Bingo, the ‘early bird special’ of competitive endeavors that has remained a constant in the recreational line-up of retirees, is finding a younger audience. Requiring no strategy, and instigating no stress, the game is resurfacing as a form of novel bar entertainment, creating a new class of micro-celebrity bingo callers in the process.
The Underground Rebel Bingo Club
: Rec center games usually don’t give way to hard partying, but this series lends bingo the reputation of a Vegas night club. Shrouded in secrecy, it was conceived by a group of Londoners who rented a church hall for a weekly party only to sneak into the basement to “borrow” the church’s bingo cards for the main event. The clandestine nature of the night gave it such a debauched reputation that it’s become a global phenomenon, with events held across the UK, as well as in Madrid, New York, LA, and, yes, Vegas. Locations are kept hush-hush, but those who want to throw down some chips in the proverbial dungeon can join their city’s Rebel Bingo Facebook group
to get the skinny.
: Palm Springs’ Ace Hotel & Swim Club
is one of the hippest weekend escapes for a certain crowd of young and privileged Angelenos. Its laid back vibe and midcentury modern aesthetic—its former life was as a classic Howard Johnson—is an understandable pull for those escaping the weekly grind. However, once the weekend revelers depart, the party continues without the 9-to-5’ers thanks to the Monday night Sissy Bingo event. Though the primary draw is the evening’s hostess—Linda Gerard
, a local personality best known for her enormous sunglasses, over-the-top senior style
, and a passion for Judy Garland tunes—the prizes (cookies, champagne and gift certificates) make it a way better deal than another night of sitting at the bar.