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Their ‘naked’ talent

Porn Star Karaoke at Sardo’s draws big crowds, but don’t expect them to strip while on stage.

July 25, 2009|By Donna Huffaker Evans

Staring at the wooden rod like a math problem she needed to solve, Leilani Caluya tugged at her snug jeans, arched her back, and shimmied beneath the 3-foot-high limbo challenge to an earsplitting ovation.

“I used to be a hula dancer,” said the former adult movie actress known as Lani Lei as she clutched her first-place prize — a $40 restaurant gift certificate and free porn.

Welcome to another Tuesday night at Sardo’s Grill and Lounge in Burbank.

Each week, throngs of men and women fill the 41-year-old restaurant to ogle a favorite pastime among adult entertainers — karaoke. Begun six years ago this week, Porn Star Karaoke draws industry veterans and up-and-comers to show off their other talents — singing and dancing.

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Crowd capacity for Sardo’s is 100 people, and Porn Star Karaoke packed them in Tuesday, bellies to backs.

Sporting a dress that fit her like shrink-wrap, adult industry actress Nicki Hunter explained that the weekly event is a combination reunion and networking opportunity. She hosted Porn Star Karaoke in 2006, until she was diagnosed with leukemia. With her cancer in remission, Hunter beamed about being back to host Tuesday night’s anniversary celebration.

“These people are my family,” she said, stopped short by Sardo’s Manager Seymour Satin, who sought her out to hand back the Blackberry she had dropped. “See what I mean!”

It was Satin who first brought regular karaoke to Sardo’s six years ago. He offered children’s karaoke and family night, as well as karaoke for the singles crowd. Then, one Tuesday night in 2003, a handful of porn stars popped in to have a few drinks and kick back after a hard day’s work. Being none too shy, the adult entertainers signed up to sing almost immediately, Satin said.

With all eyes on them, the buxom actresses gripped the microphone, flaunted their attributes and belted lyrics to song favorites such as “Super Freak” by Rick James and Def Leppard’s “Pour Some Sugar on Me.” They had so much fun they brought their friends the next week.

And so did the patrons.

“You never know what to expect,” the bespectacled Satin said smiling, as a line of tight-topped gals clipped by in stiletto heels, each stopping to plant a kiss on his cheek.

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