Las Vegas Backstage Talk

Paula Poundstone, Bob Zany-LVBST w/Comedian Michele LaFong

Jan. 31, 2013  6pm-7pm PST-1230AM in LV & The Web

Audio of interviews posted below (Scroll down)

Paula Poundstone, returns on Las Vegas Backstage Talk Radio Show, with Comedian Michele LaFong, on 1230 am KLAV in Las Vegas, and The Web.

From discussing her cats, working on the road, or her kids, she’s always engaged, and quick with the come-backs!

Poundstone began nurturing her stand-up comedy talent in 1979 on the Boston comedy scene before moving to San Francisco. She starred in multiple HBO comedy specials and appeared on “Saturday Night Live.” Poundstone received a Cable ACE Award for a comedy special for her one-hour HBO special “Cats, Cops, and Stuff.” She received her second Cable ACE Award for her self-titled HBO talk show series.

Continuing with many successes throughout the 1990s, Poundstone starred in “The Paula Poundstone Show” on ABC and many other television appearances, including an HBO Special. Poundstone is the recipient of an Emmy Award for her field pieces on the PBS program “Life & Times.”

Paula Poundstone will be featured in Comedian Michele LaFong’s Syndicated “Las Vegas Backstage Talk” Column, as well as my Feature Interview in “Getting Personal with the Stars” in July’s edition of Casino Player Magazine.

For more about Paula, click HERE

You can catch Paula live in Michigan

Fri-Feb. 8th Kalamazoo State Theatre MI  7:30pm

For Reservations

Comedian – Bob Zany & Zan Aufderheide

Headliner, Bob Zany performs his stand-up for about fifteen minutes, when he suddenly brings on his opening act, Zan Aufderheide.  They then proceed to perform as Comedy Team!

After about ten minutes more, he continues his stand-up alone, always working the crowd.

Zany has been a comic for over 30 years headlining all over the country.  He has a regular spot on The Bob & Tom Show, called The Zaney Report.

Bob has a sitcom coming out called “Damaged Goods,” and a movie with Eric Roberts, and Nia Peeples debuting on March 16.

For more about Bob Zany, click HERE

You can catch Bob Zany at Tropicana Las Vegas

Laugh Factory Las Vegas, Through – Sun, Feb. 3rd 8:30pm & 10:30pm

Reservations

You can listen to a recording of our show below!

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Steve Byrne, Gregory Popovich-LVBST w/Comedian Michele LaFong

Jan. 24, 2013-6pm-7pm PST 1230AM in LV & The Web

Steve Byrne, star of the new hit TBS half hour comedy sitcom Sullivan & Son, guests on Las Vegas Backstage Talk Radio Show with Comedian Michele LaFong on 1230 AM in Las Vegas and The Web.

In the three segment interview with Host, Comedian Michele LaFong, Steve spoke about his fifteen year stand-up career, and long-time firendships with three of the cast members that he brought onto TBS’ new hit series including Actor Vince Vaughn.

Described by many as the new “Cheers,” The show is based on Steve Sullivan (played by Byrne) leaving behind his life in New York as a successful corporate attorney to take over the family bar in a working-class Pittsburgh neighborhood. The first ten episodes averaged over 2.5 million viewers and new episodes will appear on TBS in 2013.

Steve’s standup has been featured on several shows including NBC’s The Tonight Show, ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live, and TBS’s Conan. He has also appeared in the hit comedies The Dilemma, Couples Retreat, and Four Christmases. His most recent hour special, The Byrne Identity, premiered last year on Comedy Central to rave reviews.

A true international comedian, Byrne has performed to sold-out crowds around the world. He has been a featured comic at the Just For Laughs Festival (in Montreal, Toronto and Chicago), and he has been a part of several national comedy tours including Vince Vaughn’s Wild West Comedy Tour, The Kims Of Comedy, and most recently The Sullivan & Son Comedy Tour. As a big supporter of the US troops, Steve has headlined several USO tours in Afghanistan, Iraq, Japan and Guam.

Steve’s lack of ego and outstanding work ethic has helped him become one of today’s most respected comedians.

More about Steve Byrne here–>

You can catch Steve Byrne headlining at South Point.
The Showroom at South Point, Fri. & Sat., Feb. 1st – 2nd 7:30pm

Reservations

World Famous Popovich Comedy Pet Theater

Comedy Pet Theater features an amazing cast of housecats, dogs, parrots. even geese and mice! Critics describe it as a unique blend of comedy, world-champion juggling, and the extraordinary talents of more than 30 performing pets. Gregory Popovich has rescued the animals from shelters all over the country and transformed them into Las Vegas stars! Popovich is a fifth-generation circus performer who learned early on how to develop strong bonds with animals. He released his first book “You CAN Train Your Cat” in late 2009 and has been featured on The Tonight Show, David Letterman and in USA Today, just to name a few.

Gregory Popovich will be featured in Comedian Michele LaFong’s Syndicated “Las Vegas Backstage Talk” Column in August’s edition of Casino Player Magazine.

Currently On Tour!

For more info about Popovitch, CLICK HERE!

You can listen to a recording of our show below!

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“It’s the Norm” reviews Comedian Michele LaFong & Bobby Rydell at The Suncoast

IT’S THE NORM (Review)

Bobby Rydell and Michele LaFong at Suncoast Hotel & Casino

By: Norm Johnson | January 16th, 2013

Norm Johnson’s review site “It’s the Norm” here—>

Bobby Rydell and Michele LaFong at Suncoast Hotel & Casino

Went to the Suncoast Hotel & Casino Sunday evening to see an entertainer I hadn’t seen in years, but one I remembered from the ‘60s, when I first reviewed his show at the old Sahara Hotel & Casino. At the time, he was a hot number among the teenage crowd, and, that particular evening, he was the opening act for the great George Burns. Oh, his name? Why it’s Bobby Rydell.

Like I said, I haven’t watched this senior citizen perform in years—and that’s no body’s fault but this writer. My friend, Michele LaFong, had invited me as her guest, so off we went to the Suncoast.  And, gang, am I honestly glad that I had the opportunity—it was a most amazing night!

First things first. LaFong, who has a weekly radio show on KLAV radio, is a comedian, impressionist, and a ventriloquist. She was Rydell’s opening act for the three evenings at the Suncoast. I had heard of her comedic skills, but had never seen her actually perform. So, I was going to see two acts of whom I had little first-hand

                       

Michele LaFong and Puppets

knowledge. I must say, Michele, is a damn good ventriloquist. After all, she should be—having been a protégé of the late, great Senor Wences, who passed away in 1999 at the age of 103.

Wences was one of many stars who became world famous by appearing on the Ed Sullivan “Toast of the Town” television show. The ventriloquist appeared on Sullivan’s show 43 times during its 23 year run on television.  When LaFong appeared on stage, we noticed some props which looked vaguely familiar—they should, they were the same props given to her by Senor Wences before he died. She immediately began throwing her voice all over the showroom, which in itself is an amazing act. After a few minutes, she began to prepare her hand for the emergence of the most famous hand puppet in the world, Johnny.  Michele was perfect, in my opinion (I watched the Sullivan Show every Sunday evening like millions of other viewers did). She also had the famous suitcase where a weird, little puppet named Pedro lived. It is a mystery to me why this lady, Michele LaFong, is not working full-time on a Las Vegas stage. I think Terry Fator is great, but I believe LaFong is unique, wonderful, and her act belongs to the millions who adored Senor Wences.

Her 25-minutes over, the 10-piece band struck up a familiar tune, as a screen came down, and a film began showing a few highlights of the teenage rock and roll idol’s career during the ‘60s. The film over, out walked an older, gray-haired, dapper Rydell. Bobby had aged nicely I thought to myself, as he began his “remember me” show. Wow, I was really surprised just how strong his voice was, and my mind began a trip back in time, when I was a lot younger, and was dancing in nightclubs, and in a few movies in the late ‘50s and early ‘60s in Hollywood.

 

Bobby Rydell

Rydell, who was born in Philadelphia 70 years ago, and grew up in a section of Philly that created a number of teenage sensations—Frankie Avalon, Freddie Bell, James Darren, Fabian, Mario Lanza, Chubby Checker, Eddie Fisher and Al Martino. During his 60 minutes on stage, between such songs as “We Got Love,” and “Sway,” Bobby tells little stories about his famous friends. One of my personal favorite show segments was Rydell’s tribute to a fellow teenage sensation, who died far too soon at age 37, Bobby Darin. Included in the tribute medley was “Splish-Splash,” “Beyond the Sea,” and, of course, “Mack the Knife.”

Rydell closed the show to a SRO crowd with perhaps his best known hit, “Volare,” and he was off the stage. We visited briefly with him and Michele backstage. Having had very serious surgery in July—a double transplant of a kidney and liver, Bobby was somewhat exhausted. I reminded him of a review I wrote when he opened for George Burns at the old Sahara. “Yeah, wow, those were wonderful days in Vegas, weren’t they?” And, of course, I told him I thought he was better today than he was as a teenage idol. I meant it too. His voice is clear, strong and his pronunciation is perfect. And, gang, he may have gray hair, but he looks like a man just approaching 60. So, do yourself a favor the next time you see, or hear that Rydell, will be appearing in a showroom near you—go get your tickets right away, because you do not want to miss seeing a great entertainer do what he does best–sing beautiful songs!

 

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Steve Rossi, Amy Hanley-LVBST w/Comedian Michele LaFong

Jan. 17, 2013- 6pm-7pm PST 1230AM in LV & The Web

Audio of interviews posted below (Scroll down)

Steve Rossi returns once again and visits in-studio on Las Vegas Backstage Talk Radio Show on 1230am and The Web, with Comedian Michele LaFong and shares his many amazing experiences, lessons, and stories in his fifty-five year career in show business.

In this very interesting interview, Steve talks about everything from what it was like what to room with Howard Stern many years ago, when he was managing the frequently fired “Shock Jock,” to the real reason he and Marty Allen couldn’t get back together for even one TV Special last year that offered over a million plus dollars.

Steve Rossi is half of the world famous comedy team of Allen and Rossi. At the age of six he appeared in ‘Going My Way’ with Bing Crosby, ‘The Johnson Story’ and over thirty movies. At the age of 16, Steve received a scholarship to The University of Loyola Marymount in Los Angeles and received a BA in communication, arts and theatre and in Latin and Greek. In 1954 Steve co-starred with Mae West in her sold out concerts all over America.

Steve teamed up with Marty Allen in 1957 and soon became America’s #1 comedy team. They Appeared in over 7000 television shows including frequent apperances on the ‘Ed Sullivan Show’, and hold dubious honor of having to go on stage right after the Beatles created pandemonium on the show. They also guest starred on Perry Cumo, Dean Martin, Dinah Shore, Merv Griffin, Mike Dougas and the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. Allen and Rossi were also regular guest stars on ‘What’s My Line, Hollywood Squares, Password and numerous other game shows.

Allen and Rossi starred in several Paramount films, most notably ‘The Last of the Secret Agents’ with the guest stars Nancy Sinatra and ed Sullivan.

Steve also produced and starred in ‘The 25th Anniversary Allen and Rossi Special’ with guest stars Engelbert Humperdinck, Jerry Lewis, Sammy Davis Jr., Don Rickles, Phyllis Diller, Redd Foxx, Martin Sheen, Ernie Borgnine, Rich Little, Jack Jones and Tony Orlando. Steve has produced 11 comedy albums and eight singing albums on such lables as RCA and Coumbia. He sold 2 million copies of his hit record “More”, which was nominated for an Academy Award.

Steve Rossi also wrote and produced “Jimmy Stewart & Friends” starring Rich Little currently appearing at The Las Vegas Hotel.

On May 20th 2009, steve Rossi was inducted into Show Business Legends hall of fame at the Tropicana hotel in Las Vegas. Steve in celebrating his 55th year in show business and Is young enough to look forward to the next 55 years.

Steve will soon be featured in Comedian Michele LaFong’s Syndicated Monthly “Las Vegas Backstage Talk” column in Casino Player Magazine.

More about Steve Rossi here–>

Star of “Sin City Rules” on TLC – Amy Hanley

Comedian Michele LaFong is  interviewing Amy Hanley, one-on-one, for the first time since TLC’s cancellation of Sin City Rules.  Amy has a lot to say about why the series didn’t do well.

Daughter of reputed and controversial Mob boss Tom Hanley, she has deep and dark roots in the city, and a unique relationship with her colorful mother. Amy’s businesses include a firm that handles the top-secret financial issues of elite movers and shakers who have fallen on hard times.

Born and Raised in the Mob of Las Vegas, Amy is a 2nd generation native. Her mother Wend Mazaros “Vegas Rag Doll” is a published author with a very successful book out.

Her father Tom Hanley arrived in Las Vegas in 1939. He was brought and placed out here to look over and run the very small town at that time. Tom was a notorious mobster/gangster. In addition to all of this he established several very well known unions in town, was the local representatives of them and took Vegas into a new era. Unionization of the casino’s, their workers and the people surrounding it all. He was sometimes referred to as the Union Czar and was compared to other well known figures.

You can listen to a recording of our show below!

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Gaming Today Column – Bobby Rydell by Michele LaFong

“Getting Personal with the Stars” Gaming Today – Column by Michele LaFong

View article here—>

Note: Bobby Rydell has added Comedian Michele LaFong as Special Guest at The Suncoast Showroom.

Bobby will also be featured in Michele LaFong’s Monthly Syndicated Column, “Las Vegas Backstage Talk,” in Casino Player Magazine.

 

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Bobby Rydell with Special Guest, Comedian Michele LaFong-The Suncoast

by Michele LaFong

Today, I interviewed “Original Teenage Idol” Bobby Rydell.  He was my guest on Las Vegas Backstage Talk Radio Show on 1230 am KLAV, in Las Vegas, and The Web.  He was on the show to promote his up-coming dates at The Suncoast Showroom, Jan. 11-13 at 7:30pm  I will also be opening for him, and performing “A Tribute to Senor Wences” with The “Original Johnny” lipstick hand-puppet that Wences “handed-off” to me, documented in LIFE Magazine.

This will be Bobby’s first time performing a full hour+ show in a year since surviving double surgery, a liver, and kidney transplant.

“I was really sick for a year.  I said to my wife: it’s over! Get the will ready because I’m gone honey!  The very next day, I got a call from Jefferson Hospital in Philadelphia telling me to get in right away. That afternoon, I was in the OR for 20+ hours having both a liver and a kidney transplant. I was in July 9. I was home July 19. After 10 days in the hospital, that was it. I had no pain, no nothing. So God Bless Jefferson Hospital, and their whole surgical team!”

“If it weren’t for my wife, I wouldn’t be here.  She happens to be a nurse.  She saved my life.”

Rydell,  is no stranger to playing Las Vegas.  His first appearance here was back in ’60 or ’61, at The Sahara Hotel.   “I did two weeks with George Burns.  I used to stand in the wings after I was done performing, and just watch him.   How he delivered a line, his timing.”  There wasn’t a short-list of the Icons that Rydell hadn’t worked with over the years. He had great stories. “Jack Benny, I did his TV show, I worked with him, we did “Theater in the Round” together, Perry Como, and Tody Fields.  “The one guy who was really been behind me, he was “My Superstar” …Red Skeleton.”

I did 12 shows with Red.  The Red Skelton Hour, years ago on CBS,   Television City, and then Red took me under his wing because he lost his son Richard at 15 years old via leukemia.  When I did his show, I was just like 18, or 19 years old, and the producer of the show, Cecil Barker, said to me at rehearsal “I understand that you do an impersonation of Red.”  I said “yeah, I do Clem Kadiddlehopper”, he said “can I hear it?” (So I did it.) “And Red was rehearsing with David Rose, he overheard me doing this, and he started talking back to me as Clem Kadiddlehopper . Then we did that show, and we did a couple of shows like that, and then on the third or fourth show, they wrote in a character,  Zeek Kadiddlehopper, that was me. I played  (Red’s)  Clem Kadiddlehopper’s cousin.  Cecil Parker said to me “you are the first person who ever imitated one of Red’s characters on Red’s TV show, and he flew me to his house in Palm Springs, and I met his wife, his daughter… he had 3 poodles, a Mack howl on his shoulder that bit me… Those were great times! Then, a few years back before he passed away, I went to see him with my children.  He was at the Caesars in Atlantic City. He introduced me, and I went backstage, then you know how he does of the silent things where he does the old man?  You know …. “Walking in the Parade,” all of those “Bits,” and I started crying,”  you know, (He said while choking up.)  because he meant so much to me. “So I went backstage, and I said to Red, I said “you did it again.  You made me cry.”  He said… “was I that bad?!”  (lol…”Sorry, I got a little “teary eyed” there…)  It happens to me a lot when I’m telling old show-biz stories from the past…  I cry a lot more now!

Bobby Rydell’s full interview will be aired this Thursday, from 6-7pm PST.  Stream live lasvegasbackstagetalk.com.  It will be archived on the website.  He will also be featured in Michele LaFong’s Monthly Syndicated Column, “Las Vegas Backstage Talk,” in Casino Player Magazine.  (CP Magazine.)

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