Perhaps no new television show this year has been greeted with the negativity of "Rob," CBS' midseason sitcom about a white landscaper marrying into a large Latino family. The Daily Beast calls it the "worst new show of the year," even after the cancellation of many other newcomers. The first episode included a cringe-inducing scene with the grandmother of the wife.
Such taste, or lack thereof depending on perspective, should come as no surprise to those who recognize Rob Schneider.
This is, after all, the comedian who has appeared in a multitude of Adam Sandler movies, including last year's "Jack and Jill," and been nominated for nearly a dozen Razzies. He is also the star of Sandler-produced movies, most of them having had brief runs and finding some cult status on DVD "Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo," "European Gigolo: Bruce Bigalow," "The Hot Chick" and "The Animal."
There was a notable attempt at drama last year with "The Chosen One," in which Schneider plays a car salesman and alcoholic, who becomes suicidal after his wife leaves him. He encounters some South American shamans who want him to perform a selfless act having to do with a bird's nest, so snow will fall on their ancestral homeland once again. The plot came out as absurd as it sounds, and this film also went directly to DVD, was largely ignored by critics and was pretty thoroughly trounced when it was not.
Perhaps Schneider's movie luck will change with the upcoming release of "Norm of the North," an animated feature that finds him as the title polar bear character, in New York City with some friends and becoming a mascot figure for a company that will have an effect on the Arctic.
So, who will make up the audience for Rob Schneider's date at MontBleu on Saturday night?
Fans of his series and movies are out there, but there are also those who remember Schneider from his peak stand-up years. (He returned to the stage last year after almost a 20-year absence.)
These are people who remember his "Saturday Night Live" years (1988-94) where he created characters such as Carlo and "The Richmeister," and did spot-on impressions of Hitler, Presley and Billy Crystal.
When Schneider is at his best, he is very good indeed (9 p.m.; 55 Highway 50 in Stateline; $35; Ticketmaster or 775-588-3515).
Lucha Libre USA embarks on a nationwide tour beginning tonight in the Reno Events Center. "Masked Warriors Live" will feature everything loved by the ever-increasing fans of the sport flamboyant characters, amazing acrobatics, dramatic story lines, and, of course, those elaborate masks.
In Mexico, lucha libre reportedly rivals soccer in attendance, attracting over 7 million fans a year. If you think the American version of professional wrestling is theatrical, you haven't seen these masked men. This tour allows the sport to reach significant Latino markets in the United States.
Fan favorites such as Blue Demon Jr. and Super Nova will take on the controversial anti-immigrant wrestler R.J. Brewer, who is the son of Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer. No other sport can "boast" that kind of conflict (8 p.m.; 400 N. Center St. in Reno; $36, $53.75, $87.75; Ticketmaster.com).
The Nevada Museum of Art has opened "Celebrate Art of the Tiffany Era" with three exhibitions "Out of the Forest: Art Nouveau Lamps," "In Company With Angels: Seven Rediscovered Tiffany Windows" and "Tiffany & Co. Arms from the Collection of Robert M. Lee."
Lee is the namesake of the Metropolitan Museum's Robert M. Lee Gallery of American Arms (10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays; $10 general, $8 students and seniors, $1 children; 775-329-3333). The attraction runs through May 20.
On Saturday, the museum will show "Dragonslayer," the film by Tristan Patterson on the life of Josh "Skreech" Sandoval of skating fame. The film won Grand Jury Best Documentary at SXSW 2011 (2 p.m.; $10).
A block from the museum, arte italia, Reno's Italian Cultural Arts Center, is featuring "John Grillo: The Birth of Abstract Expressionism," featuring roughly 35 watercolors and oils that span more than three decades (noon to 5 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays; 442 Flint St.; free).
Out and about
Time was when ventriloquists were some of the best-known entertainers in the world. Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy still remain in the national consciousness, and Bergen even managed to make the act a hit on the radio.
In nightclubs, Paul Winchell and Jerry Mahoney ruled, later along with Willie Tyler and Lester. Then they faded from the scene, that is, until Jeff Dunham and Terry Fator made everything old look new again.
Granted, Bergen would never have had dummies like Achmed the Dead Terrorist or José Jalapeño on a Stick. Dunham, whose popularity continues unabated, appears next Thursday at the Reno Events Center (7:30 p.m.; $50.75, $55.75; 888-288-1833).
Thai pop music star Parn Thanaporn comes to Cache Creek for a special concert Sunday (8 p.m.; 14455 Highway 16 in Brooks; $20 or free with club card; cachecreek.com).
It is difficult to define the band Rock Sugar with their mix of hair metal and pop. One day they'll be sharing a stage with Guns N' Roses, the next with Danger Danger. At Harrah's Tahoe, they'll have the stage all to themselves (7:30 p.m. Saturday; 15 Highway 50 in Stateline; $22; 800-427-7247 or SouthShoreRoom.com).
It's the final week to catch the guitarist Benise in his "Nights of Fire" at the Eldorado (8 p.m. Tuesday and Friday, 7 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday; and 7 and 9:30 p.m. Saturday (345 N. Virginia St., Reno; $19.95-$44.95; eldoradoreno.com or 800-648-5966).
Brad Bonar does some late-night comedy in Sammy's Showroom at Harrah's Reno at 10:30 p.m. today and Saturday (219 N. Center St. in Reno; $20, $25; 800-427-7247 or harrahsreno.com).