At Mo's Place in Playa del Rey, the slick, outsized pageantry of Monday Night Football is no match for the debauched live-action carnival gleefully concocted by the proprietor. When you walk in, you see a typical, somewhat weathered sports bar. Faded pennants, posters and blinking screens plaster every speck of the interior. A lively crowd gathers, but the real party starts when the game ends and Mo suddenly appears in costume — whether as a fairly hairy Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz, a boozed-up yet still forbidding Darth Jager or Moville Redencracker, sleazy kin to the popcorn tycoon. Whatever the getup, table-shaking bass announces Mo's presence as he dances in through the front door and takes a spin through the room, a headset microphone fastened around his face. In between crude jokes, Mo presides over the most haphazard raffle in existence, plucking ticket stubs out of a huge plastic bowl and pressing gifts on the winners — radios, watches, toaster ovens, drink coupons, and lots and lots of porn. “Go Mo,” someone starts chanting. The bar joins in. “Go Mo, go Mo.” Mo gyrates like a wind-up toy, and even Panthers fans feel like winners. 203 Culver Blvd., Playa del Rey. (310) 822-6422,

—Andrew Simmons

LA Weekly