Shaq’s Fun House Offered A Supersized Super Bowl Party In Los Angeles

Whenever the Super Bowl comes to town, it inevitably brings with it Super Bowl parties — parties that are usually among the biggest of the year. But for NBA Hall Of Famer Shaquille O’Neal, “big” isn’t just a descriptor, it’s a way of life. In that spirit, he has to go bigger than big, and at this year’s iteration of Shaq’s Fun House in Los Angeles, he did just that, inviting superstars Diplo and Lil Wayne to take over the Shrine Auditorium near USC for a massive carnival that supersized everything from the endless drinks and food to the jumbo NBA Jam arcade game set up outside the venue.

While Shaq may be from New Jersey, for the last several years he’s called Los Angeles home, so it’s only right that he pulled out all the stops for this year’s edition of his annual carnival. Upon arrival, guests were greeted by stilt walkers and a marching band playing brassy renditions of hits like Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance.” Among the attractions were such fairground staples as bumper cars, a high striker (you know, with the hammer and the bell), a water gun race, an 80-foot slide, and of course, a Ferris wheel.

Those attractions were augmented by the presence of an open bar supplied by Bud Light and Maker’s Mark, with pop-up food booths representing some of LA’s most famous eateries like Pink’s Hot Dogs and Roscoe’s Chicken & Waffles. The Meat District food truck also had a non-stop line as partygoers clamored to pick up the signature burgers and fries on offer. Meanwhile, a section cordoned off for 1Up Arcade machines proved to be a steady draw as gamers indulged their nostalgia for games like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Simpsons, and Mortal Kombat. Those unperturbed by the possibility of getting dunked on in front of the crowd could play an oversized version of NBA Jam with buttons the size of dinner plates.

Inside the Shrine, a roster of DJs including Myles O’Neal, Diplo, and DJ Diesel himself kept the party going with humongous bass drops and dazzling light shows ahead of headlining sets from Zedd and Lil Wayne. In the VIP area, fans could also try another LA restaurant, Kazunori, which got in the carnival spirit with its easy-to-carry hand rolls. On the red carpet, Shaq explained his philosophy in hosting the carnival each year, “All the other parties, you just come, you stand around and shake hands. You go, ‘Hey Tom, hey Bob, hey Jamal.’ This party is a carnival with rides, favorite restaurants, top restaurants in L.A… Ferris wheel. I paid a lot of money to get this stuff here.”