Las Vegas Backstage Talk

Jim Belushi, Tony Butala

Oct. 29, 2015

 Audio of interviews posted below (Scroll down)

Jim Belushi, Sonny Charles, LaFong (1)

 

 

 

(Jim Belushi, (L) Sonny Charles (R))

 

 

 

Comedian, actor and blues musician Jim Belushi guests on Las Vegas Backstage Talk radio show with Comedian Michele LaFong.

Performer Jim Belushi, along with blues band The Sacred Hearts, will bring high-energy, soulful hits and a lot of laughs to The Orleans Showroom Oct. 31 & Nov. 1.

Jim Belushi is known worldwide for making people laugh as a regular on “Saturday Night Live,” his long-running comedy series “According to Jim” and his many film appearances. In addition to his film and TV career, Belushi’s music career blossomed in 1995 when he joined forces with House of Blues regulars, The Sacred Hearts. Soon after, friend Dan Aykroyd asked Belushi to join him as part of the Blues Brothers. To get ready to play with the Blues Brothers, Belushi would crash rehearsals of The Sacred Hearts. He had so much fun jamming with them, they eventually collaborated and have been performing as Jim Belushi & The Sacred Hearts ever since.

Jim Belushi & The Sacred Hearts have played for many notable figures including Al Gore, former President Bill Clinton and former California Governor Gray Davis. The band frequently headlines shows at the House of Blues venues, benefits and hundreds of corporate events.

The band’s first CD, “36 x 22 x 36,” was released in 1998 and delivered a blend of Memphis rhythm & blues seasoned with a lot of soul. Additionally, the “According to Jim Soundtrack” was released in 2005, containing music by Jim Belushi & The Sacred Hearts featured in fan-favorite series episodes. Much of the show’s music was written and recorded by Belushi and bandmates Johnny Rubano and Tony Braunagel, who also made regular guest appearances on “According to Jim.”

Belushi is known for his work on the live stages of Second City and “Saturday Night Live,” to the soundstages of “About Last Night,” “K-9,″ “Mr. Destiny,” “Return to Me,” and in ABC TV’s breakout comedy series of 2002 “According to Jim.” For the concert with The Sacred Hearts at The Orleans, Belushi will sing, talk, flirt, dance on table tops and do at least one back flip.

Tony Butala, original founding member of The Letterman

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Tony Butala, Original founding member of The Lettermen guests on Las Vegas Backstage Talk radio show with Comedian Michele LaFong to promote The Lettermen’s  upcoming engagement at The South Point Showroom on Oct. 30-Nov. 1 at 7:30pm.

Butala estimates that the group made some 200 appearances on television shows such as Dick
Clark’s “American Bandstand” series, “Shindig”, and “Hullabaloo” were interviewed and
performed on talk shows and variety shows with Johnny Carson, Mike Douglas, Merv Griffin,
Jack Paar, Milton Berle, Steve Allen, Dinah Shore, and many others throughout the 60’s and 70’s,
cultivating new crops of fans.

Over its 50 years, the trio has gone through a few personnel changes. Engemann left in 1967,
replaced by Gary Pike, Jim Pike’s younger brother. A few years later, due to vocal problems,
Jim left the group and was replaced by his even younger brother, Donny Pike. The group stayed
stable, with this combination all through the seventies and early eighties led by the constant
member Tony Butala. Since then, Mark Preston, Ernie Pontiere, Bobby Poynton, Darren Dowler,
Don Campeau, Chad Nichols and Donovan Tea, have each had stints as members of The
Lettermen.

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Cory Wells, Bill Engvall

Oct. 22, 2015

Audio of interviews are posted below

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http://Three Dog Night Mourns the Loss of Cory Wells | Three Dog Night

Remembering Cory Wells, original founding member of Three Dog Night.  As a tribute to Cory, LVBST is rerunning Cory’s first interview on Las Vegas Backstage Talk radio show with Comedian Michele LaFong.

Bill Engvall

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Comedian Bill Engvall, in a backstage interview at The TI with Comedian Michele LaFong.

You know Bill from his TBS sitcom “The Bill Engvall Show”, as host of “Country Fried Home Videos”, and one of the four on the original Blue Collar Comedy Tour along with Jeff Foxworthy, Ron White, and Larry the Cable Guy.

For more about Bill Engvall, click HERE.

Treasure Island Theatre, Friday Oct. 23, 8:00pm

For reservations

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Marty Allen, Emilio Castillo

Oct. 15, 2015

Audio of interviews are posted below
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Comedy Legend Marty Allen & Co-Star, Karon Kate Blackwell, guest on Las Vegas Backstage Talk radio show with Comedian Michele LaFong.  Marty Allen is from the famous comedy team, Allen & Rossi.

In the 1970s and 80s, Allen made hundreds of television appearances, becoming a regular on “Hollywood Squares.” He also appeared on “Circus of the Stars,” in a cameo on “The Mario Brothers Show,” as a guest star on game shows such as “Password”, and in ten made-for-television movies.

At only 91 years of age, Allen has no intention of retiring and still works a full year and runs two miles on a treadmill daily.

“I feel like the Energizer Bunny. I just keep going,” Allen remarks. “I enjoy it. I can’t stop. People ask me where I get all the energy from to keep going and I joke that I’m on the pill. They believe me and want to know where to buy it for themselves.”

Allen met his co-star Blackwell in the mid-1980s, and the duo began performing together, combining his comedy with her music.

Emilio Castillo, founder and leader of Tower of Power

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Emilio Castillo, Founder and Leader of Tower of Power guests on Las Vegas Backstage Talk radio show with Comedian Michele LaFong in Las Vegas and The Web.

Tower of Power’s musical odyssey began in 1968 when tenor saxophonist/vocalist Emilio Castillo met baritone sax player Stephen “Doc” Kupka in July of that year. Originally named The Motown’s, the guys paid homage to the R&B sound that influenced them while adding their own personal twist. In 1970, the now renamed Tower of Power landed its first record deal with Bill Graham’s San Francisco Records. Their next album, Bump City, was recorded on Warner Brothers and produced a string of hits giving the band its first national exposure. At least 60 talented musicians have toured or recorded with the band in its 45 years and they have been featured with artists as diverse as Aerosmith, Elton John, Little Feat, Phish, Santana, Heart, and many others, forever infusing the radio airwaves with Tower’s musical DNA. Each year Tower of Power tours the United States, Japan and Europe, playing sold out shows all over the world. Recent releases include “Great American Soulbook”, a collection of classic soul tunes, and the 40th Anniversary Concert DVD.  Tower has never been busier or more in demand.

For more: www.towerofpower.com

Tower of Power is appearing at The South Point Showroom on Oct.17 & 18 at 7:30pm

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Immediate Casting Notice!

Those selected for this reality show that is currently filming will receive $500 flat to do a 1-hour interview, talk details about the story.  The camera crew will come to you.
The story MUST end with an actual trip to the ER (which will be verified), and it must be the accident victim him/herself that tells the story, not a third party.
The person does not necessarily have to presently live in Las Vegas, but the incident must have occurred in Vegas and ended up at a Vegas hospital. Please contact me immediately at info@michelelafong.com and include your phone #.

Searching for people with stories about accidents, illnesses (not cancer etc.) and injuries that occurred in Las Vegas and wound up with the person calling 911 and being taken by ambulance (or by themselves- we can fudge) to a hospital emergency room. The story should ring true to the vibe and lifestyle of Las Vegas, its work and play culture, not something generic like a motorcycle accident or falling down a set of stairs that could happen in any city in America.
For example:
· a stripper who gets injured dancing/using her stripper pole
· fire eaters who get burned
· someone at Burning Man who gets injured and has to go to a hospital in Vegas
· girl getting gussied up at beauty salon for bachelorette party/night gets injured (foot badly cut during pedicure, ear burned while getting hair crimped) or gets in a brawl
· lots of shooting ranges in Vegas – person gets injured at shooting range – better if alcohol involved
· overeating: there is a restaurant in Vegas called Heart Attack Grill – someone who gets violently ill from overeating or who actually has a stroke or heart attack while eating there;
· performers onstage with wild animals (lions, tigers, snakes) and gets injured by their animal
· someone who actually goes to the hospital because their hangover is severe
· an Elvis impersonator who gets into a brawl/falls off stage
– someone who passes out and or gets injured after a pool party – especially Rehab

Please contact me immediately at info@michelelafong.com and include your phone #.

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Dave Coulier, Margaret Cho

Oct. 8, 2015

Audio of interviews posted below

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Full House’ star Comedian Dave Coulier and Comedian Margaret Cho guest on Las Vegas Backstage Talk radio show with Comedian Michele LaFong to promote his upcoming dates at The South Point Showroom Oct. 9-11 at 7:30pm.

Dave Coulier’s career goes outside of his “Joey Gladstone” persona – as he acted in many television shows and movies, and has been performing live comedy for decades – but he always includes the beloved show in his stand-up acts.

Full House aired for eight seasons (1987-1995, with 192 episodes produced) and can now be seen on the Nickelodeon and ABC Family network lineups. Additionally, the show is currently in worldwide syndication in over 100 countries.

Dave followed this success by hosting his second prime-time hit series, America’s Funniest People, which ran on ABC for four seasons.

His stand up show – which he said is eclectic– is a preview for a special he’s filming called “Glorified Birthday Clown” that will be released early next year.  Also next year, Dave will be seen starring in the highly anticipated spinoff “Fuller House” for Netflix.

Margaret Cho

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Margaret Cho guests of Las Vegas Backstage Talk radio show with Comedian Michele LaFong when performing her “Mother Tour” and will be performing her upcoming hilarious “PsyCHO Tour” at Treasure Island Oct. 16.

Beloved by fans for taking on social and political problems through comedy — especially issues of race and sexuality — Margaret Cho is a pioneer in the world of comedy. She has been recognized by civil rights groups for her humanitarian efforts on behalf of women, Asians and the LGBT community. Cho has long used her place on the stage to channel her vocal support for civil rights causes. Her observational comedy about race, sexuality, drugs, politics, celebrity, and everything in between always leaves audiences laughing out loud.

Margaret Cho started performing stand-up at age 16 in a comedy club called The Rose & Thistle, located above a bookstore that her parents ran. Soon after, she won a comedy contest where first prize was opening for comedian Jerry Seinfeld.

In her early twenties, Cho hit the college circuit, where she became very popular and garnered a nomination for Campus Comedian of The Year. She performed more than 300 concerts within two years and won the American Comedy Award for Female Comedian in 1994. Her short-lived ABC sitcom, “All-American Girl,” soon followed.

In 1999, Cho’s off-Broadway show, “I’m The One That I Want” toured the country and was made into a movie. The show and tour garnered good reviews and won “New York Magazine’s” Performance of the Year award and was named one of “Entertainment Weekly’s” Great Performances of the Year.

In 2001, Cho wrote material for her new show, “Notorious C.H.O.” She also toured to support her book’s release (also called “I’m The One That I Want”). In 2003, Cho went on the road again with her “Revolution” Tour, which was nominated for a Grammy award. In 2004, the tour was turned into a concert film and was released on DVD. She also launched the “State of Emergency” tour in 2004 during the presidential elections. This tour later emerged as a new tour called “Assassin.”

Cho launched her variety show, “The Sensuous Woman,” a mix of burlesque, comedy and belly dancing in 2006. In 2007 she received the first ever Best Comedy Performance award at the Asian Excellence Awards, the First Amendment Award from the ACLU of Southern California and the Intrepid Award from the National Organization of Women.

Cho was nominated for a Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series, for her stint on “30 Rock” as former North Korean President Kim Jong Il. Her U.S. national tour, “The psyCHO Tour” will bring all new material based on her famed taboo truths for a string of shows that will undoubtedly be hilarious.

 

 

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Ventriloquist Ronn Lucas (exclusive interview)

Sept. 29, 2015

Audio of interviews posted below (except on Internet Explorer)

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http://deadline.com/2015/09/americas-got-talent-winner-paul-zerdin-stole-acts-ventriloquists-say-1201538584/  http://deadline.com/2015/09/americas-got-talent-winner-paul-zerdin-stole-acts-ventriloquists-say-1201538584/

Ventriloquist Ronn Lucas, speaks out in an exclusive interview with Comedian and Ventriloquist Michele LaFong, host of Las Vegas Backstage Talk radio show, following headlines of accusations that Million Dollar winner of America’s Got Talent, Paul Zerdin, (“Britains most Famous Ventriloquist”) stole American Ventriloquists’ acts.  Ventriloquist David Strassman has also been quoted making similar allegations.

 

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