Las Vegas Backstage Talk

BJ Thomas, Jackie Martling

Nov. 27, 2014 6pm-7pm PST 1230AM in LV & The Web

Happy Thanksgiving!

 Audio of interviews posted below (Scroll down)

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Singer BJ Thomas guests on “Las Vegas Backstage Talk” radio Show with Comedian Michele LaFong.  LVBST radio show is the only show that “Gets Personal with the Stars.”

Five-time Grammy® Award winning hit-maker BJ Thomas will perform at the Suncoast Showroom.

In 1966, Thomas released his first hit record, a cover of Hank Williams classic, “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry.” From 1967 to 1975, Thomas charted numerous hits, including: “The Eyes of a New York Woman,” “Hooked on a Feeling,” “It’s Only Love,” and “(Hey Won’t You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song.”

Thomas is perhaps best-known for “Rain Drops Keep Fallin’ On My Head,” featured in the 1969 movie “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” and winner of an Academy Award® for “Best Original Song.” Since then, the song has been featured in numerous movies, including “Forrest Gump,” “Clerks II,” “Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle” and “Spider-Man 2.”

During the ‘80s, Thomas’ music crossed over to the country charts with “Whatever Happened to Old-Fashioned Love,” “New Looks from an Old Lover” and “Two Car Garage.” He became the 60th member of the Grand Old Opry in 1981.

In 1985, Thomas recorded “As Long As We’ve Got Each Other” which was later used as the theme song for the hit ABC sitcom, “Growing Pains.”

In 2007, he released his fourth holiday album, “Home for Christmas.”

BJ will be featured in Comedian Michele LaFong’s Monthly Syndicated “Las Vegas Backstage Talk” column in Casino Player Magazine, and will soon be featured in LaFong’s Syndicated “Getting Personal with the Stars” column in Gaming Today.

More about BJ Thomas here–>

Comedian – Jackie ‘The Joke Man’ Martling

Jackie Martling








Jackie “The Joke Man” Martling guests on LVBST and will talk about his experiences on “The Howard Stern Show,” and his life on stage, and off, since leaving.

While touring as a national headliner, Martling released three comedy lp’s, 1979’s “What Did You Expect?,” 1980’s “Goin’ Ape!,” and 1981’s “Normal People Are People You Don’t Know That Well.” He blindly sent the three LP’s to Howard Stern upon Howard’s arrival at WNBC-AM in New York City in 1982, and Howard called him to make a guest appearance on his radio show. in 1986, Jackie became  a full-time cast member and the head writer of Stern’s show.

Jackie left the show in 2001 after fifteen-year run as head writer of the radio show, four television series, and three Pay-Per-Views.

He still works all around the country, performing his solo act of rapid-fire filthy jokes and the classic finale, “Stump The Joke Man,” is about to release a CD of his original music entitled “Happy Endings,” and is currently doing his own radio show on Sirius Satellite Radio 101, “Jackie’s Joke Hunt.

Jackie Martling’s videotaped interview on LVBST with Comedian Michele LaFong is posted on

More about Jackie Martling here–>

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Comedian Anjelah Johnson, Comedian Jeff Wayne

Nov. 20, 2014 6pm-7pm PST 1230AM in LV & Web

 Audio of interviews posted below (Scroll down)









Comedian Anjelah Johnson guests on Las Vegas Backstage Talk radio show with Comedian Michele LaFong.

Known best for her work on MADtv, comedian Anjelah Johnson returns to the Orleans Showroom November 21 and 22.

A video of Johnson’s bit “Nail Salon” skyrocketed her into online stardom around the same time she earned a recurring role on the sketch comedy series MADtv in 2007 and 2008. Her infamous MADtv character Bon Qui Qui, a disgruntled fast food employee with no filter, has been watched by more than
55 million YouTube viewers.

In 2009, Johnson recorded her first one-hour special for Comedy Central and Warner Brothers Records titled “That’s How We Do It.” Her second one-hour special, “The Homecoming Show,” aired on NUVOtv in July 2013 and is currently available on DVD.

As an actress, Johnson has starred in and lent her voice to numerous films including “The Box,” “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel,” “Marmaduke” and “Our Family Wedding.” On TV, Johnson has guest starred on “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “On the Up” and “Ugly Betty.”

Johnson began her career as a professional cheerleader for the Oakland Raiders. As an Oakland Raiderette, she was named Rookie of the Year in 2002 and performed in Super Bowl XXXVII. She credits cheering on the Raiders for helping her make the transition to stand-up comedy.

Comedian Jeff Wayne

Jeff Wayne








Comedian Jeff Wayne guests on LV Backstage Talk with Comedian Michele LaFong.

If you are one of those millions of radio listeners who follow the comedy channels on, Sirius/XM, Slacker, Pandora’s Box, or any of the other myriad of outlets broadcasting stand-up comedy, you have heard of Jeff “Big Daddy” Wayne. Well he’s back beginning Monday through Sunday (11/17/2014), at the Comedy Club inside the Riviera Hotel & Casino.
A seasoned veteran of comedy clubs, concerts, luxury cruise ships, and television, Wayne is perhaps best known for his one-man show, “Big Daddy’s Barbeque,” (Grilling Food, Sex and Marriage), which had its Las Vegas premiere a couple of months ago in the Starbright Theater in Summerlin. “I am truly internationally unknown, and I love it!” he said. Originally, Wayne followed the one-man show, “Defending the Caveman,” for three years on the Improv Comedy Circuit, with the special “Barbeque” show. Originally a native of Kentucky, he now makes his home in Los Angeles, which he calls, “That big plastic taco out west.”

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Kevin Nealon, Jack Jones

Nov. 13, 2014 6pm-7pm PST 1230AM in LV & Web

 Audio of interviews posted below (Scroll down)

Comedian/Actor/SNL Alumni-Kevin Nealon and Singer Jack Jones guests on Las Vegas Backstage Talk radio show with Comedian Michele LaFong.

Kevin is best known for his nine-year stint as a cast member of NBC’s “Saturday Night Live,” and has received critical acclaim for his role in the current Showtime series “Weeds.”

As one of the longest running cast members on “SNL” (1986-1995), Nealon created some of the show’s most memorable characters, including “The Subliminal Man” and “Hans and Franz.”  He was also well-known for his recurring role as an anchor on “Weekend Update.” In 1988, he earned an Emmy Award® nomination as part of the “SNL” writing team.

In 2008, Nealon released his first book, “Yes, You’re Pregnant, But What About Me?” – a comical look at the male perspective of pregnancy.

More about Kevin Nealon here–>

Singer – Jack Jones

Jack Jones is live in-studio with Comedian Michele LaFong.

With a disarming smile, an effortlessly engaging wit and a vocal style that stands alone, Jack Jones is one of the greatest singers ranking with the legendary Mel Tormé, Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra and Vic Damone. A true Singers’ Singer. A double Grammy winner, Jack performs around the globe to sold-out audiences in venues ranging from Jazz clubs to the London Palladium. Whether he performs with his trio or full Symphony orchestra, his musical perfection and vocal passion unfailingly illustrate why he stands with the luminaries. From the thematic threads of his shows to his ability to make the largest halls intimate, Jack Jones is the very definition of a complete and total entertainer. The New York Times raves, “he is arguably the most technically accomplished male pop singer…” . There is only one Jack Jones.  I love that he was the one that sang the Boat.”

More about Jack Jones here–>

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Lorna Luft, Ventriloquist Ronn Lucas

Nov. 6, 2014-6pm-7pm PST 1230AM in LV & The Web

 Audio of interviews posted below (Scroll down)

LornaLuftColorLorna Luft








Singer Lorna Luft, guests on Las Vegas Backstage Talk radio show with Comedian Michele LaFong.

On Saturday Nov. 8, the children of some of the biggest names in entertainment will come together for a special history-making performance at the M Resort Spa Casino. An Evening with The Next Generation will showcase the extraordinary musical talents of Ricci Martin, son of Dean Martin, Lorna Luft, daughter of Judy Garland, Lena Prima, daughter of Louis Prima, and Steve March-Torme, son of Mel Torme, as they celebrate their legendary parents. Anthony Lewis, son of comedian legend Jerry Lewis, will host the event as the Master of Ceremonies.

“We are incredibly excited about getting everyone together for this rare performance,” says Anthony Lewis. “Through incredible music, audiences will get to experience a rare glimpse into the lives of these iconic legends as told through the eyes of their kin. It will be a musical phenomenon, unlike anything we’ve ever done before.”

For more about Lorna go to

Ronn Lucus

Ronn_Lucas_ApprovedRonn Lucas








Comic/Ventriloquist Ronn Lucas returns on LVBST.

Ventriloquist Ronn Lucas and his cast of characters will perform a mix of stand-up comedy and improvisations at the Suncoast Showroom on November 8 and 9.

Lucas is recognized as the first ventriloquist to headline a long-running show in Las Vegas and has received numerous awards for his performances, including being termed “The World’s Best Ventriloquist” by The New York Times and The London Times.

During his show, Lucas voices his characters Scorch the Dragon, Buffalo Billy and Chuck the Disposable Punk Rocker. In 1992, Lucas voiced Scorch the Dragon in Scorch’s self-titled television show on CBS.

Throughout the years, Lucas has appeared on numerous television sitcoms, including “Nip Tuck,” “L.A. Law” and “Night Court.” In 1990, he starred in his self-titled program “The Ronn Lucas Show,” broadcast in the United Kingdom. In 2009, he was featured in the documentary “I’m No Dummy,” which explored the world of ventriloquism through various clips and interviews.

For more go to

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Nov. Las Vegas Backstage Talk column

by Michele LaFong   

Nov. LVBST syndicated column in Casino Player Magazine, and Gaming Today.

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LVBST- Every Thursday, 6pm-7pm PST on  1230AM KLAV and streaming live.

I recently interviewed Ted Lange, who is best remembered as Isaac (the bartender) on the television series, “The Love Boat,” and learned that he has kept pretty busy since the “Boat” years directing movies, and just completed filming 26 episodes of “Mr. Box Office,” starring Jon Lovitz. Ted also demonstrated to me that he has a unique knack for transforming stand-up comedy acts into successful one-man shows, as he did when directing his friend Comedian Jeff Wayne in “Big Daddy’s Barbeque,” a show which has been performed over 1,000 times in more than thirty cities. From its debut it was a critical and popular success. Even NBC took notice and a television pilot was made.
The original national tour and success was largely obtained by following Rob Becker’s formula for a one-man show, “Defending the Caveman,” which continues its long run on the Las Vegas Strip. Both Wayne and Lange decided it was time to bring “Big Daddy’s Barbeque,” to the Starbright Theater in Summerlin, for its “one day only” Vegas debut. It was performed to a packed house, and the show was very well received. I will keep you posted with updates on this in future columns.

I recently received a call from a Japanese Production company that was shooting a TV documentary on NTV about an established Japanese comedian, Tomonori Jinnai, coming to the US to perform for the first time. I was asked to watch the show and give on-camera feedback alongside Jeff Singer, Executive Programming Consultant for the Montreal Just for Laughs Comedy Festival, and John Stuart, founder of Legends in Concert. The sold out event took place at the Tommy Wind Theatre, on the Las Vegas Strip. It was impressive to learn that Tomonori had learned to translate his show in English specifically for this filming and had been performing it for the first time. After witnessing Tomonori’s unique brand of comedy, I have a feeling his name might be recognized here in Vegas very soon. Remember, you heard it here first!
Comedian Felicia Michaels was nominated twice for Funniest Female Comic by the American Comedy Awards; in 1999 she won the award. Her credits include appearing on Showtime, MTV, VH1, NBC, as well as twice on ABC’s Full House, and in three movies. She posed for Playboy and was featured in the October 1992 issue. Before she took an eight year hiatus from comedy to be a stay at home mom, Felicia was headlining comedy clubs 48 weeks out of the year. She was also a Grand Champion on Star Search, winner of the $100,000 prize. Before interviewing Michaels, I watched her set. She was an even stronger comic than I remembered her to be with smart well-constructed jokes, sharp timing, and memorable stage presence. Backstage in between shows comedy veteran Bob Zany, a clear fan of Felicia’s was singing her praises. “You are going to love her. She’s terrific, has a great attitude and is so funny. I lost to Felicia twice on Star Search! We’re still friends to this day.” How ironic, I said, “Now she’s your feature act this week… That’s Show Business!” We all laughed and exchanged stories on what famous people had opened for us at one time or another only to then get their own sitcoms and become Stars. Felicia takes being humble to a whole to level. “When I first returned to this business after taking a hiatus, I performed my comedy in a bowling alley. I’m just so grateful that I am back working doing what I love.” Felicia will be returning as a feature act at The Laugh Factory on Valentine’s week, and funnyman Bob Zany will be headlining at The Riviera in December, when he will also return on LVBST. Both are worth catching. The audio of Felicia’s full interview is archived on LVBST’s website.

Another show not to be missed, and the first time ever on one stage is An Evening with the Next Generation with Master of Ceremonies Anthony Lewis, son of Jerry Lewis, starring: Ricci Martin, son of Dean Martin, Lorna Luft, daughter of Judy Garland, Lena Prima, daughter of Louis Prima, Steve March-Torme, son of Mel Torme. These accomplished groups of artists perform an extraordinary musical celebration in honor of their legendary parents and selections from the American Songbook accompanied by a 10 piece band and historical videos- at M resort on November 8. Anthony Lewis and Steve March-Torme have previously guested on LVBST. Both are class acts, are very talented, and have very interesting backgrounds. If that’s any indication…this show should be a winner.
More Picks: Jay Leno, The Mirage, November 1, 21-22, Kiss, Hard Rock H &C, November 5-23, Rod Stewart, Caesar’s Palace, November 5-23, Santana, Mandalay Bay, November 5-18, Daniel Tosh, The Mirage, November 7- 8, Debbie Reynolds, South Point November 7-9, Roseann Barr, the Venetian, November 7 & 8, The Black Keys, Jake Bugg, the Cosmopolitan, November 8, Frankie Avalon, South Point November 14-16, Judas Priest, Palms, November 14, Whoopi Goldberg, Treasure Island, Nov. 14, Kelly Pickler, Golden Nugget, November 14, Ray Romano, Kevin James, the Mirage, November 14 & 15, Aaron Lewis, Golden Nugget, November 15, Tonic, Vertical Horizon, Eastside Cannery, November 15, Latin Grammy awards, MGM, November 20, Culture club, the Palms, November 22, Loni Love, the Venetian, November 22, Usher, MGM, November 22, The Whispers, Eastside Cannery, Nov. 22, Average White Band, Red Rock H & C, Nov. 22, Alice Cooper, Palms, November 26, Bill Cosby, Treasure Island, November 28, Chrissy Hynde, Palms, November 28, George Lopez, Mirage, November 28, 29, Joan Collins, South Point, 28- 29, Whitney Cummings, November 28- 29.

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