HomeLifestyleLike Its Host, ‘Shaq’s Fun House’ A Giant-Sized Party

Like Its Host, ‘Shaq’s Fun House’ A Giant-Sized Party

It feels fitting that shortly before hitting Shaquille O’Neal’s super-sized Super Bowl party, Shaq’s Fun House, at the Shrine in L.A. I spoke with Dave Grohl for an upcoming story on the Foo Fighters’ Studio 666 film. What’s the connection you might wonder? As I wrote last year arguably no one throws a better party than Grohl. But as Shaq showed with his Fun House he can rival Grohl or any party host in the world.

What the two superstars of their respective worlds share is their unique penchant for having fun. Shaq’s big kid energy is infectious, whether it was the classic moment of he and co-host Charles Barkley cracking up on TNT’s Inside The NBA at the Los Angeles Clippers and Houston Rockets fight (look it up, still makes me laugh every time I see it) or DJing.

During his too brief 30-minute appearance as DJ Diesel Friday night his joy made every moment of the set a highlight of the party. Few people could get away with encouraging the crowd inside the Shrine Expo Hall to sing every word of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” without it being cheesy. But buoyed by Shaq’s energy and sincerity the sing along became a feel good moment.

That summed up the whole night, which was all about embracing our own inner child. While half the audience was inside the venue for the concert portion, which also featured superstar DJs/producers Zedd and Diplo and rap icon Lil Wayne, the other half was outside for the carnival portion.

True to its Fun House moniker the event featured a carnival with a Ferris wheel, bumper cars, a carousel, arcade games, games of skill — like basketball and shooting water into a hole — to win stuffed animals and carnival food such as fried Oreos and funnel cake to go with L.A. restaurants like Pink’s Hot Dogs, Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles, and many more. And the whole event was open bar. Yet. impressively, the crowd was remarkably chill.

Maybe in part because there was so much to keep everybody entertained. I’ve been to Super Bowl parties, Grammy parties, Oscar parties, you name it. And most of the time they are a lot of standing around trying to look cool or interested until the musical act comes on.

There are a lot of Hollywood parties that could do with bumper cars, and of course fried Oreos. Shaq’s Fun House isn’t the first big party to include a carnival, but it is the best. Why? Because you feel like Shaq is doing a carnival because that’s what he would want to go to, not to be ironic or cool. Then again Shaq doesn’t have try to be cool. He just is. And in every respect Shaq’s Fun House reflected its host.

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