Las Vegas Backstage Talk

Aug. 2, 2012: Weird Al Yankovic, Jon Taffer

Musician / Comedian – Weird Al Yankovic

Few would have guessed that Yankovic, who as an awkward, accordion-playing teenager got his start sending in homemade tapes to the Dr. Demento radio show, would go on to enjoy a varied and successful career that is now entering its fourth decade. Over that time he’s won three Grammys (with 12 nominations), racked up 31 Gold and Platinum albums and won countless awards and accolades for Weird Al classics like “Eat It,” “Like a Surgeon,” “Fat,” “Smells Like Nirvana,” “Amish Paradise” and “The Saga Begins.” Yankovic is also well-known for his cult-hit feature film UHF (1989), his late ’90s CBS Saturday morning series The Weird Al Show and the numerous AL-TV specials that he’s made for MTV and VH1 over the years. His previous album Straight Outta Lynwood (2006), the highest-charting of his career, spawned the Billboard Top 10 single “White & Nerdy,” the video of which spent two months at #1 on iTunes and garnered over 100 million hits on the Internet.

Now out on his “Alpocalypse” Tour for his latest album.

More about Weird Al here–>

Get the “Alpocalypse” album here–>

Alpocalypse Tour at The Club in The Cannery Hotel & Casino Aug. 4th, 8:00pm

Reservations

 

Star of Spike TV’s “Bar Rescue” – Jon Taffer

Star and Co-Executive Producer of “Bar Rescue”

Bar Rescue – Season 2

“Bars mean money, but they also mean stress if they aren’t properly run. Jon Taffer is a bar and nightclub owner who has started, flipped, or owned over 600 bars and clubs in his career and currently owns one of the most highly respected consulting firms in the bar and nightclub industry. Jon will travel around the country and employ his expertise to return struggling bars to the cash cows they once were. Everything from the science of the perfect pour, to the height of the bar stools is a key factor in making a bar the hottest place in town.”

Jon is an internationally recognized, award winning, concept developer, the voice and guru in the bar & nightlife industry. With over 30 years of experience, Taffer became of the worlds top restaurant and bar consultant. In 2010, Taffer was appointed president of Nightclubs & Bar Media Group and organizes the Nightclub & Bar Convention Trade Show, Nightclub & Bar magazine. Taffer is also chairman of Taffer Dynamics, where he is a consultant and development adviser to nightclubs and bars around the world.

For more about Jon Taffer, click here.

You can catch “Bar Rescue” Season 2 on SpikeTV and  SpikeTV.com

First episode of Bar Rescue – Season 2 which premiered on July 29, watch now!!!
You can listen to a recording of our show below!

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Jul. 26, 2012: Al Bernstein

Legendary Boxing Sportscaster – Al Bernstein

2012 International Boxing Hall of Fame Inductee

For just over 30 years, Al Bernstein has been one of the most recognizable and respected sportscasters in America. In those three decades, the “voice of boxing” reported the funny, poignant, and bizarre events that helped shape sports television, ESPN, boxing, Las Vegas, and Showtime. With an eclectic cast of characters that includes every big name in boxing, including Marvin Hagler, Mike Tyson, Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, as well as such names in the entertainment world as Rodney Dangerfield, Sylvester Stallone, Russell Crowe, and Jerry Lewis, Bernstein’s memoir will have you in stitches.

Al Bernstein has written a new book, “30 Years, 30 Undeniable Truths about Boxing, Sports and TV,” and has already received a great reception. People from the sports, entertainment and media world are talking about this book.

Get Al Bernstein’s book  now–>

You can listen to a recording of our show below!

 

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Gaming Today Column-Kevin Pollak by Michele LaFong

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Face to “Poker-face” interview with Actor/Impressionist Kevin Pollak-

“Getting Personal with the Stars”

Last week I had a face to “Poker-face” interview with Actor/Impressionist Kevin Pollak, who is competing at The World Series of Poker held at The Rio All Suites Hotel and Casino.  Kevin was there representing hollywoodpoker.com,   and is holding a best poker-face on-line contest, that will be on-going for the next four weeks with lots of prizes to win.  “Many celebrities have also entered, including Rob Reiner, whose poker-face is pretty hard to beat.”

Kevin, who has been playing poker all of his life, came in second in a recent tournament of two hundred players. He claims that being a natural impressionist and studier of human nature gives him the poker-face advantage.  “It’s all about playing your game, and studying your opponents.  The best players don’t even need to look at their hole cards.  They are playing against their opponents, mastering the poker-face.”

When asked how he got started playing in tournaments he replied “I was filming the Martin Scorsese movie “Casino,” and I was stuck for twenty weeks at The Riviera Hotel and Casino.  If you’ve ever been to The Riviera, you know what I mean by stuck!   A pit boss saw me playing, liked me, and taught me the difference between playing “Home Poker” for five to six hours, verses Casino Poker for twelve to sixteen hours.

One second it was Robert DeNiro explaining the difference, and giving me poker-face tips,  the next second it was Alan Arkin, and Christopher Walken.  I felt like I was interviewing the male version of “Cybil!”

My videotaped Face to Poker-face Interview with Actor/Impressionist Kevin Pollak can be seen here

Gaming Today column here!

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“Getting Personal with The Stars”- Bill Cosby by Michele LaFong

Bill Cosby an Icon that did not Disappoint

(Cosby guests on Las Vegas Backstage Talk radio show with Comedian Michele LaFong  on 1230AM in Las Vegas, and Web.)

The only interview that I ever was nervous about doing was with Bill Cosby. It was a phone interview, and I had never spoken to “The Comedy God.” As soon as the interview began, he tried to “turn the tables” and interview me! Then I asked him a question. “What drove you to work so hard to get your doctorate when you were already a successful comic?” Cosby’s response went on for over twenty minutes, which turned into another one of his signature masterpiece stories. As he was speaking, I realized that the funniest moments were in the timing of his poignant pauses. He is a natural born teacher, always engaging, and forcing the listener to think. He leads your mind in a certain direction, holds back on the answer, and makes you use your imagination to draw your own conclusions.

Bill Cosby always has a tale to tell, that has a lesson behind it, or a lesson to conclude from it. “I’m not your mother!” was the motivation and the theme to the story as to why Mr. Cosby decided to get his doctorate. I guess you will have to listen to Bill’s answer in order to understand that punchline!  The audio interview is archived on lasvegasbackstagetalk.com, click LISTEN-at top of website.

Following the interview, I went to see Cosby’s show at Treasure Island H & C, The TI. As skilled and masterful as his performance was on stage, the backstage performance with his friends and fans proved to be even more spectacular. He shared a very long, and detailed story about his very last gambling experience that proved to be extremely memorable, and filled with many moments of self-disgust, where Cosby retired to his suite and found himself looking in the mirror, and telling off “The Fool” that was reflecting back at him!  The roller-coaster of emotions that he described were so relate-able, and funny that it still has me laughing every time I think about it. I’m really looking forward to his return engagement on July 20 at Treasure Island H&C.

Bill Cosby will be featured in Michele LaFong’s Monthly Syndicated Columns, “Las Vegas Backstage Talk,” and Cover Feature in “Getting Personal with the Stars,” in Casino Player Magazine.

I also went to see Comic Rob Schneider who was performing his very funny stand-up act at The Orleans Showroom. He performed some popular characters that he was known for doing on SNL.  He gave me a very short but candid videotaped backstage interview.

Schneider revealed on “Las Vegas Backstage Talk” that immediately following a phone conversation with me from the radio station from two days prior, he learned that his wife was pregnant.

He then expressed concern that the Rob show, his new sitcom on CBS might be cancelled, and that he would not find out the status until the following week.  I assured him that it would NOT be.  So of course…it WAS!

I remember when I heard the news just two days later.  I was thinking “OH NO!    CBS pulled out.  Maybe Rob should have pulled out too!   Just kidding…  I was thrilled for him & his wife, and loved that the “baby announcement” was debuted on “Las Vegas Backstage Talk


 

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Gerry Bednob, Jeff Capri, Laura Hayden-LVBST w/Comedian Michele LaFong

July 19, 2012  6pm-7pm PST 1230AM in LV & The Web

Gerry Bednob guests on Las Vegas Backstage Talk radio show with Comedian Michele LaFong.  LV Backstage Talk radio show is the only show that “Gets Personal with the Stars.”

Gerry currently appears as Bling Bling Shelton in Free Radio on Vh1. He had a role in the 2010 film Furry Vengeance, with Brendan Fraser and Brooke Shields, playing Mr. Gupta. He is also the uncle of Michelle Jhagroo.

He will soon be featured in Michele LaFong’s monthly syndicated column “Las Vegas Backstage Talk” in Casino Player Magazine, as well as LaFong’s monthly syndicated “Getting Personal with the Stars” column in Gaming Today.

Gerry is appearing at Rivera Comedy Club 9:00pm through Sunday July 22nd

Comedian / Headliner – Jeff Capri

Welcoming back Jeff Capri, son of Dick Capri from “Catskills on Broadway.”

Jeff covers everything from pop-culture, biographical and political twists as well as a silly pun or two. A world traveled comedian, Jeff has worked a variety of audiences. Comedy clubs, cruise lines, military tours, and corporate events. Considered a consummate professional; his strong improvisational ability enables him to adapt to any crowd. Jeff’s television appearances, include Comics Unleashed, Last Comic Standing, Ed McMahon’s Next Big Star has enabled him to work alongside respected entertainers, including Ellen DeGeneres, Joy Behar, Rich Jeni and Adam Sandler.

For more about Jeff Capri, click here.

You can catch Jeff at The Orleans, Wednesday, July 18th through Sunday July 22nd at 8:00pm
Big Al’s Comedy Club-now at The Gold Coast H&C
Comedian – Laura Hayden

Laura is like radioactive plutonium; calm, cool and collected until comedy took over her life. A very introverted child all through school, it wasn’t until graduate school for physical therapy that she realized her comedic potential. It’s always the quiet ones! She has the ability to make anything funny, even spinal meningitis. This talent caused her class to overwhelmingly select her to give their commencement speech. That was the catalyst. Receiving several applause -laughter breaks during her speech, she thought “maybe I’m funny”. Having an unquenchable desire to try or learn anything. As long as it is not illegal or immoral, well maybe that was being a bit hasty. But on a whim, she took a comedy class and people have been laughing at her ever Since.

For more about Laura Hayden, click here.

You can catch Laura w/ Jeff Capri at The Orleans
Thursday, July 18th through Sunday July 22nd at 8:00pm
You can listen to a recording of our show below!

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Jul. 12, 2012: Kevin Pollak, Tom Dreesen

Actor/Comedian – Kevin Pollak

Michele LaFong caught up with Kevin Pollak at The World Series of Poker at the Rio All Suites Hotel and Casino. Kevin is there representing hollywoodpoker.com as well as a contest to try out your pokerface online.

Kevin also has one of the most successful podcast online! “Kevin Pollak’s Chat Show”.

Kevin Pollak has captured the attention of audiences worldwide with his range of both dramatic and comedic roles. He has appeared in over sixty films, as well as countless television projects, and has established himself as one of the few stand-up comedians to have a successful dramatic film career. In addition to his acting talents, he has also proven himself as both a writer, producer and recently a director and a talk show host.

For more about Kevin Pollak HERE

For more about Kevin Pollak’s Chat Show HERE

Show your pokerface at hollywoodpoker.com

Kevin Pollak is currently playing in the WSOP at The RIO All Suites Hotel and Casino

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Comedian – Tom Dreesen

Comedian Tom Dreesen headlined his one-man show, “An Evening of Laughter and Memories of Sinatra,” at the Suncoast Showroomin May.

Dreesen toured the United States for 13 years as the opening act for Frank Sinatra and shares his experiences from the tour in “An Evening of Laughter and Memories of Sinatra.” The show is also a retrospective of Dreesen’s life as a stand-up comedian.

Sinatra once told an audience, “If I’m a saloon singer, then Tom Dreesen is a saloon comedian.” Dreesen and Sinatra remained friends beyond their tour, and on May 20, 1998, Dreesen paid tribute to Sinatra by eulogizing him and serving as a pallbearer at his funeral.

Throughout his career, Dreesen has appeared on numerous television shows, including “The Facts of Life,” “Columbo,” “Touched by an Angel” and “Rude Awakening.” He has also appeared on the big screen in movies including “They Call Me Bruce?,” “Spaceballs” and “Man on the Moon.”

You can listen to a recording of our show below!

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