Las Vegas Backstage Talk

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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Jeff Tracta, David Brenner

April 17, 2014 6pm-7pm PST 1230AM in LV & The Web

Audio of interviews posted below (Scroll down)

Jeff Tracta

Master Impressionist Jeff Tracta guests on Las Vegas Backstage Talk radio show with Comedian Michele LaFong to promote his upcoming One Night Only Extravaganza With Rising Country A Cappella Quintet Home Free, Recent Winners of NBC’s “The Sing-Off” at LVH on April 24, to benefit St. Jude’s Ranch for Children, a non-profit organization that transforms the lives of abused, neglected and homeless children and young adults in Southern Nevada. Tracta’s funny, cutting edge multi-media show, “A Journey Through Pop Culture” at the LVH Theatre at the Las Vegas Hotel and Casino will benefit St. Jude’s Ranch for Children

Tracta, whose 100+ hilarious, spot on impressions include Bruno Mars, Usher, Ray Romano, Adam Sandler, the entire cast of “Family Guy,” Black Eyed Peas, Eminem, Lady Gaga, Billy Joel and Elton John, is sharing the one night only musical and comedy extravaganza with five piece country a cappella powerhouse Home Free, winners of Season 4 of NBC’s “The Sing-Off” who just released their major label debut Crazy Life.

.”A Journey Through Pop Culture” is co-created and produced by John McEntee, President and Founder of TEI Entertainment, who is one of the nation’s leading talent buyers and producers.  For more info: (www.jefftracta.com)

Tickets can also be purchased at the box office or over the phone at (800) 222-5361.

David Brenner

Due to popular demand, I will re-air my interview with David Brenner that aired in 2012.

“Legendary stand-up comedian and long time Tonight Show favorite, David Brenner, passed away at the age of 78 after a courageous battle with his final dragon, cancer,” his rep Jeff Abraham.  “Brenner died peacefully at his home in NYC surrounded by his family at his side. David is survived by his wife, Ruth, his three sons, Cole, Wyatt, Slade and his grandson, Wesley.”

Brenner has made 158 appearances on “The Tonight Show” over the course of his career, making him the most frequent guest in the show’s history. Known for basing his routine on current events, Brenner was a popular TV political pundit, with regular appearances on MSNBC, CNN and Fox News.

Prior to stepping on stage, Brenner wrote, produced and directed 115 television documentaries, which earned him nearly 30 awards, including an Emmy®. He has written numerous books, including “I Think There’s a Terrorist in My Soup” and the best-seller “Soft Pretzels With Mustard.”

Brenner has four HBO specials to his credit, including “David Brenner: Back With A Vengeance,” which was one of the cable network’s highest-rated specials. In 2010, he appeared as himself on the ABC show “Modern Family.”

More about David Brenner here–>

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“Getting Personal with the Stars”-Weird Al Yankovic by Comedian Michele LaFong

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Feb. 28, 2013- Gaming Today

Weird Al Yankovic guests on Las Vegas Backstage Talk Radio Show with Comedian Michele LaFong on 1230AM KLAV in Las Vegas, and The Web.  In a backstage interview at The Cannery H & C,  Al was very playful and candid about his family life, and very successful, long career.   Weird Al, known for his costumed comedic song parodies, made it clear that he always asks for the green light from the artist before recording a parody of their song for a music video. When asked if he was ever refused permission by anyone, he said “Only Prince has consistantly said “no,” with no explanation given. Whenever possible I try to go to the artists directly because managers often get in the way, as with Lady GaGa.”

The misunderstanding referred to by Al as “The GaGa Saga” explained that managers don’t always consult their clients before turning something down. “Finally it all got straightened out, and I parodied “Born This Way” with a music video that I did in drag called “Perform This Way”, and GaGa LOVED it!” It was also a hit with the 1300 plus screaming fans at The Cannery. “I challenge anyone to find a rock show where you’ll see a wider range of demographics.

It’s because a lot of fans that were into me in the 80’s are still into me, and now they are bringing their kids. It’s become a family bonding experience. Another reason for my popularity with families is my New York Times Best Selling childrens book “When I Grow Up” Some of my fans are hard core! They’ll follow me from one city to the next. Sometimes it’s the same people in the front row city to city even though the shows are hundreds of miles apart.”

Now out on his “Alpocalypse” Tour for his latest album.

Weird Al will be featured in Comedian Michele LaFong’s Syndicated Monthly Column “Las Vegas Backstage Talk” in Casino Player Magazine.

More about Weird Al here–>

Get the “Alpocalypse” album here–>

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Gaming Today, “Weird Al”

Yankovik Stands AloneWeird Al Yankovic Gaming Today

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“Weird Al”  Yankovic, was another fun interview on Las Vegas Backstage Talk Radio Show with Comedian Michele LaFong on 1230AM KLAV in Las Vegas, and The Web.  It took place backstage at The Cannery. Weird Al, known for his costumed comedic song parodies, made it clear that he always asks for the green light from the artist before recording a parody of their song for a music video. When asked if he was ever refused permission by anyone, he said “Only Prince has consistantly said “no,” with no explanation given. Whenever possible I try to go to the artists directly because managers often get in the way, as with Lady GaGa.”

The misunderstanding referred to by Al as “The GaGa Saga” explained that managers don’t always consult their clients before turning something down. “Finally it all got straightened out, and I parodied “Born This Way” with a music video that I did in drag called “Perform This Way”, and GaGa LOVED it!” It was also a hit with the 1300 plus screaming fans at The Cannery. “I challenge anyone to find a rock show where you’ll see a wider range of demographics.

It’s because a lot of fans that were into me in the 80’s are still into me, and now they are bringing their kids. It’s become a family bonding experience. Another reason for my popularity with families is my New York Times Best Selling childrens book “When I Grow Up” Some of my fans are hard core! They’ll follow me from one city to the next. Sometimes it’s the same people in the front row city to city even though the shows are hundreds of miles apart.”

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

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Kelly Clinton, Coty Alexander-Las Vegas Backstage Talk w/Comedian Michele LaFong

June 14, 2011 6pm-7pm PST 1230AM in LV & The Web

Kelly Clinton guests on Las Vegas backstage Talk radio show with Comedian Michele LaFong.  LVBST Radio show with Comedian Michele LaFong is the only show that “Gets Personal with the Stars.”

Join us for Actress, comedienne, impressionist and singer Kelly Clinton, a kaleidoscope of talent! Everybody loves to come to The Bootlegger Italian Bistro every Monday Night for “Open Mic Cabaret” hosted by Kelly Clinton. We’ll hear all about this great Las Vegas Entertainment tradition from the performers, the fantastic band and how Kelly assembles the amazing talent each week. Plus, Kelly also is one of the stars of NUSENSE appearing at the Las Vegas Hilton…and What Show!

Kelly will be featured in Comedian Michele LaFong’s Syndicated “Las Vegas Backstage Talk” column in Gaming Today and Casino Player Magazine.

Update: Kelly is performing her one-woman show “Freckled For Life” at The Suncoast Showroom.

To find out more about this fabulous entertainer, just click here for Kelly’s website!

To find out more about NUSENSE at the LVH, just click here for the website!

Coty Alexander

Joins us for Coty Alexander from Legends In Concert appearing as Madonna, Lady Gaga, Gwen Stefani, plus Marilyn Monroe and Britany Spears…what a lineup and what a wonderful entertainer. Coty comes froma show business family and started performing at age five. She started her impersonating career playing Shirly Temple on stage. Performing in dance teams nationwide her career as a singer began when se and her sister fromed a duet and did a USO Tour throughout Japan and Korea. You’re gonna love this interview with Coty Alexander.

To find out more about Coty, just go to here website by clicking here!

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