January 19th, 2011 23:21 EST
Will Roberts Entertains America
It`s been a long time since Will Rogers entertained America, but thanks to an entertainer based out of Las Vegas, the spirit of the cowboy humorist lives on. Performer Will Roberts was first exposed to the work of Rogers in the 1990s during a stint in California when he was working a host of jobs in television, from host for a Fox TV Kids Club to a feature reporter for a CBS affiliate.
At the time, Roberts was heavily involved in the local theater scene during his free time, and it just so happened that the repertory theater he worked with was doing the show "Will Rogers Follies." The musical, which revolves around the life and times of Will Rogers, cast Roberts in the lead role. That turned out to be a fateful selection for the performer, who has now been putting on a Rogers-esque show for more than 12 years. As part of the role, Roberts was required to tackle his predecessor`s calling card: trick roping. Though he already had some experience with the lasso, three coaches were brought in to show him the finer points of the trade.
It was through that experience that he added a few tricks to his bag, namely the Texas skip and the merry-go-round. "Luckily, I was already pretty good at roping and riding," he said. "The funny thing was I had three coaches and every one of them was a woman. They could not find a man trick roper at the time. This is a dying skill." During his venture into the "Follies," Roberts noticed some similarities between himself and the performer. Roberts was 35 at the time of the play; Rogers died in 1935. Roberts worked for Fox 35 TV; Rogers was a star at Fox Films. Not only does Roberts excel at the trick rope like his predecessor, he also owns a cowboy company and a mechanical bull company, with eight of the robotic animals as part of his entourage. He is considered to one of the top mechanical bull riders. He has even trained Beyonce in a music Video called Sugar Mamma. When it comes to drawing differences between the two, fans might struggle to find a single thing that separates Roberts from Rogers.
Look closely and you might not even spot any differences. "I have been told I look like him, and some say I act like him," Roberts said. Perhaps their strongest connection, Roberts said, is that both performers share a passion for reaching out to people, a gift of gab that has helped them connect with their audiences and the masses over the years. "What attracted me to Will was his ability to see both sides of folks," he said.
"For the longest time, I would help folks. I would stop and help people with flat tires. I would give money to homeless folks. I love talking to people. I don`t know, but that may just make me a Democrat."
Through this ease of relaying everyday life to his audience, Roberts has established the same rapport with fans that was the staple of Rogers` performances, his way to make light of the foibles of daily life without being over-the-top or offensive. Roberts now also has a syndicated humor column and a cartoon. (www.WillRogersUSA.com) "As difficult as it is to stand out in a crowd these days - unless I strip naked, slap tattoos on my body and have a reality show - I would like to believe that my ideas of folks communicating by talking, not shouting, can make a comeback," he said. "I listen to talk radio today, and boy, how they can call it talk radio when all they do is yell is beyond me. Plus, they never let anyone else talk."
Here are some of Roberts`s witty sayings.
Convincing a dog only humans eat at the table, is like getting politicians to be truthful, can`t teach an old dog new tricks
The politicians talk they make us laugh, The MEDIA talks they make us cry, Comedy & Tragedy are running & reporting our lives
If you are only here for the free lunch, most likely you will pay dearly for dessert! - Will RobertsBy James Rustic
Will Roberts is currently a featured act on the Las Vegas strip, trick roping. If you would like to connect with Will Roberts, the join him on Twitter www.Twitter.com/WillRogersUSA or Facebook : http://www.facebook.com/pages/Will-Roberts-Americas-Favorite-Cowboy-Humorist-/364791256981