Sheep Dip’s finale set for this weekend |

Sheep Dip’s finale set for this weekend

Roger Diez
Special to the Appeal

This coming weekend, Jan. 11 and 12, will see the end of an era. Sheep Dip, the 55-year-old annual roast of Nevada, will close the curtain forever. This will be your last chance to see this glitzy, irreverent, satirical, and sometimes bawdy send-up of Nevada politics and shady business deals. Sheep Dip 55 will take place in the Eldorado Theater in Reno.

The show is put on by a non-profit, Sheep Dip Inc., and has donated more than $500,000 to local charities in the show’s history. Founded in 1964 by the Reno Ad Club, the show was patterned on Washington’s Gridiron Club roast, and drew inspiration from TV shows like “That Was the Week That Was” and “Laugh-In.” The sitting Nevada governor has appeared either on stage or in a video in every show but one. The Sheep Dip stage has also been graced with the presence of local, state, and federal elected officials participating in the fun and often finding themselves the recipients of Sheep Dip’s dreaded “Shaft” award.

The show’s performers are everyday people with a passion for satire. They’re joined each year by recognizable local media folk from TV, radio, and newspapers, who say things about our local newsmakers they couldn’t say on the air or in print. This year former broadcasters Dave Finley, Ron Smith, and Brent Boynton are joined by KOLO-TV morning anchor Rebecca Kitchen, KOLO-TV chief meteorologist Jeff Thompson, KRNV evening anchor Joe Hart, KBUL radio’s J.J. Christy, and Reno Gazette-Journal Opinion and Engagement Editor Brett McGinness.

The show’s slogan is “Parody for Charity,” and this year’s recipient is Amplify, an organization which works with developmentally disabled children and adults. Early in the show’s existence, Ad Club made the decision to donate part of the proceeds to the UNR School of Journalism to fund scholarships for students on the advertising track. This continued until 2000, when changes in the Reno Ad Club’s structure determined Sheep Dip was no longer consistent with the club’s mission and philosophy. Undiscouraged, the dedicated Dippers formed their own 501c3 charity and expanded their giving to the greater community. Sheep Dip show proceeds have helped an impressive list of worthy local charities, including Big Brothers/Big Sisters, the Boys and Girls Clubs, the Veterans’ Guest House, Honor Flight Nevada, the Children’s Cabinet, and many more.

The show’s program is also unique in that the advertisers therein have no input to what their ad will be. They pay their money and a group of creative Dippers takes it from there. The ads are usually a humorous sendup of their subject, and like the show, sometimes a bit bawdy. But the advertisers take it with good humor, happy to be part of the fun.

Join the Sheep Dip cast and crew at the Eldorado for an evening of uproarious laughter. Tickets for “Sheep Dip 55, The Final Curtain” are $40 plus 20 percent service charge, and are available at the Eldorado box office. Tickets can also be purchased online by visiting and clicking on the Entertainment tab, or by calling 1-800-879-8879. Curtain is at 8 p.m. Don’t miss this show.