Las Vegas Backstage Talk

Carnie Wilson, Don Barnes-38 Special-LVBST

Oct. 3, 2013- 6-7pm PST 1230AM in LV & The Web

Audio of interviews posted below (Scroll down)

Carnie Dedicated head shot high rescarne Wilson Phillips Hi-Res02







Singer, Talk Show Host- Carnie Wilson, Reality Star, and one of the original founding members of Wilson Phillips guests onLas Vegas Backstage Talk radio show with Comedian Michele LaFong.

Carnie is promoting her upcoming show with Wilson Phillips at The Eastside Cannery on Oct. 5.  She shared what it was like now that she’s married and what it’s like being a mom, her relationship past and present with her father Brian Wilson, her weight struggles, and future career plans.

The daughter of American 1960s pop icon Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys, and his first wife, former singer Marilyn Rovell of The Honeys, she co-founded Wilson Phillips with her younger sister Wendy and childhood friend Chynna Phillips when they were in their teens. They released two albums, Wilson Phillips and Shadows and Light, sold 12 million albums, and charted three No. 1 singles and six top 20 hits before breaking up in 1993.  For

Wilson Phillips appearing at The Eastside Cannery on Sat., Oct. 5

Don Barnes-Founding member of 38 Special

don barnes 38_PS_1_4505_COLOR_8X10_BORDERDon Barnes Live 1 Credit Carl Dunn







Founding member of 38 Special, Don Barnes, guests on LV Backstage Talk with Comedian Michele LaFong.

After more than three decades together, 38 SPECIAL continue to bring their signature blast of Southern Rock to over 100 cities a year. And at each and every show, thousands of audience members are amazed by the explosive power of the band’s performance.

Their many Gold and Platinum album awards stand in testament to the endurance of a legendary powerhouse.

With sales in excess of 20 million, most associate the band with their arena-rock pop smashes, “Hold On Loosely,” “Rockin’ Into the Night,” “Caught Up in You,” “Fantasy Girl,” “If I’d Been the One,” “Back Where You Belong,” “Chain Lightnin’,” “Second Chance,” and more – Timeless hits that remain a staple at radio, immediately recognizable from the first opening chord, and paving the way to their present-day touring regimen.  For more:

38 Special is appearing at The Cannery on Sat., Oct. 5

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Cover/Feature Ray Romano in Casino Player Magazine-Oct. by Michele LaFong

“Getting Personal with the Stars” -Ray Romano

by Michele LaFong

(Click on pages below to enlarge)

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 Page 1 & 2 of Ray Romano Cover/Feature:

Page 3 & 4 of Ray Romano Cover/Feature

M-I saw on the news recently that you were in town, with Actor-Impressionist Kevin Pollak and you were both like the only celebrities left in the poker tournament at The Rio

R-“Yeah, I played at The Main Event, the last one on World Series of Poker (WSP) the big poker tournament. I played it the last six years in a row. With 6000 people in it, it goes seven days and they narrow it down till they have 9 people left, and I made it to day 3, my record was day 2… so this year I actually broke my record.”

M-How did you place compared to Kevin Pollak?  (He was on LVBST last year during WSP…)

R-This year I lasted about two hours longer than him.

We both busted out on day three.

R-We play a home game like once a month at home.  Brad Garrett plays, Jason Alexander…I started when I was 17 playing with the boys in the neighborhood in Queens.

M- Who is the best poker player out of the group?

R- “Not Brad!  I’ll tell you who is not

Actually, Cheryl Hines believe it or not, plays a mean game.  Jason Alexander… well… we are all the same but Brad is so wild, he can get lucky and win because he’s so crazy/wild, but also he can bust-out pretty soon…I will say this… because I’m being honest… he’s the funniest!…and the most politically incorrect.”

M-Speaking of which, you’ve managed to stay out of trouble in terms of “political correctness;” you’re never in the news getting in trouble, saying something you shouldn’t have said…

R- No… you know why?  Can I say a bad word? No, I better not…

M- Sure, say it…

R-Cause I’m a “bleep” (the word was short for kitty cat!) Seriously, that’s just not my style.  I actually do this in “my act.” I did one politically incorrect joke on television once.  I did a joke about obsessive-compulsive people, and it wasn’t that bad, but you don’t want to insult them… because once they start writing letters they don’t quit…Every day you get a letter!

But really…my act’s about my life, my family, my kids, my wife, how much sex I’m not having…it just never comes into play for me to get into trouble…I’m just not a political comedian.

M-These days, you don’t have to be a political comic to get into trouble, and you’ve done a good job so far…

R-Nowadays, with twitter, blogs, every hour there’s always somebody putting their foot in their mouth

M- Are you on Twitter?

R- I am not on twitter!

M- Why…are you afraid?

R- I’m afraid on 2 counts.  I’m afraid about saying the wrong thing…trying to be funny and it comes across the wrong way…and also I don’t want people to be able to attack me.  I don’t want to give them another venue.  The Internet is enough…Believe me, I get it on The Internet, and I don’t learn my lesson. I go on it too much.  I read the reviews, and I read the comments…and then I’m in therapy!

M-It really affects you?

R-Yes, it does.  It shouldn’t but it does.  I never learn my lesson…

M-But you don’t get attacked a lot…I even looked for it online searching for the negative on you… just because…

R-Well I could show you where to go… you got to know where to find it!  Like last year, I was on the TV show “Parenthood,” and I was competing against Jason Ritter, for Lauren Graham’s affection.  Now, Jason Ritter is thirty years old, and he’s a young stud…and I’m fifty- plus whatever…and …believe me, if you want to get online then…I mean there were some people in my camp, but there were a lot of people who were happy to tell me how I should get lost!”

Critically, “Men of a Certain Age” was a hit, and again, I don’t want to sound obnoxious, because I don’t seek out the bad reviews…but I’ll find them, and when “Men of a Certain Age” came out, it was hard to find a bad review when we first came out… in fact it won The Peabody Award, but we still got cancelled, so that just tells you…the business is all about money…it all comes down to the buck.

M-Do you have any idea what you could have done differently, or should have done to keep that show alive?

R-I don’t really know…I’m not going to criticize TNT because they were the only ones who would put us on. It’s hard to sell a show about three fifty –year old men, who are going through a mid-life crisis in today’s television, but they put us on.  I think it was a tough fit though. What does well on their network are The Light Crime Dramas, and they’re good shows but our show was so different than that, so I don’t know that the TNT audience was taking to our show…maybe it would have worked on a different network where you don’t need as many ratings…like some of these critically acclaimed shows like “Madmen,” “Louie,” and all these great shows that survived with a small cult, loyal audience.

“Men of a Certain Age” was my show that I created with Mike Royce.  I created it from the ground up.

At the time that Men of a Certain Age got cancelled, the closest thing on television to that would be “Parenthood,” as far as the tone of the show goes. I was a fan of Parenthood, and I was a friend of the show-runner Jason Katims, and when Parenthood got cancelled, we were talking, and it came up about possibly doing an arc on his show, and I said “if you find me something on your show, whatever my agent quotes you for my price, I’ll do better than.”  About three weeks later, my agent called me and said “Uh…did you promise Jason Katims that you would do the show for less money?  I said yeah…yeah I did, because the work was important to me, and that’s how it started…and I didn’t even know I was going to be on again this year but we found another storyline, so I’m back again this season.

M- Any new creations in the works?

R- We got a couple of things we were just toying around with.  I just acted in a small independent movie, called “Rob the Mob.”  It’s a real life-story about these 2 young lovers who rob from The Mafia in the 90s.  I play a reporter, and hopefully that will come out in the next couple of months, and I’m trying to write a screen-play about an Italian family from Queens, which of course, I come from… we’re actually looking to do Jim Valvano’s story, who was the coach for North Carolina State, “Jimmy V’, (there’s a foundation that raises money for cancer, cause he died of cancer)…and we’re trying to do his life-story. I’m trying to get the role of Jimmy V.  It’s a great inspirational story about his life.  He won the championship in 1983, and sadly he died ten years later, but it’s a cool story that we’re trying to do now.

M- I remember bumping into you in the hallways, at Joanna Beckson’s Acting Studio in Manhattan when we were coming-up in our comedy careers- your class was letting out, as mine was coming in, and I remember that your manager Rory Rosegarten had insisted that all his acts take these acting classes so that we’d be prepared for our own sitcoms.  Were you really happy that you had taken those classes when you ended up landing your own series on Television, and did it make a big difference for you?

R-It was a big help but to be honest, when I got “Everybody Loves Raymond,” they gave me an acting coach then as well.  When we first started they said “we want to try to hook you up with an acting coach to maybe meet once a week, and go over the script.”  They said “you know this is different than stand-up…people are going to talk back to you now!”

M-You seemed very at ease with your acting-right from the get go, as opposed to Jerry Seinfeld for example who when early in the series,  was not at all an actor but really grew as the show went along and became much more natural.

R-Well, I did too but the one thing that was great about Everybody Loves Raymond was that I was involved, and in the Writer’s Room and everything felt organic, and if it didn’t… we would work on it until it did… and I would either have to find it through acting, or through writing.  Of course if you watch me on season one verses season seven, and eight- like anything, you evolve with time.

M- When I was researching you, I noticed you were on the Celebrity Atheist List.

R-I saw that!  No, it is not true.  I was an Altar Boy when I was growing up in Queens.  The Internet also claimed I had a severe peanut allergy, which I don’t…I’m eating almond butter right now as we speak!

My full interview with Ray will air Oct.17, 6pm-7pm PST on “Las Vegas Backstage Talk” radio show with Comedian Michele LaFong, on 1230AM in LV and streams live on Ray Romano is appearing at The Mirage with Kevin James Oct.18 & 19 also Nov.22 & 23.

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Las Vegas Backstage Talk column in Casino Player Magazine-Oct.

Oct. edition-by Michele LaFong

Las Vegas Backstage Talk column

(Click on image below to enlarge)

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Oct. “Las Vegas backstage Talk” column in Casino Player Magazine-Please click here to view it.

The “entertainment pool” in LV this summer has been incredibly rich.

LVBST has enjoyed amazing line-ups all the way through September, and October looks pretty exciting as well!

Kathy Griffin, LaFong Margaret Cho  Margaret Cho was guesting on my radio show recently explaining what we could expect from her “Mother” Tour, at The Mirage. I wrote a little about it in last month’s issue, but wasn’t prepared for what was in store!

Jim Short an Australian comic that tours with Cho led off the evening.  He had the audience right out of the gate and just kept the laughs coming throughout his set.  The packed house, many in town for “Gay Day,” were now properly warmed-up and ready for “everyone’s Mother,” Margaret Cho.

When Cho hit the stage, the stereo-type of what a “mother” typically would look like disappeared from my mind faster than Miley Cyrus’ past “Disney” image at The VMA Awards!  Covered in tattoos almost from head to toe, Cho soon dug deep in her gut,   “throwing up” her hilarious impression of her Korean mom, spoke candidly and bluntly about her bi-sexuality, and just “put it all out there” onstage.  Her uninhibited honesty throughout coupled with her wild animations was uniquely shocking, as well as visually hilarious, and is what truly sets her apart.  I haven’t laughed that hard in a long time!

Kathy Griffin made a surprise cameo appearance during Cho’s show.  What a treat!  Together, they shared a story that I had read in the Review Journal that morning about Kathy wanting Margaret to go halves with her for a private plane. It costs $50,000 to go from LA to Vegas.  Margaret’s response was “but… its $50 on Southwest!”  In the article, Kathy said she would try to go halves with Bill Maher on it.  It was really funny when Kathy announced on-stage that she ended up renting it alone, then later heard that Margaret’s flight had been delayed and in the end she had to call for a car to drive her to Vegas!

Immediately following the show, and falling in step with the theme of Margaret’s tour, “Mother,” I surprised myself when I spontaneously shared something with her, and asked for some personal advice to which she in-turn did answer…but ironically, like all mothers, they rarely get proper credit at the time.  I soon came to realize however that “mother” was right!

Both Margaret and Kathy were nice and gracious backstage, and true to character off-stage as well.  It was cool to see some of Margaret’s very detailed tattoos up-close, and I couldn’t get over how petite Kathy was.

Little did I realize that my experience backstage that night with both Margaret and Kathy, would prove to be “life-changing” for me, shifting my paradigm, leading me to choose a path that I didn’t have the “inner-fire” in the past to choose.  That’s all I am willing to reveal for now.  I am very thankful to Margaret’s publicist, Ken Phillips for not only providing me with great seats to Margaret’s sold-out show, but for being really straight forward…  A trait that is way too rare these days, especially in this business.

2013-08-24 18.39.26 - CopyI had a blast interviewing World Renowned Comedian Russell Peters in his suite prior to his sold out performance at his “Notorious World Tour” show at The Palms H & C.  Ironically, he is a name that still too many people are not yet familiar with in spite of the fact that his tour has become the highest attended comedy show in the history of the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Lebanon, South Africa, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia and his home country of Canada, selling out arenas of up to 16,000 fans. In Dubai, Peters was the fastest selling concert in the history of the Emirate outselling Madonna! With over 60 million views on YouTube, His credits also include selling-out:  Radio City Music Hall (twice), Madison Square Garden, and the astounding list goes on and on, both nationally and internationally. It is no surprise that Russell, whose heritage is Anglo-Indian, was ranked by Forbes as one of the top ten highest grossing comics in the U.S., in 2009 and 2010!

Peters is always on-the go, and is constantly late, but always worth waiting for as he was a really fun interview, and one of the quickest “off the cuff” personable comics I’ve come across.  The audience was howling throughout his show.  Somehow he seems to be able to get away with political correctness being thrown out the window, as exampled in his latest DVD, Red, White and Brown recorded live at Madison Square Garden. His crowd ad-libs that night at The Palms were as on target as his material.  He is currently working on a project, writing with Billy Crystal.  Edited portions of Russell’s videotaped interview can be seen on

After his show he invited my husband and me along and about 15 other guests to accompany him to The Ghost Bar, in The Palms where we partied till all hours! “Table service” was on him.

I’m still recovering…

wilson jardineLegendary music icons and Grammy Award winners, Brian Wilson (co-founder The Beach Boys) and Jeff Beck (Yardbirds) will perform live in Las Vegas as part of a co-headlining North American Tour. Wilson’s former band mates Al Jardine, (“Help help Me Rhonda”,) and David Marks will join Wilson and Beck.   The show will make a stop at The Pearl inside The Palms H & C on Oct. 18.  Al jardine, a return guest on our program gave a great interview which will air on LVBST on Oct. 17, with Ray Romano. (Al Jardine is on far left.)

Comedian Bill Engvall, mostly known for “The Blue Collar Tour” with Jeff Foxworthy, Larry the Cable Guy, and Ron White who has guested on LVBST many times, will be on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” for their new season beginning Sept. 16. He is teamed with Emma Slater, and will be competing against Leah Remeni, Snooki, Elizabeth Berkely, Jack Osbourne, and Valerie Harper. The audience vote counts for 50% of their score.  We, at LVBST support him, and encourage all to vote, and keep voting for Bill!    Engvall will be in town on Oct.25, appearing at The TI.  Video of his Backstage Interview can be seen on

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Meat Loaf, Steve March-Torme-LVBST w/Michele LaFong

Sept. 26, 2013- 6-7pm PST 1230AM in LV & The Web

Audio of interviews posted below (Scroll down)

2013-09-20 17.34.55Meat Loaf - credit Tim White







RockTellz & CockTails Presents Meat Loaf

at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas

 Grammy Award-winning musician and acclaimed actor Meat Loaf to perform 18 dates, beginning Thursday, Sept. 26. 

Meat Loaf guests on Las Vegas Backstage Talk with Comedian Michele LaFong on 1230AM in Las Vegas and The web.  In a backstage interview from Planet Hollywood, Meat Loaf answers questions about his experience on NBC’s The Apprentice reality series  including the truth about what really happened with Gary Busey on the much talked about episode when he “blew up” at Busey.  Meat Loaf also spoke of his experience performing in Hair, on Broadway, as well as in movies.

He also explains what we can expect in Rocktellz & Cocktails,  an interactive live show comprised of a full-on rock concert, hit songs and intimate, personal stories of the highs and the lows of rock ‘n roll’s most celebrated and fascinating stars.  Grammy Award winner Meat Loaf is the debut headliner and will take audiences on a once-in-a-lifetime journey through his 47-year music, stage and film career in this over-the-top production show.

Performances will incorporate Meat Loaf’s biggest music hits like “I Would Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That),” as well as “Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad” and “Paradise by the Dashboard Light” from his 1977 classic Bat Out Of Hell – the 3rd best-selling album of all time. Transporting his undeniable stage presence to the RockTellz & CockTails stage on the Las Vegas Strip, Meat Loaf will offer the audience a diverse and unique show like no other entertainer.

RockTellz & CockTails Presents Meat Loaf will be performed inside the PH Showroom at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino every Thursday, Saturday and Tuesday, Sept. 26 to Nov. 5. All shows begin at 7:30 p.m.

Steve March-Torme

New Steve March Torme photoSMT headshot red

 Steve March-Torme guests in a backstage, in-person interview on LV Backstage Talk radio show with Comedian Michele LaFong.

Steve March-Torme Performs “Snap, Sizzle Pop!” At the Smith Center’s Cabaret Jazz in Las Vegas September 27 and September  28 Evening Performances 7 p.m.

Steve sing the songs for which his father, the legendary Mel Tormé, was known.

Show time is 7 p.m., and tickets are available at The Smith Center, tel 702-749-2000,



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Kathleen Madigan, Three Dog Night-(Cory Wells)

Sept. 19, 2013- 6-7pm PST 1230AM in LV & The Web

Kathleen Madigan - Color 2 - Photo Credit - Luzena Adams







Comedian Kathleen Madigan guests on Las Vegas backstage Talk with Comedian Michele LaFong.

Over Madigan’s 25 year career she has performed on nearly every standup television show ever made. Leno, Letterman, Conan, Ferguson and so on. She’s had 2 HBO specials, 3 Comedy Central specials, 3 CMT Salute to the Troops specials with Ron White and her last hour-long special, Gone Madigan, is currently in rotation on Showtime and CMT. She’s released 4 CDs and 2 DVDs and filmed a new one hour special this past spring to air in the fall as a Netflix Original.

She’s won the American Comedy Award for “Best Female Comedian” and the Phyllis Diller award for “Best Female Comedian.” Although she’s turned down many writing jobs because she enjoys performing more, she has written and produced for Lewis Black’s “Root of all Evil” on Comedy Central and for Gary Shandling’s Emmy monologues. She’s done two USO tours to Iraq and Afganistan with pals Lewis Black, Robin Williams, John Bowman and musicals acts Kid Rock, The Zac Brown Band, Kix Brooks and Kellie Pickler. “There’s no better show on earth than a show for the troops. Trust me, no crowd is as happy to see a show as 1000 soldiers in Kabul. I do USO shows at home here in the US too but the further people are away, the more they appreciate it. I don’t think they get paid enough for a hard job so I like to do something for free when I can.”

Kathleen is appearing at The Mirage Sept. 21

For more information go to

Three Dog Night-Original Founding Member-Cory Wells






Cory Wells, (far right) founder of Three Dog Night guests on LV Backstage Talk with Comedian Michele LaFong.  LVBST is the only show that really “Gets Personal with the Stars.”

With hits like Mama Told Me (Not To Come), Joy to The World, Black And White, Shambala, Easy To Be Hard, An Old Fashioned Love Song, The Show Must Go On, One,  Never Been To Spain, Liar, Eli’s Coming, The Family Of Man, Out In The Country, Try A Little Tenderness, are just a few reasons why this band has stood the test of time, and attracting new fans, recording new music, but still playing the hits.

Catch Three Dog Night at The Eastside Cannery on Sept. 21



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KC & The Sunshine Band, Bob Anderson-LVBST

Sept. 12, 2013- 6-7pm PST 1230AM in LV & The Web

Audio of interviews posted below (Scroll down)








KC guests on Las Vegas Backstage Talk with Comedian Michele LaFong on 1230AM in LV and The Web.
KC & The Sunshine Band are still as widely popular today as they were when they first danced into the music scene over 35 years ago.  Harry Wayne Casey – KC for short –developed a unique fusion of R&B and funk, with a hint of a Latin percussion groove, giving us an impressive string of hits like GET DOWN TONIGHT, THAT’S THE WAY (I LIKE IT) and SHAKE YOUR BOOTY.    With sales of over 100 million records, nine Grammy nominations, three Grammy Awards and an American Music Award, KC and The Sunshine Band was one of the most progressive bands of the 70’s and is credited with changing the sound of modern


and their string of hit singles which was included on the SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER soundtrack, PLEASE DON’T GO, and YES, I’M READY.  KC won a songwriting Grammy in 1976 for best R&B song for WHERE IS THE LOVE.
K.C & The Sunshine Band is appearing at The “M” H&C on Sat. Sept. 14
Singing Impressionist Bob Anderson
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Singing Impressionist Bob Anderson guests on LVBST with Comedian Michele LaFong live in-studio.

Anderson became a well-known entertainer all over the world, with more than 100 national and international talks show appearances, network variety shows, and major telethons. Today Anderson still nails the voices of the great singers of our time, but along wit Anderson became a well-known entertainer all over the world, with more than 100 national and international talks show appearances, network variety shows, and major telethons. Today Anderson still nails the voices of the great singers of our time, but along with his conductor, Vince Falcone, they present the “Voice of Bob Anderson in Concert.”

Bob is thought of as  a “Native Las Vegan,” after more than 22 years of appearing on the Las Vegas Strip, including ten years at the Top of the Dunes. His love of Las Vegas, and for the dinner clubs that once were the staple of Las Vegas, has brought him right back to those very roots.  Anderson will be appearing for a special engagement at the all new Italian American Club, 2333 E. Sahara, Saturday night, Sept 14 at 8:00 p.m., and Sunday afternoon at 3:00 p.m. Show tickets only are $25. For ticket or dinner reservations call 702-457-866. For more about Bob Anderson:

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