

Carrot Top: It all started way back when I was in college. They had an open mic night with fliers all over campus that advertised for singers, dancers, poetry readings, but there was nothing for comedy. So I called and asked if they wanted any comedians … I went up and told stock jokes like: This guy says to his wife, “I’m tired of you talking behind my back and pushing me around all the time.” “Cause you’re in a wheelchair!” she says. Dumb jokes like that. It was really fun, and I did really well. Each semester I would do it again until I finally got comfortable up there and started telling my own jokes. 

ST: When did you start using props in your act?

CT: The props started when there was a neighborhood crime watch sign in my dorm and I had stolen it. I came out on stage and I said, “Sorry I’m late. I was in the neighborhood.” And it was funny because it was a timely thing to do. There were all these other stupid signs that kinda became my cool little shtick. Then I started coming up with other props … There were high heels for women that had training wheels in them so you can walk. So I had one with big tires in them for red neck women.

ST: How do you keep your show fresh and entertaining?

CT: It’s observational a lot of the time – what I see on the news or a current event, like Donald Trump or the red Starbucks cup that wasn’t Christmas-y enough. So I made a cup and covered it with lights and really made it over the top. I always wanted the show to be bigger than me standing there and telling jokes, so I added some music, strobe lights, a fog machine and we even had a snow machine. The latest bit we have in the show is a big video screen behind me. It can be used for a punchline for a joke. I have Donald Trump’s hair and Hilary Clinton. Every night there’s something different. It’s an interactive comedy show!

ST: This year marks 10 years headlining at the Luxor! What has the whole experience been like for you?

CT: It’s been crazy! When I signed the three-year deal, I said, “I don’t know how I’m going to make it to three years.” And now it’s 10. It’s incredible. I was on the road traveling and doing the show, never being at one place at one time. So when they offered me the job here, I was hesitant to take it. But now I love it more than anything. Doing a show every night has also allowed me to really work on the act and going outside the realm of what I normally do.

ST: Over three decades later, what’s the secret to your longevity in comedy?

CT: I wish I knew the answer so I can go on for another 30 years. I just keep doing it and people keep coming out and enjoying it. I do work a lot in adding new things and staying on top of everything. I also try to stay relevant in the entertainment industry in general. I try to do television a lot. I have a part in a movie coming out this spring maybe. I did a Daniel Tosh video with Selena Gomez. But I’ve been really blessed to have such loyal fans that keep coming back.

ST: What advice would you give to comics who are new to the game?

CT: Dive right in and find your voice. In comedy, you have to find out what would be your platform, what would you talk about. With mine, it’s all over the place. I do a little of current events, a little off-stage drama, props and music. And then find as much time as you possibly can working on it. The most important thing is to build that confidence on stage so when you’re dealt with a certain situation or “America’s Got Talent” calls, you’re ready.

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