The rules at Miss Behave Gameshow? There are no rules
Miss Behave was working as a waitress in a cocktail bar in England when she met you; “you” being the audiences she began enchanting through improv comedy. The venues change and the faces never stay the same at The Miss Behave Gameshow, but the contagious sideshow spirit exuded by glittering, gold-turbaned host Miss Behave and her mad majordomo Tiffany infects crowds in every country she’s held court. Her cardboard-crap aesthetic has caught on and, after 16 months, the duchess of mildly degenerate behavior is reaching a new level of confidence in her adopted home of The Back Room inside Bally’s Las Vegas.
“I’ve discovered that the craft here, with the interactive game show, is playing that room,” says Amy Saunders, the British expatriate and sword swallower who becomes possessed by Miss Behave nightly. “Not a generic idea of what the show should be. You don’t impose it on anyone because it’s interactive, for God’s sake.”
That means if the audience is subdued, she rolls with it. If they catch the fever and clothes start to come off, great. “Every single response is correct because I can’t stand enforced participation,” says Saunders. “I make (volunteers from the audience) work hard, so the idea that I would insist that you do something you don’t want to do is not something … flip it around. I wouldn’t want to do that.”
Miss Behave really doesn’t have to “make” anyone do anything, including the often under-clothed Tiffany. With his moustache waxed out like foot-long sabers, tall Tiffany dances with hype-man abandon (on this night, to director John Carpenter’s theme from Halloween with a strategically placed cardboard square reading “Halloween Costume” keeping things PG-13) and handles the crude signs that indicate the game being played, which on this evening includes “Guilty Pleasures Round” and “Vegas on a Budget.”
The audience is divided in half between guests with iPhones and guests with Androids or other phones lesser mortals carry. Winners score points, quite arbitrarily. Losers score points. Points are scored for no reason at all until the point of points becomes pointless, which is the point. The charm of the cheapness of the set grows throughout the episode: Miss Behave and Tiffany have an impression of the Bellagio Fountains that costs about a dollar to perform each night. “Age Lottery Love” dispels ageism with a collective show of appreciation for the oldest audience member present.
Then there’s Miss Behave herself, who looks like a rose belongs clenched between her teeth during a tango but prefers to pull them through a hole in her tongue. She’s grown accustomed to Las Vegas and Vegas audiences and plans on sticking around for the long run, evolving her show’s approach and aesthetic like a restaurant revises a menu or a nightclub gets a design makeover. But her vision of customizing each episode to the mood she senses from the audience will remain constant. “I’ve put in little bits that allow them to kick back and watch,” says Saunders. “You pull up what they’re up for now.”