Why You Rarely Hear About Carrot Top

As Steve Martin famously once said, "comedy is not pretty." And perhaps no comedian is less conventionally pretty than Scott Thompson, who performs professionally under the name "Carrot Top," after the unruly mop of bright red curls that adorn his head.

Thompson's career trajectory, at first, followed that of multiple other entertainers. He started small, doing low-profile gigs such as at colleges or county fairs, eventually working his way up to the big time.

Carrot Top was huge for a while in the early 2000s, doing commercials and voice work in addition to his sellout comedy shows. To be fair, his rapid-fire style of frenetic one-liners mixed with props has never really been for everybody, but for those who enjoy his brand of humor, he's as good as it gets.

Unfortunately, Carrot Top all but disappeared from the public eye almost as quickly as he got there. At least, that's how it seemed to those who haven't seen much of him on TV or in other media lately. In fact, Carrot Top never actually went anywhere, and is still at the top of his game professionally — or will be, once the coronavirus pandemic is over.

Carrot Top was the biggest thing in Vegas

It's not uncommon for a performer to take their act to Las Vegas in the twilight of their career, perhaps managing to book a weeks-long or even months-long batch of shows at a Sin City showroom. Some of the luckier ones still have a big-enough profile that they can book years-long residencies at bigger performance halls as headliners. Those who don't really "get" Carrot Top may be surprised to learn that the prop comic booked a permanent residency at Vegas' Luxor Hotel in 2018. As KTNV reported, so popular was Carrot Top's show that in 2019, his residency was given a years-long extension, to 2025.

Las Vegas Review-Journal critic John Katsilometes was one of those people who didn't "get" Thompson's act. However, when he finally bit the bullet and went to see the entertainer, he was pleasantly surprised at what he saw. Not only did Carrot Top leave the skeptic in stitches, he absolutely killed when it came to the rest of the audience as well.

"Then he took the stage and ... destroyed the place. I could barely keep up for the laughing. He finally halted to ask how the crowd was doing. Exhausted, was the answer from my seat," the critic wrote.

Then the pandemic ruined everything

When the pandemic struck, practically overnight, Carrot Top and the rest of the entertainers in Las Vegas went from performing multiple times per week to being effectively unemployed. Where he once sold out a 1,500-seat theater on a nightly basis, Carrot Top was forced to call it quits, at least temporarily. These days, with the end of the pandemic in sight and Sin City crawling back to life, Carrot Top and other entertainers are trying to get back into the swing of things.

For Thompson, that means socially-distanced performances. For now, he's only selling about one in five of the seats available in his theater, in order to keep everyone at least six feet apart, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

In fact, Carrot Top has worked the coronavirus pandemic into his act, said a reviewer: "He pretends to creep down the steps at the front of the stage, a violation [of] the latest space-distance rule, daring security to bust him," John Katsilometes wrote of a socially-distanced, early April show.