LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — On the night of Wednesday, Aug. 17 the best show in Las Vegas was not on the strip, it didn’t involve blue men or acrobats, and the only thing it cost anyone watching was three minutes. The show took place at the Las Vegas city council chambers.

After patiently waiting almost four hours for his turn to speak during public comment at the end of the meeting Alex Stein confidently walked to the podium to address the council and Mayor Carolyn Goodman. What happened next was at first confusing for the elected officials, but Stein knew exactly what he was doing.

Alex Stein is a self-described comedian and correspondent for The Blaze. He has “trolled” other city councils from New York City to Dallas and is known for his controversial approach. He has a large online following and when he published his video from Las Vegas it has already been viewed more than 134,000 times.

During public comment, Stein began taking shots at the culture of Las Vegas: gambling, drinking, drug use, and even prostitution. But as everyone would soon realize, Stein is a comedian – or satirist – that uses public comment time at open government meetings across the nation as his stage.

“I like to go and do a form of entertainment called culture jamming. Or I take the most absurd parts of our culture, and I try to jam in politicians’ faces so they’ll pay attention,” Stein told 8 News Now. “I started going to meetings at the beginning of the pandemic, and I was talking seriously, and they didn’t pay attention to me at all. And then I noticed the crazier I got, the more attention I got from these politicians.”

Alex Stein speaks before the Las Vegas city council. Aug 17, 2022 (Image: KCLV Channel 2)

Gambling and drinking were Stein’s first target, “These casinos give people free drinks, and then they become vulnerable and then end up gambling more money than they have. And I was a victim of that. And I lost a lot of money,” Stein told the council.

Las Vegas city council meetings always have two public comment times. According to the city of Las Vegas the first “must be limited to matters on the Agenda for action. If you wish to be heard, come to the podium and give your name for the record. The amount of discussion, as well as the amount of time any single speaker is allowed, may be limited.”

Alex Stein

The second public comment time – the one Stein used – is called Citizens Participation. According to a spokesman for the city, “Public comment during this portion of the agenda must be limited to matters within the jurisdiction of the City Council. No subject may be acted upon by the City Council unless that subject is on the agenda and is scheduled for action. If you wish to be heard, come to the podium and give your name for the record. The amount of discussion on any single subject, as well as the amount of time any single speaker is allowed, may be limited.”

This night Stein, and others, were given three minutes to speak their peace. “I know that Las Vegas has a rich history of a lot of crazy public comment,” Stein told 8 News Now. “So for me, the fact that this got a lot of attention, I’m actually a little bit surprised because a lot of times I go even crazier.”

Stein’s first shot at gambling Stein piled it on. “I come to Las Vegas for a work event, and I get fed alcohol, and I get entirely way too intoxicated, I go to the ATM, I use my credit card, they make it very accessible to be able to gamble on my credit card,” Stein told the council. “You know this Mayor Goodman, they make it absolutely incredibly accessible to be able to take all I have. And now I gotta go back to Clearwater, Florida. And I have nothing. So after this, after I start drinking, I’m very distraught.”

One might think Stein isn’t a fan of Las Vegas – but he is. “Las Vegas is one of the best tourist destinations in the world – not just in America – in the world,” he said during an interview.

If you look at Twitter, you look at Instagram, you look at YouTube, you really don’t have freedom of speech, these tech companies get to decide what you can say to their terms of services. So one of the only places left on Earth where you have your first amendment right, is that these public meetings?

Alex Stein

Next up for Stein were drugs and a new take on the Covid vaccine. “I will say, the one good thing is, of all the cities I’ve been to, it’s the first city — last night at 4 a.m. I saw multiple people on Fremont Street taking the vaccine,” Stein told the council. “That’s the only place I’ve seen a 24/7 vaccine operation in the United States of America. And that’s here in Las Vegas, I saw lots of people on Fremont Street doing the vaccine.”

Remember, he’s a satirist and uses real-world events in his comedy.

In reality, Stein got serious when talking about what he experienced downtown, “What I saw on Fremont Street in the area, the homeless issues are absolutely terrible. The open-air drug use is pretty bad,” Stein told 8 News Now. “I’m basically a professional troll. I’ve kind of created a new niche of just trolling politicians in front of their face at public meetings.”

Now two minutes into his public comment Stein began talking about prostitution, “I end up meeting a nice Filipino girl, I take her back to my hotel room,” Stein told the council. “Come to find out it cost money for her service to come to my room.”

At this point, Mayor Goodman interrupted Stein, and his microphone was cut – although viewers on the city cable channel could easily still hear him talking. Mayor Goodman tried in vain to calm him down, “We’re in a public venue and I think … please… excuse me. Could you please be calm?”

There’s multiple reasons why I use these public meetings. First of all, one of the first methods is that fact they all stream it live stream with a good overlay. So it’s like they actually do a lot of the production work. So all I have to do is entertainment as a performer, I like that it makes it a little easier.

Alex Stein

Mayor Goodman even tried shooshing Stein, which had no effect. At this point, Councilwoman Michele Fiore turned on her mic and addressed Stein directly, “Sir, this is not the first council meeting you have come into. You actually go to council meetings across the United States and do this performance. So please leave our chambers at the moment. Thank you. We need to remove him. Marshalls remove him right now. Goodbye. Goodbye. Goodbye. Goodbye. Goodbye.”

Alex Stein is escorted out of the Las Vegas city council chamber by city marshals. Aug 17, 2022 (Image: KCLV Channel 2)

When 8 News Now spoke with Stein the day after this exchange he said he expected this to happen, but was actually surprised by Mayor Goodman’s reactions, “Mayor Goodman, I want to applaud her. She actually had a good sense of humor. She was sitting up there smiling basically the whole time. But Councilwoman Fiore didn’t have a sense of humor at all.”

8 News Now did request comment from both Mayor Goodman and Councilwoman Fiore, but neither agreed to talk.