City Cast

A Very Vegas Turkey

Dayvid Figler
Dayvid Figler
Posted on November 20
Archival photo of chef, showgirls, turkey.

From left to right is Janet Karis, “Miss Can Can"; executive chef Carl T. Dorre; and Orie Sasaki, “Miss Mod Squad.” The dancers were promoting the prices at the Thunderbird Hotel for the “special Thanksgiving Day Menu for Mothers.” (UNLV Archives and Special Collections)

The caption on this 1968 gem is straightforward, but the dream contained within is expansive. It harkens back to a time when promoting Las Vegas to the world through unusual and sometimes provocative staged photos was its own artform. Yet compared to today's more bombastic promotions, they seem downright wholesome. These three archetypal Las Vegans from the 1960s (big white-hat chef, themed showgirls) aren’t particularly famous. Their Google traces are limited to facts like Orie being the star of the Thunderbird Hotel revue “Mod Squad Marmalade” (undoubtedly bolstered by the popular youth-oriented TV program of the day) and Carl’s short and sweet obit 30 years later. Yet what a untypical/typical November day it must have been, posing with a likely uncooperative turkey (no word on its next act, though the photo implies much) to get that perfect, enduring Las Vegas shot.

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