Las Vegas Podcasts: What is it that I’m listening to these days?

UPDATED (8/27/2007): 
So Steve Friess chimed in the comments section and noted that he’s never written for the New York Post, so that’s been edited out.  He also noted that I made a snarky "two snaps up" comment which wasn’t necessary, and in the end I agreed so that’s been edited out as well.

Not that anyone actually cares about what I listen to, but if you’re like me and you love hearing about what’s going on in Las Vegas in an entertaining yet well-informed way, there’s a really easy way to stay in the know… and that’s via podcasts oriented around Las Vegas.

Yes, yes, yes.  I know.  95% of all podcasts are utter rubbish.  And you’d be right:  That’s why I’m going to list out the Las Vegas podcasts that I listen to so at least you have one ‘filter’.  And for the record, there are some real stinkers out there – most of them have disappeared but there’s still a couple left which you may assume are the one’s not listed below.


  • The Living in Las Vegas Podcast  (
    OMG.  Married couple Scott & Melissa "Madame Secretary" Whitney need to be institutionalized and by that I mean, in a double entendre sort of way.  They both should be enshrined as well as sent to a sanitarium because their podcast is one of the funniest things I’ve listened to in a while.  Although it helps if you’re married, because clearly these two fall into this category.

    Scott and Melissa talk about what it’s like to live in Las Vegas and what’s going on in the city from a married couple’s point of view.  And believe me – this is VERY DIFFERENT from the other podcasts.  I should warn you that most of the podcast is about them and their travails in Las Vegas as opposed to Vegas itself, however every minute is gold.  Sheer 24 karat, baby.

    Scott has regular segments to the show including "The Pool Report" where Scott & Melissa discuss the temperature of their home pool relative to the whether, which might not sound funny right now but believe me, it’s such weak sauce at times it’s actually funny… oh, and something called "Hot and Horrible" which I’ll leave you to discover.  In the end, I consider this to be akin to the Comic section of the newspaper, whenever I load up my Zune for playback in the gym.  It’s probably my favorite podcast at the moment.

  • The Strip:  Las Vegas Podcast (
    Steve Freiss, a journalist for the Vegas Magazine, and the author of books including, "Gay Vegas" along with his partner Miles, does a fairly serious, information packed, and extremely opinionated podcast on the events going on in Vegas, and in particular, includes conversations and interviews with celebrities in Sin City. 

    Boy, Steve has the hook up.  He interviews Vegas regulars… for example, recently his interviews include the likes of Billy Bob Thornton, Jon Lovitz, the Amazing Johnathan, Mel Brooks, the Killers, Steve Wyrick, Paul Anka, Lance Burton, Paula Poundstone, and Jamie Gold… just for starters.  So there’s undoubtedly going to be content in the podcast that you’ll find interesting.  With all the Hollywood types and famous folks speaking on his podcast, it’s kinda hard to avoid.

    The thing to note is that Steve is very opinionated and frankly one of the more arrogant people I’ve listened to.  But I think that his snide, "I’m-right-and-everyone-else-can-just-f-off" attitude creates an immediate dialogue in one’s head polarizing your thoughts on whatever it is he’s talking about and that frankly makes for good listening and good journalism… so good for you Steve.  And let’s not kid ourselves:  You, the listener, get the last word all the time since you don’t actually have to listen to the podcast if you don’t like it, and more importantly, you get the satisfaction of deleting his god-awful rubbish off your media player if you think he’s being an ass. 

  • Five Hundy By Midnight (
    image I have a special place in my heart for the two that do this podcast – Tim & Michele Dressen.  In case you’re wondering, it’s called ‘Five Hundy By Midnight’ because of a quote from the movie "Swingers". And they have the best intro of all the Las Vegas podcasts, for certain.

    How do you describe Tim & Michele?  Well, their low key demeanor and affable banter make these folks nominees for the "most likely to get a show on NPR".  It really does sound like two somewhat mellow NPR commentators going back and forth with the occasional "drunk dialing" listener phone call.

    This always makes me laugh:  They’re major Sigma Derby fans – particularly Michele.  For the uninitiated, Sigma Derby is a old fashioned gambling machine in a table format in which 5 mechanical horses physically race around a track and people win based on the horse they select.  It’s a got a whopping 12% house edge on it, but fans don’t seem to care.  They just love Sigma Derby.  And the sad part is that Sigma Derby is almost extinct:  One of the few remaining machines in Las Vegas was in the Frontier which recently shutdown leaving only one more machine in MGM Grand… and that’s it.

    Here’s the other thing:  They have tons of fans that are drunk dialers.  I mean we’re talking LEGIONS.  They get all pissed drunk then call up the podcast’s answering machine to leave a message.  And did I mention there’s a lot of these folks?  This gives Tim & Michele a lot of podcast fodder and an infinite source of laughter.


And in case you don’t have a podcast downloader/manager, here’s what I use:

2 Responses to Las Vegas Podcasts: What is it that I’m listening to these days?

  1. Steve Friess says:

    Hi Kurt…

    Just noticed your blog post on Vegas shows and wanted to note to you
    that I have never written for the NY Post. Also, I was surprised that
    our expressions of our opinions on the show is off-putting since we
    actually do a lot less of that than Tim and Michelle at Five Hundy, a
    wonderful show that I\’ve promoted in several manners. But T&M do
    also express their strong opinions about whatever the news is and their
    preferences about gambling, drinking, clubs, shopping, shows. Our
    program contains just about 15 minutes of news and commentary and,
    otherwise, is full of all of our other features.

    Furthermore, I\’m a little surprised I\’m tagged as arrogant when I\’ve
    changed my views several times on the show given new information and I
    also provide Miles with many, many letters to read that disagree with
    both of us, call us on the carpet, occasionally even attack us
    personally. I can\’t remember any other  podcasters, Vegas or otherwise, doing
    that, can you?

    So thanks for listening and I\’m always interested in constructive
    criticism, but I am perplexed as to why our airing of our views is
    singled out when each of the other podcasters you analyzed do exactly
    the same thing on their programs. I guess there\’s just something about
    me that rubs you the wrong way and that\’s a bummer.

    Oh, and I don\’t snap. But thanks for giving me insight into where your biases are with that little snark.


  2. Kurt says:

    Steve –
    Not that you\’re ever going to read this, but while I could have just as easily deleted your comment – I did think I ought to post a response.  Whether you ever read it or not is another thing…
    I find it funny that a highly credited journalist like yourself would deign to compare yourself to Tim & Michelle Dressen and their little Middle America podcast.  For god\’s sakes – you\’re a freakin\’ professional.  You\’ve got column inches on some of the bigger paper media outlets in the nation.  You interview A-list celebrities & signficant Vegas news figures.  You deal with relevant topics like the future security of Vegas and the ever-present profession of magic in sin city. 
    Meanwhile we\’ve got Tim & Michele who I think are two thirtysomethings that talk about the fate of a no-nothing gambling machine in the now-closed New Frontier and replay drunk answering machine messages on the air. 
    Do you see a difference?  I thought I made it clear that I respect your work… I just don\’t always LIKE your work.  Personally, I judge you & Miles differently than I would Tim & Michele because you folks are, as they say, Apples & Oranges.  And I recommend them for completely different reasons as I think are obvious by my post.
    Now with regards to being called arrogant, are you so sensitive that someone on the Internet can\’t recommend your podcast, tell people that your product has good reliable information & one-of-a-kind interviews, state for the world that I think that you\’re a good journalist… without you standing up (virtually, I suppose), all but declaring offense on someone else\’s no-nothing blog that no one even reads anyway?  Look at the comments section, man:  It\’s not like anyone even READS my drivel.  The only people that do are folks that are personal friends of mine, and that total I think is a whopping 14?
    And as for the \’snaps up snark\’ I made, yeah, you\’re right.  An opinion piece shouldn\’t make an inference like that and frankly that\’s not what I\’d intended.  It\’s your occasional air of superiority that I really wanted to convey, nothing else – and I apologize for miscommunicating that.  My bad.
    But y\’know, thinking back on \’things that shouldn\’t have been said\’, none of your comments about Jon Lovitz were all too cool either in the live show \’Outtakes\’ podcast episode.  Don\’t you think that they were unnecessarily personal attacks on a guy that seemed a bit disappointed in himself, all by his lonesome?  "Why are you so fat?"  Oh c\’mon.  He even said (I assume referring to himself) that comedian\’s often don\’t get attention when they were children so the crave it on stage when they get older.  The poor guy\’s clearly an insecure & defensive mess whose career has seen better days – but that\’s no reason to piss on him, even if his interview was… well… just not very good.  I figured you were just pissed off at him for the whole interview experience and yes, I recognize that he was being a jerk during certain parts of the interview which I think you handled with professionalism and grace. 
    But at some point in time, don\’t you just say, "Wow.  I feel sorry for that guy.  I really do"?

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