- 777 Casino Center Drive
- Hammond, IN 46320
- (219) 473-6060
I know it looks like I have a gambling problem, but really, I never spend much. Maybe twenty bucks tops. We just seem to be having a lot of luck lately at finding shows we want to see at casinos.
Back in March, I stopped at the Horseshoe Casino in Hammond to pick up four tickets to see Joel McHale. J and I watch The Soup every Friday night and really like McHale’s comedy, so I thought this would be a great birthday present. J’s mom is also a fan, so I picked up two more tickets for her and J’s step dad.
The Venue is on the second floor of the Horseshoe Casino which sits near I-90 on Indianapolis Boulevard in Hammond. There’s a large parking structure as you come upon the complex and the elevator takes you back down to the first floor where you enter the casino.
The gaming floor is huge. It’s not as big as Soaring Eagle, but it’s much bigger than the riverboat casino’s in the area. It’s a large, open area with a high ceiling. You have to go all the way to the back of the gaming floor to find the escalators that lead up to The Venue.
On the second floor, The Venue shares space with the buffet. The theater is on the right side if your coming up the stairs. The box office is right next to the entry doors. The Venue has a seating capacity of 3300 which includes the balcony where our seats were.
When you enter The Venue, you come into a large lobby area. If you weren’t aware that you were in a casino, you might think you’re actually in a pretty nice theater. There are escalators going up to the suites and balcony on the right. On the left, there are a couple bars and a space for the performer to hawk some merchandise.
Our seats were in the balcony so we went up two sets of escalators to the top floor. I didn’t realize it, but it’s a two tiered balcony. Below us were more seats as well as some suites. I didn’t get tickets the minute they went on sale because I didn’t want to pay Ticketmaster’s ridiculous convenience charges (they wanted to charge me another $60 on $120 worth of tickets). Instead, I stopped at the box office on my way back to Lansing one weekend. Because I waited so long, most of the “good seats” were gone. That was ok because what I ended up with was first row tickets in the balcony all the way on the left side. They were great. No one in front of us and great aisle access. The Venue is small enough that those seats were actually really great.
The show started with Chris Porter of Last Coming Standing fame. He had a great bit about vegan’s. I almost missed half of the joke because I was laughing so hard. I don’t remember the joke word for word, but the reason vegan’s didn’t exist 50 years ago is because they couldn’t survive past December. I never watch Last Comic Standing, so I had never heard of the guy, but he was really funny.
Now, Joel McHale. Holy crap. I love watching Joel on The Soup. His timing is what makes the show so damn funny. His stand up routine is the same thing. The first half of the routine is all about The Soup and the shows he makes fun of. Actually, the first 15 minutes were all about Ryan Seacrest. The bad thing is, if you don’t watch The Soup, you might not get a lot of the jokes. If you do watch it, your in for a laugh riot. All the things he can’t say on TV, he can say on the stage.
In the first five minutes, we heard such classic phrases “It’ a felony!”, “It’s still a felony.” “Oprah’s vajayjay,” and for the first time ever on stage “Chicken tetrazini.” We also got random “updates” of the Bulls game and an eventual admission that this is the closest Joel has ever actually been to Oprah’s vajayjay. He then said Ryan Seacrest was going to join him, but he got caught up at a bris in Naperville. A little later in the show, he talked about doing a photo shoot with the Kardashians and how both Chris and Kim told him to stop saying Kim was only famous for having a sex tape…they were fine with the “big ass” part of the joke. He wrapped up his Soup jokes by thanking Tyra Banks for keeping them in business…even though she tried to sue the show once.
The last half of the routine is a more traditional routine where he talks about his family and current events. He had me in tears when he talked about his son wanting to be a light switch for Halloween. The whole theme of this section was whether his son was a “genius” or a “retard” (his words, not mine).
The whole show lasted just over two hours with no intermission. Porter introduced McHale right after his set and McHale came out right away. It was totally worth the drive from Lansing to Hammond. The Venue is another great small, intimate facility and Joel McHale was incredibly funny. The night was topped off with a little luck back in the casino. I doubled my money…sure, I only put in $15….on a Wheel of Fortune machine. J’s mom “hit it big”…at least for us…with a $180 jackpot.
The Horseshoe Casino is a nice place. My parents have never thought of the place because they always considered it a bad part of town. I don’t know about that….it’s actually a really nice casino and it’s secluded from the town, so I wouldn’t stay away because of that perception….and I would definitely recommend it for a show at The Venue