Casinotes: Ed Bassmaster at Rivers Casino and new features at Oceans


Ed Bassmaster from Northeast Philly is on a new career path. Prince of Pranks, the pioneer of YouTubewhose videos have garnered (in total) hundreds of millions of views since 2006, is now a live attraction.

On April 29, the former cell phone salesman will begin a nine-month residency and four concerts at Rivers Casino Philadelphia. So what’s a guy who’s made his bones with viral plays in which he’s adopted comedic personas – like the perpetually pissed off “Always Teste” and the all-but-subtle gay man Emilio in order to perpetrate fake phone calls or in-person practical jokes about unsuspecting victims – maybe do live?

“It’s so funny you ask that, because I got so many messages from people, ‘Man, we were wondering what you would do for a live show.’ Like, how am I going to translate that onstage?” Bassmaster offered in a recent phone call. “I’ve been dating in five or six of my established characters on YouTube for years. And they’re basically doing a stand-up show on their own.

Watching people is Bassmaster’s main influence

Although he’s only recently started bringing his brand of comedy to life, it’s where the man, born Edwin Rodriguez in 1973, has always found inspiration.

“I’m a people watcher,” he says. “If I meet a character and sit there listening to him talk and watching his mannerisms, as soon as he walks away, I imitate him – even for myself, to make me laugh.

“So like ‘Mumbles,’ my cowboy who has a bit of a Cajun accent, but says he’s from ‘Maltlicky, Texas,’ is actually based on a guy who’s a family friend who was from Kentucky. He really spoke just like that; you couldn’t understand him. But he didn’t wear the cowboy hat and didn’t have big teeth. [as Bassmaster portrays him]. I just added that. Then there’s ‘Tequila Johnson’, [or ‘Quila’ as Bassmaster calls her]which is based on my work in retail in the neighborhood and managing the customers that would come in.

Despite the success of his many videos (in Philadelphia, at least) Bassmaster – who claims as a major influence the early 1980s era propelled by Eddie Murphy-Joe Piscopo of ““Saturday Night Live” – is most likely famous (or infamous) for the big “HitchBOT” hoax he pulled off in 2015. That’s when he and a collaborator produced a video that made it appear he was responsible for the “murder of a robot that has been programmed to hitchhike across the United States.

More than just a YouTube star

But that sounds like ancient history. These days, Bassmaster has its sights set on the future, which includes the upcoming Rivers show as well as those on July 30, November 1, and January 28, 2023. These aren’t its only live programs: its schedule is jam-packed with dates. Across the country. And he’s eyeing even bigger plans — not an unlikely scenario given he’s represented by powerhouse Los Angeles-based talent agency CAA.

Among those he has spoken to is A-lister Mark Wahlberg.

“His son is a fan, and he wanted to give me a call,” Bassmaster explained. “We had a FaceTime call, which I actually recorded and posted. He said, ‘When are you and I going to make a movie?’ There’s nothing specific, but you know, this little seed has been planted and hopefully something will come out of it.

Show time is at 8 p.m. Admission is $29. For tickets, visit Online Casino Rivers.

New playroom set for Ocean

The final phase of Ocean Casino ResortIts $25 million casino upgrade is underway.

When it opens this summer, The gallery Bar, Book & Games will provide customers with a game and party zone loaded with equipment. Features of the 12,000 square foot bi-level space include:

  • A 100ft long elevated bar with 26 seats and 12 built-in slot machines, 33 seats on rail for drinks.
  • Blackjack and roulette tables.
  • 55ft, 43ft and 42ft LED walls for sport viewing.
  • Six sports betting stations.
  • A 17-foot open-air staircase that leads to the Balcony Bar, a smaller, more intimate bar.
  • Customizable lighting.

Also on Ocean’s role, the completion of more than 400 hotel rooms that were not part of the casino-hotel complex when it opened as Revel in 2012.

Sing for other people’s suppers

Nothing says “old school” like a restaurant where patrons are serenaded while they dine. Two of these establishments are located in Live! Casino-Hotel Philadelphia and Bally’s Atlantic City.

Every Thursday evening in the salon of the Prime Rib inside Live!, A talented young man named Daniel Kulisek entertains guests with a surprisingly diverse repertoire that spans multiple musical styles. A typical ensemble will find Kulisek — who accompanies himself on piano and, occasionally, guitar — paying homage to everyone from Frank Sinatra and Billy Joel to Bob Dylan, Tom Petty and the Foo Fighters.

And even though he only performs there once a week, Kulisek is no stranger to the Prime Rib: his “day job” is as a bartender at the fancy restaurant.

At Bally’s, the musical menu is limited to Sinatra sounds, thanks to the solid set of pipes owned by Carl Angelo Smith, who croons (on pre-recorded tracks) signature “Ol’ Blue Eyes” (e.g., “I Got You Under My Skin”, “The Summer Wind”) every Sunday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Meatballs and martinis from Jerry Longo.

Related: Best Online Casinos in Pennsylvania: Top 10 Ranked Casino Sites

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