A big top-themed atmosphere (and big-topped babes), rockin' sounds and the best name ever -- what's not to love about Jumbo's Clown Room? It's had many guises since Jack Taylor a.k.a. "Jumbo" first opened the place in 1970 -- from neighborhood drinking hole and discotheque to Western honky-tonk -- but Jumbo's gentlemen's-club incarnation not only gave its name a campy, cool new meaning, but it also seduced the city like no other bar since. Jumbo's has always been a sleaztastic alternative to real strip clubs' tired Barbie doll dancer roster, a sexually surreal fun house with punky chicks and a diverse mix of patrons, which has endured, even when city ordinances forced them to trade in g-strings and pasties for bikinis in 2004. With Taylor's daughter Karen as ringleader for the past two decades, other changes have taken place at Jumbo's, some -- like the shiny new clown tabletops, lighting and mirrors -- quite recently. Yeah, there's still a dirty-old-man contingent, but the rock & roll circus also has plenty of hipsters and lots of local lasses hanging out and shaking their asses offstage like any drinking hole does. This isn't a dump. Still, the biggest misconception about this L.A. landmark may be about its performers. Those who haven't stepped in since its trashier era -- when Courtney Love danced there -- will be in for a saucy surprise. The Clown room ain't clowning around when it comes to stage talent these days. If you find the babes who bump and grind in the L.A. burlesque scene a turn-on, the tatted and toned tarts who shake, quake and display seriously impressive pole skills here will be your bag of popcorn. Some even get creative with costumes and themes. All of this and more will be on display Sunday, when the bar celebrates its 40th Anniversary. Expect "carnival cuisine" (from 2-6 p.m.), fortune tellers, caricature artists, games and prizes, goodies, including Jumbo's Girls playing cards, parking lot activities, a chance to meet the legendary "Jumbo" himself, and cabaret- and sideshow-themed routines. Bring dollars.
Sun., June 27, 2 p.m., 2010
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