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Stan Irwin oral history interview




Oral history interview with Stan Irwin conducted by Cork Proctor on August 24, 2003 for the All That Jazz Oral History Project. In this interview, Irwin talks about his early life performing comedy in nightclubs, hotels, and casinos in Las Vegas, Nevada, writing comedic material, his military service, starting a family, and racism in the Las vegas entertainment industry in the 1950s and 1960s. He also discusses his work as vice-president and executive producer for Sahara Nevada Corporation, bringing The Beatles to Las Vegas, Nevada when all other hotels refused to do so, and the band's appearance at the Las Vegas Convention Center. He continues talking about being a comedian, actor, and special materials writer and his life since retirement.

Archival Collection

Transcript of interview with Stan Irwin by Cork Proctor, October 24, 2003



Archival Collection


Stan Irwin shares details of his background, family, and early show business experiences. His life story spans many decades and includes attending NYU, doing stand-up comedy, flying during WWII, working at Club Bingo in Las Vegas, and building up the entertainment at the Sahara Hotel. Mr. Irwin comments on many aspects of the Las Vegas entertainment scene. He recalls many headliners that he worked with and shares anecdotes about several. The Beatles, Johnny Carson, Dinah Washington, Billie Holliday, Lena Home, and Pearl Bailey are just a few of the many outstanding performers that he brought to Las Vegas. Stan offers comments on racism in Las Vegas thirty and forty years ago, and gives his opinions on the Mob, Howard Hughes, prostitution, and dress codes in the fifties and sixties, among other things. He recalls how Las Vegas looked in the early days, mentions a cardiovascular health project for children that he's involved with today, and gives a little insight into staying fit at eighty-plus.


Scrapbook with newsclippings related to 1956 Helldorado Parade which featured a number of notable people including Rex Bell and William Boyd as Grand Marshalls, Stan Irwin, and Joe LaVoie, approximately 1956 to 1959

Level of Description


Archival Collection

Gerald Schaffer Professional Papers
To request this item in person:
Collection Number: MS-01065
Collection Name: Gerald Schaffer Professional Papers
Box/Folder: Oversized Box 16

Archival Component

Sahara, the Jewel in the Desert pamphlet for the Sahara Hotel and Casino, 1970s


1970 to 1979


Sahara, the Jewel in the Desert blue leaflet for the Sahara Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. Inside are various photos from the Sahara's history, including events, celebrity performances, and building construction.

Mixed Content