Las Vegas Backstage Talk

Sept. LV Backstage Talk column

By Michele LaFong

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Las Vegas Backstage Talk radio show with Comedian Michele LaFong-

monthly syndicated column in Casino Player Magazine, and Gaming Today.

Coming off the heels of guesting on LVBST just two weeks earlier to discuss the exciting details of his new recording deal, Emmy Award winner Clint Holmes returned to LVBST to announce that Aug 1-3, would be his last weekend performing at his monthly resident weekend engagement at The Cabaret Room in The Smith Center before taking a hiatus in order to make time for his new gig… to star in GEORGIA ON MY MIND: Celebrating the Music of Ray Charles – at The Venetian Theatre this fall. Clint explained; “When the producer, Larry Rosen first asked me to do the show I said “you know…I don’t sound like Ray Charles, I don’t even sing like Ray Charles…Larry said “that’s not what we’re looking for. We want artists that do their interpretations of his songs. Co-Stars 10-time Grammy award-winning vocal group TAKE 6, six-time Grammy nominee and Downbeat Vocalist of the Year Nnenna Freelon, and Stella Gospel Award and Grammy award-winning saxophone star Kirk Whalum also do not sound like Ray Charles.” The show introduces the Las Vegas Mass Choir, under the direction of James R. Smith and Edie Aikels, and features the Las Vegas All-Star Big Band, under the direction of pianist and conductor, David Loeb. GEORGIA ON MY MIND, will be in the Venetian Theatre September 18 through October 29, 2014. Clint will return to The Smith Center in time to present his Christmas show.

Joy Behar may have retired as Co-Host from ABC’s The View…but that’s about all she’s retired from. In my latest interview with Joy she had this to say; “I lost about 18 pounds altogether after getting off The View…That show made me fat! Now that I’m off… it’s so much less stressful. It’s a whole new group over there. Let’s see how fat they all get!” That’s what I always loved about Joy…You never knew what was going to come out of her mouth next! “I’m doing more stand-up again, as well as working on a One Woman Show, which has more of a storyline than stand-up called “Me, My Mouth, and I.”  We’re currently looking for an Off-Broadway Theatre in New York.” When asked about other future goals in the works, she replied, “I’d be open to doing TV again…but it would have to be the right project.” Joy’s interview aired on August 14. A video clip of her and Colin Quinn on HLN, laughing about doing gigs for me back in the ‘80’s is posted on casinoplayer.com, gamingtoday.com, and is posted below.

Another popular, funny and exciting guest returning to LVBST is “the Voice of Boxing” himself, my next door neighbor and friend Al Bernstein. On Sept. 11, Al will be guesting in-studio giving us more backstage stories, celebrity updates and of course his take on the big upcoming Mayweather/Maidana fight at The MGM Grand that he is covering on Sept. 13 on Showtime.

Oscar, Grammy, and Golden Globe Winner Paul Williams returned on LVBST calling in from Dublin! Between being President of ASCAP, speaking to congress about songwriters getting paid in the digital age, and preparing for his new book release on Sept. 17th on Penguin called “Gratitude and Trust”, and winning another Grammy Award this year…we ran out of time before could hear the rest of what might be next for Paul Williams!

Rudy Ruettiger, whose life-story was the inspiration for the movie “Rudy,” one of the most inspiring movies of our time, guested in-studio together with his producer, Tony Sacca to promote the premiere of his new multi-media one-man show, “Rudy,” starring Rudy Ruettiger at the Troesh Studio Theater in The Smith Center Aug. 9. The show, like the movie is about his life story of how he accomplished his dream of going to Notre Dame and convinced Hollywood to make a movie of his life, which earned him an invitation to the White House. “After seeing Mike Tyson’s one-man show, I knew that I too could do this. The ultimate goal is Broadway.” Why Not?!
Here’s a treat: “End of Summer Bash,” a FREE concert featuring Gary Lewis & The Playboys, Brooklyn Bridge, The Rip Chords, 1910 Fruitgum Company on Saturday, Sept. 6, at 4pm at The Cannery.

Nevada’s 150th birthday is being planned for Monday, Sept. 22 at 7 p.m. in Reynolds Hall at The Smith Center. Proceeds will benefit The Smith Center’s education outreach programs. This variety show is a not-to-be missed event that will feature some of the best entertainers of the Las Vegas Strip as they come together for one night only to celebrate Nevada’s cultural heritage. Proceeds will benefit The Smith Center’s education outreach programs. Tickets are $25 to $100. Some of the names already scheduled to appear include: Bob Anderson, Susan Anton, Cirque du Soleil, Véronic DiCaire, Clint Holmes, Human Nature, Jersey Boys, Robin Leach, Jerry Lewis, Frankie Moreno, Penn& Teller and many more backed by The Lon Bronson All-Star Band and boosted by the Las Vegas Mass Choir.

The Best of Jethro Tull will be played by Legendary prog pioneer Ian Anderson at The Pearl inside The Palms Resort on Sept. 19. My two segment interview with Ian will air on Sept. 18.

Sept. headline entertainment really heats up in September as evidenced by the length and quality of the names in “My Picks” this month. LVBST should have great choices for interviews!

My Picks: Rock of The 80’s-The Romantics, The Smithereens, Marshall Crenshaw, Tommy Tutone, Eastside Cannery, Sept. 5,
Jerry Seinfeld, Caesars Palace, Sept. 5 & 6, Jim Breuer, South Point, Sept. 5 & 6,Kevin Hart & Friends Comedy All-Stars, The Cosmopolitan, Sept. 5, Susie Essman, The Venetian, Sept. 5 & 6, Deana Carter, Sunset Station, Sept. 6, Neil Sedaka, The Orleans, Sept. 6 & 7, Gabriel Iglesias, The Mirage, Sept. 12-14, Arturo Sandaval, The Smith Center, Sept. 13, Deana Martin, South Point, Sept. 13 & 14, Marc Anthony, Planet Hollywood, Sept. 13, The Guess Who, Eastside Cannery, Aug. 16, Diana Ross, Caesars Palace, Sept. 19, Ray Romano, The Mirage, Sept. 19 & 20, REO Speedwagon, The Orleans, Sept. 19 & 20, Tony Orlando, South Point, Sept. 19-21, Tesla Eastside Cannery, Sept. 20, Joan Osborne, M Resort, Sept. 20, Rod Stewart, Caesars Palace, Sept. 19- Oct. 5,
Gordon Lightfoot, The Smith Center, Sept. 24, Bill Cosby, Treasure Island, Sept. 26, Daniel Tosh, The Mirage, Sept. 26 & 27,
Katy Perry, MGM Grand, Sept. 26, Paula Poundstone, The Orleans, Sept. 26 & 27, Ralphie May, South Point, Sept. 26-28, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Palms, Sept. 27, Jerry Lewis, Smith Center, Sept. 30, Lorde, Hard Rock, Sept. 30.

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Joy Behar, Donny Most

Aug. 14, 2014- 6-7pm PST 1230AM KLAV in LV & The Web

 Audio of interviews posted below (Scroll down)

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Comedian Joy Behar, former Co-Host of The View returns to Las Vegas Backstage Talk with Comedian Michele LaFong.

Whether Behar is performing standup or interviewing celebrities and politicians, she has been recognized as innovative comedic talent and a leading woman both on television, stage and the big screen. In addition to co-hosting ABC’s Emmy-winning daytime talker “The View” for 12 seasons, Behar hosted “The Joy Behar Show” on HLN and “Joy Behar: Say Anything!” on Current TV.

In the 1980’s, Behar set out to pursue comedy professionally and instantaneously received bookings from famous New York clubs including Caroline’s and Catch a Rising Star. She went on to win three MAC Awards and a CableACE Award later in her career.

Joy will be appearing at The Venetian as part of The Lipshtick series on Aug. 22 & 23

Joy Behar and Colin Quinn remember working for LaFong Productions.

Donny Most

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Donny Most guests on LVBST with Comedian Michele LaFong.

Don is probably best known for his co-starring role as Ralph Mouth in the long running television series “Happy Days”. During this time, he worked with such emerging talents as Ron Howard and Garry Marshall.  Recently, Don was seen in a recurring role on the hit TV show – “Glee”, as well as starring roles in the indie film – “The Yankles”, and“Chez Upshaw”, starring Kevin Pollack and Illeana Douglas. He just finished starring in “Campin Buddies”, along with a role in the independent film – “Remember Isobel”, and the film short – “Duality.”  Most’s other feature film credits include “ED TV”, directed by Ron Howard; “Crazy Mama”, directed by Jonathan Demme, and “The Great Buck Howard”, starring John Malkovich.  In television, his other guest starring roles include “Men Of A Certain Age”, “Century City”, ‘Star Trek:Voyager’, ‘Yes, Dear’, ‘The Crow, ‘Sabrina’, ‘Sliders’, ‘Dark Skies’ and ‘The Family Guy’.

Following in the footsteps of some of his peers, Don has now directed three feature films. “His first, “The Last Best Sunday”, had its World Premiere at the Seattle International Film Festival, and was a feature film winner at the Telluride IndieFest. “Moola”, starring William Mapother, Shailene Woodley, Treat Williams, Daniel Baldwin, and Curtis Armstrong, premiered at The Newport
Beach Film Festival, where it earned Most The Outstanding Achievement in Directing Award. Don also directed “Harley’s Hill”, his first family film, which was recently seen on Showtime, Starz and Encore.

In another area, Don has recently gone back to his first love – singing. Don has always loved the standards/swing/big band style of music, and has just mounted his show – “Donny Most Sings And Swings”. He recently performed it at “Vitello’s Jazz Club”, in Studio City, Los Angeles to great acclaim.

Most will be appearing at The Catalina Jazz Club, Aug. 20, 8:30pm

 

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Aug. Las Vegas Backstage Talk column

by Michele LaFong

August’s Las Vegas Backstage Talk column in Casino Player Magazine and Gaming Today.

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Steve Rossi: May 25, 1932 – June 22, 2014
Show-biz Legend Steve Rossi was a frequent favorite in-studio guest on Las Vegas Backstage Talk radio show. I first met him in ’94 at my variety show “Vegas Live” starring Michele LaFong, at The Debbie Reynolds Hotel and Casino. He was very supportive, and came in frequently to watch the show, hang-out and schmooze…and what a fun schmoozer he was! Even back then he brought the party with him where ever he went. He is greatly missed. On June 26, in Steve’s honor we replayed his very first LVBST interview. It was incredibly colorful and entertaining. He shared his many experiences, lessons and stories in his amazing fifty-five year career in show business which covered everything from what it was like to room with Howard Stern many years ago when he was managing the frequently fired “Shock Jock,” to the real reason he claimed that he and Marty Allen could not get back together… not even for one last TV Anniversary Special that Steve claimed was offered to them last year for over a million dollars. The show is worth listening to and is archived on Lasvegasbackstagetalk.com.
Clint Holmes returned in-studio live on June 19, to update us on the exciting news of his new CD release, and monthly resident performances at The Smith Center on the first weekend of every month.
Mostly known for being the former co-host of ABC’s The View, Joy Behar will return to Vegas to perform a weekend of stand-up on Aug.22 & 23 as part of the new “Lipshtick Series” at The Venetian. She got nabbed-up pretty quickly after her successful engagement at The Orleans this past January. Apparently much of the general public was unaware of what an accomplished Stand-up Comedian Joy was. Back in the 80’s, when I was a touring headline comedian, I had a business called LaFong Productions. Joy was one of my top go to comedians that I booked in my 21 rooms. Come to think of it many of the comedians that I booked have done incredibly well in their careers including Kevin James, and Comedian and YouTube Sensation Vic Dibitetto, who recently got cast by Kevin in Mall Cop 2, teamed-up with Actor Nick Turturro (mostly known for his role in NYPD Blue.) I recently aired the lively interview with the pair on June 12, and it too is archived on our website. An edited video clip of Nick and Vic is posted on casinocenter.com
Comedian Russell Peters, currently a judge on NBC’s Last Comic Standing with Roseanne Barr and Keenon Ivory Wayans, returned on LVBST and will return to the Pearl at The Palms on Aug. 2 exploring new material and crowd work. “Although the taping for Last Comic Standing has concluded, the competition is still playing out every week on television and even the three finalists do not know the outcome! We taped three different endings and they do not know which one will be aired.”
Jay Leno returns to The Mirage on August 11, and Nov. 21 & 22. He puts on a very strong well-paced, fluff-free show that is definitely worth catching. Last month, I aired Part 1 & 2 of a long interview with Jay covering everything from his comedy writing to why he doesn’t have a team of security escorting him around like most other celebrities.
Jay explained the security question with a great story. “Once I was at one of these hotels, and they insisted on sending two security people to walk me to the showroom…so these two huge goons come up with suits on that look like they are made out of sofa material, and we walk into the casino… and as we’re coming through they were actually pushing people…literally shoving old ladies out of the way…and people were like “screw you Leno!” “and I’m like no let me stop and take a picture, sign an autograph…it takes an extra few minutes but everybody’s happy. Having security walk me to a show was so much worse!
Superstar Al Pacino will bring his “Pacino: One Night Only” show to The Mirage Saturday, Aug. 16 at 7:30 p.m. This is an opportunity to step into Pacino’s world as he shares his passion for acting and directing in an up-close-and-personal setting in the Terry Fator Theatre. The evening will explore his life beginning in the 1960s when he performed Off-Broadway and will follow his career to present day. The show will include previously untold stories, never-before-seen clips, and a question and answer session. Pacino is one of the rare winners of the acting Triple Crown: the Oscar, Tony and Emmy Award.
Other Picks: Buckcherry, Otherwise, Hard Rock, Aug. 1, Caroline Rhea, Wendy Liebman, The Venetian, Aug 1 & 2, The Goo Goo Dolls, Daughtry, Plain White T’s, Red Rock Resort, Aug. 1, Herman’s Hermits with Peter Noone, South Point, Aug. 1-3, Journey, Steve Miller Band, Mandalay Bay, Aug 1, Kenny Wayne Shepard, Los Lonely Boys, The Palms, Aug. 1, Lady Gaga, MGM Grand, Weezer, Cosmopolitan, Aug. 1, Aerosmith Slash, MGM Grand, Aug. 2, Jonny Lang, Boulder Station, Aug. 2, Blues Traveler, Sugar Ray, Smash Mouth, Uncle Cracker, Golden Nugget, Aug. 8, Dirty Heads, Pepper, Aug. 8, Lisa Lampanelli, The Venetian, Aug. 8 & 9, Rob Schneider, South Point, Aug. 8-10, Aaron Neville & Dr. John, The Cannery, Aug. 9, Aries Spears, Mandalay Bay, Aug. 9, Kathy Griffin, The Mirage, Aug. 9, Lynard Skynyrd, Golden Nugget, Aug. 9, Counting Crows, Mandalay Bay, Aug. 10, 38 Special, Eastside Cannery, Aug. 10, Cesar Millan, “Leader of the Pack” Palms, Aug. 15, Whitney Cummings, The Venetian, Aug. 15 & 16, Yes, Hard Rock, Aug. 15, The Guess Who, Eastside Cannery, Aug. 16, ZZ Top, Jeff Beck, Hard Rock, Aug. 16, Daniel Tosh, The Mirage, Aug. 22 & 23, Dave Collier, South Point, Aug. 22-24, Rock N Blues Fest with Johnny Winter Band, Edgar Winter Band, Cannery, Aug. 23, John Legend, The Cosmopolitan, Aug. 24, The Summer Nationals Tour, featuring The Offspring, with Special Guests, Bad Religion, Pennywise, Stiff Little Fingers, Hard Rock, Aug. 27, The Adam Carolla Show, Treasure Island, Aug. 29, Bill Medley with McKenna Medley, South Point, Aug. 29-31, Joe Rogan, The Mirage, Aug. 29, Bachman & Turner, Cannery, Aug. 30, Keith Urban, The Cosmopolitan, Aug. 31.

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July Las Vegas Backstage Talk Column

July  2014- Casino Player Magazine, Gaming Today

by Michele LaFong

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After three years of trying, I finally scored an interview with Jay Leno. Although I had watched Jay countless times over the years on the Tonight Show, I never actually saw him perform his stand-up show live for a full 90 minutes till last month when I checked out his show at the Mirage, and I must say his set was even more impressive than I expected it to be. From the moment Jay hit the stage it was a laugh-a-thon. He opened with strong topical set-up/punchline type jokes that he would typically do in his opening monologue on television. He was like a joke machine for the entire first half of the show. I didn’t notice any notes on stage, nor did I see him using any cue cards, and it made me wonder how he can remember every joke and segue so effortlessly. He never stumbled or once had a “senior moment!” As much as I enjoyed the first half of the show, I loved the second half even more. Jay delved into the audience some, working the sold-out crowd masterfully. My favorite part of Leno’s show was when he told stories about his background, family, personal experiences with meeting celebrities for the first time, and referencing things and guests from events that happened on the Tonight Show. It was all meat and potatoes, without filler for the entire 90 minute performance. There aren’t too many comedians that can sustain that rhythm and flow of laughs so consistently with clean, smart thought provoking comedy…especially for an hour and a half. Jay returns to the Mirage on July 11 & August 8, and November 1, 21, 22. Our interview will air on Las Vegas Backstage Talk on July 3 & 5.
Wilson Phillips returned to the Eastside Cannery on June 7, and surprisingly put on a very different but equally entertaining show than when I saw back in October. Mixing in some of their famous parents’ hits from the Mamas and Papas and the Beach Boys from an album that they finally recorded at the request of their fans, I especially loved that part of the show and the stories they told of how those hits were born and came about. As usual, the show had lots of personality, and spontaneity.
Both Ventriloquist Willie Tyler & Lester recently guested on LVBST live in-studio. Willie Tyler is an icon in show business getting his first big break on Rowen & Martin Laugh-in. He also was then featured on The Jefferson’s, and many other TV shows as well as being the first ventriloquist to be booked on Late Night with David Letterman. It was a trip having a ventriloquist with his comedy partner in-studio live on radio! It was a throwback to the Edgar Bergan days. I hadn’t seen Willie in many years, not since we were booked together on a national TV commercial for Mercedes Benz. Willie hasn’t aged a bit…and neither did Lester! We used to share the same manager, Marty Fischer who also handled Senor Wences. An edited portion of Willie & Lester on LVBST can be seen on casinocenter.com
For the very first time and for one night only Talk Show Host Wendy Williams will be performing her comedic one-woman show which will debut at The Venetian. Last month, Williams revealed to her guest Comedian Joy Behar on her popular television talk show that she’s always wanted to be a stand-up comic and will finally take her shot at it on Saturday, July 11 at 10pm. That night will also mark the launch of the Venetian’s new Lipshtick Comedy series, which will feature an impressive weekend line-up of female comedy talent including Heather McDonald & Iliza Shlesinger, Rita Rudner, Caroline Rhea & Wendy Liebman, Lisa Lampanelli, Whitney Cummings, Joy Behar, Susie Essman, Jen Kirkman & Natasha Leggero, Jennifer Coolidge, and Loni Love. I’m sure this new venue will do well. There has always been a market for strong female comedians even back in 1998 which is why I produced and starred in “Funniest Females” back in the Comedy Theatre upstairs at O’Sheas, and currently co-star and co-produce Leading Ladies of Comedy with Judy Tenuta, and singing impressionist Bethany Owen in the Indian Casino market.
On June 7, 2014 Comic/Magician the Amazing Johnathan and fiancée Anastasia Synn tied the knot in one of the most off the wall weddings Vegas has ever hosted. Longtime friend and entertainer Gallagher became an ordained minister specifically to marry the couple for the star-studded event. The ceremony took place at “A Special Memory Chapel,” and had a circus atmosphere. David Copperfield, Carrot Top, Louie Anderson, and many other performers attended. Comedian Gallagher is developing a reality show where he marries couples by day and turns the chapel into a comedy club at night. “I have many clubs around the country that would like me to bring this reality show to their venue for an episode.” Gallagher said. On July 12, Gallagher starts a two-week run at the Golden Nugget in the main theater. He has proven from his last successful run in Las Vegas at the Laugh Factory at the Tropicana that he is a very funny and relevant comic and a consistent entertainer. Due to health issues, June 30th – July 1st, the Amazing Johnathan will give his final performances at the Magic Castle in Los Angeles, CA. After 35 years of bringing his unique style of comedy and magic to the world, the Amazing Johnathan is retiring from performing and these final four shows will be video tapped for a future documentary.
My Picks for July: Carlos Mencia, TI July 4, Bob Weir & Ratdog, Palms, July 5, Queen & Adam Lambert, Hard Rock, July 5 & 6, America, Cannery, July 6, Gallagher, Golden Nugget, July 10-19, New Kids on the Block, Planet Hollywood Resort, July 10-13, Wendy Williams, Venetian, July 11, Jay Leno, Mirage, July 11, The Bangles, Eastside Cannery, July 12, Bill Cosby, TI, July 18, Heather McDonald and Iliza Schelesinger, Venetian, July 18 & 19, Lady Gaga MGM Grand, July 19, Nine Inch Nails, Soundgarden, Planet Hollywood, July 19, Paul Revere & the Raiders, the Cowsills, Eastside Cannery, July 19, Nick Swardson, Mirage, July 25 & 26, Rita Rudner, Venetian, July 25 & 26, The Voice Tour, Hard Rock, July 25, Boston, Cheap Trick, Hard Rock, July 26, Spinners, Cannery, July 26, Olivia Newton-John, Flamingo July 29- Aug. 30.

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March-LVBST syndicated column in Gaming Today, and Casino Player Michele LaFong

Las Vegas Backstage Talk by Michele LaFong

(Desi Arnaz Jr., Joy Behar, Chuck Negron, Dana Carvey, Rob Schneider, Bill Engvall, Bill Maher, Larry The Cable Guy, Jeff Foxworthy)

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March-LVBST syndicated column

by Michele LaFong

in Gaming Today, and Casino Player Magazine.

Not since Barbara Walters, has Desi Arnaz Jr. granted anyone an interview. However, after much persistence and good timing with the upcoming Dam Short Film Festival last month at the Historic Boulder Theatre which Desi and his wife Amy own since 1986, I finally was the very lucky person to break this silent streak!  When I do an interview, I never know what direction it’s going to go.  I attempted what would have been a very  “rare interview with Desi Arnaz Jr.” speaking about growing up with Lucy & Desi but it became a very interesting and informative “Where Are They Now” episode that Oprah Winfrey has made so popular on the Own network.  Very soon into the hour- plus conversation, it was evident that we were in need of at least a five session series because Desi said it best “I’ve lived over 200 years in 60!”  Much of the conversation got really deep, had many layers, and took twists and turns.  When I asked him what his plans were in the near future besides what he is already doing with the non-profit ballet company that he and his family runs together, and events at The Boulder Theatre, surprisingly Desi responded “I’m going to be Michele LaFong!  I will be interviewing celebrities on video on-stage at The Boulder Theatre that are in town for up-coming projects, or who just have a story to tell.”  Since Desi grew up with an “inside view” of show-biz, and a dating history that includes Liza Minnelli, Patty Duke, and almost every other A Lister hottie in Hollywood…I think this is a natural that would make great television, which we are so in need of today.   For more information on the Dam Short Film Festival, The Boulder Theatre, or to listen to the archived two part interview that aired on Feb. 6, and 13, go to lasvegasbackstagetalk.com.

Joy & Michele 3After 16 years as co-host of ABC’s The View, Comedian Joy Behar retired from the show but has not retired from her very long career.  In fact there are persisting rumors of Joy returning to television…and that could be happening very soon.  In the meantime, Behar continues to perform her stand-up as she did so well at The Orleans Showroom last month. Hanging out with Joy and her husband Steve after the show was de je vu for me, as it’s been over 20 years since we’ve seen each other.  We had a bite at the coffee shop then joined Steve in the casino and played Blackjack, and craps.  They love Vegas!  Joy was noticeably happy, content, and much more fun than I remembered her to be back in the late 80’s, when she was a struggling comic in NY, bitching about how far she had to schlep on my “LaFong gigs” which I used to book her on quite frequently.   Of course this was before Barbara Walters discovered her and cast her on The View.  A couple of years ago, I was watching Joy on The Joy Behar Show on HLN interviewing Comedian Colin Quinn, and Joy brought my name up and told a funny story about working for me that she’s been telling for years.  The video is posted on our website with my side of the story too!

After interviewing Chuck Negron, former lead singer of Three Dog Night, I went to check out his show at the Suncoast Showroom.  His signature voice was in rare form and his band was truly exceptional.  They sang many complicated harmonies together.  They were on fire when they played Three Dog Night’s many hits “Joy to the World,” “Mama told me not to Come,” “ Shambala,” “One,”…there were so many… Not to mention my personal favorite “The Show must go on.”

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It was obvious by Chuck’s energy, swagger, and million $ smile, how much he truly enjoys and appreciates being on stage, and is grateful for the opportunity to still be able to entertain with the chops that he is still so blessed with today in spite of the years of drug abuse that his body had endured.  He was simply joyous on stage soaking in every moment, never taking his audience for granted.  This was also evident by his meet & greet after the show, making sure to say hello to every last fan that wanted to speak to him.  And there was no shortage!  I hope to see Negron and his rockin’ band perform in a larger venue next time.

I almost always go to see Dana Carvey’s show when he is in town and this time was no exception… especially when he told me he had been working on new material, and would be doing a Q & A at the end of the show with his opening act, Mark Pitta, which he had never done before in Vegas.  Carvey was relaxed, and his material was funnier than ever. During the Q & A, former SNL cast member, Rob Schneider made a surprise guest appearance. The three were improving together. It was a fun unexpected bonus.

Bill Engvall returned on LVBST to promote his upcoming appearance at the TI on March 7.  He spoke about his entertainment strategy that earned him a spot in the finals in this year’s “Dancing with the Stars” that introduced him to a new set of demographics that may not have been familiar with The Blue Collar Comedy Troupe.  When I asked if the other guys from the Troupe helped in soliciting votes for him he responded “Larry the Cable Guy did…” This led me to curiously wonder why no support had been extended from Jeff Foxworthy, or Ron White, both of whom would have been most effective and influential in racking up votes for Engvall from their fans.  Hmmm, sometimes what an artist doesn’t say in an interview can be just as telling as what they do say.  Engvall’s full interview will air on March 6, from 6-7pm PST on 1230AM in LV, and streaming live on lasvegasbackstagetalk.com.  Last year, in a backstage videotaped interview, he spoke about his career and marriage. That interview is now posted on casinocenter.com.

Congratulations to Bill Maher for getting renewed on HBO’s “Real Time,” and for his 2014 residency at The Palms.  He returns March 22 & 23, and Oct. 10 & 11.  Maher’s interview will air on March 20.

Your feedback and comments are always appreciated.

 

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Joy Behar, Mickey Gilley-LVBST w-Comedian Michele LaFong

Jan. 23, 2014- 6-7pm PST 1230am in Las Vegas & The Web

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Award-winning Comedian Joy Behar, and Country music Legend Mickey Gilley guest on Las Vegas Backstage Talk with Comedian Michele LaFong.

Joy Behar is bringing her standup act to The Orleans Showroom on January 24 and 25 at 8pm.

Whether Behar is performing standup or interviewing celebrities and politicians, she has been recognized as innovative comedic talent and a leading woman both on television, stage and the big screen. In addition to co-hosting ABC’s Emmy-winning daytime talker “The View” for 12 seasons, Behar hosted “The Joy Behar Show” on HLN and “Joy Behar: Say Anything!” on Current TV.

In the 1980’s, Behar set out to pursue comedy professionally and instantaneously received bookings from famous New York clubs including Caroline’s and Catch a Rising Star. She went on to win three MAC Awards and a CableACE Award later in her career.

 

 Mickey Gilley

The original Urban Cowboy Mickey Gilley will bring his country hits to the establishment bearing his name – Gilley’s Saloon, Dance Hall & Bar-b-Que – January 29 through February 1 at 7:30 p.m. each evening.

Gilley’s Saloon, Dance Hall & Bar-B-Que, pays homage to the very successful Gilley’s Club in Pasadena, Texas which was known as the “world’s largest honky-tonk.” Gilley’s Club was a launching pad for some of country music’s biggest stars and the dominating force behind the cowboy craze that swept the country in the early ’80s, following the release of John Travolta’s hit movie, “Urban Cowboy,” which was filmed in the nightclub.

Gilley appeared in and performed numerous songs on the soundtrack for “Urban Cowboy.” Prior to his role in the movie, he had a string of consecutive No. 1 hits in the mid 70’s with “Room Full of Roses,” “I Overlooked an Orchid,” “City Lights,” Window Up Above,” “Don’t The Girls All Get Prettier At Closing Time” and “Bring It On Home To Me.”

With a career spanning more than four decades, Gilley has achieved 39 top-ten country hits and numerous awards including Academy of Country Music’s “Entertainer of the Year,” “Top Male Vocalist,” “Song of the Year,” “Single of the Year” and “Album of the Year.” He is among a small group of country singers who have been recognized with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

 

 

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