Las Vegas Backstage Talk

Rod Man, Al Bernstein, The Lennon Sisters

Sept. 11, 2014- 6-7pm PST 1230AM KLAV in LV & The Web

 Audio of interviews posted below (Scroll down)

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NBC’s Last Comic Standing winner Rod Man guests on Las Vegas Backstage Talk with Comedian Michele LaFong.

Rod’s television appearances include “Def Comedy Jam”, “Bet’s Comic View” and “Showtime at the Apollo”. Most recently, Rod appeared on “Premium Blend” on Comedy Central as well as the dvd’s “Big Black Comedy Show vol. 2” with Monique and “P. Diddy’s Bad Boys of Comedy”. He has been featured in the films “Love Chronicles” and “Player’s Ball”.

Rod has become an award-winning, quintessential entertainer. He has graced the stage at Caesar’s Place, The Gibson Amphitheater, and The Apollo Theater. Comedy Central gave him his own half hour special. And he has made many other television appearances, among them “The Bad Boys of Comedy” for HBO, Martin Lawrence’s “First Amendment” for Starz, Nick Cannon’s “Wild ‘N Out” for MTV, “One Mic Stand” for BET, “The Funny Spot” for TV One, and “The World Stands Up” for BBC America and The Monique Show. Rod can be seen on the big screen in Judd Apatow’s “Funny People” starring Adam Sandler and Seth Rogen for Universal Pictures.He even co-hosted a morning drive-time show in Los Angeles on Stevie Wonder owned KJLH Radio 102.3 FM

Rod Man is headlining at The Aliante Casino in The Comedians from “Last Comic Standing” with runner-up Lachlan Patterson, and Mark Normand on Sept. 13, 8pm & 10:30pm.
Al Bernstein

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2012 International Boxing Hall of Fame Inductee Al Bernstein returns on LVBST.  He will be covering the Mayweather vs. Maidana fight for Showtime at MGM on Sept. 13.

For just over 30 years, Al Bernstein has been one of the most recognizable and respected sportscasters in America. In those three decades, the “voice of boxing” reported the funny, poignant, and bizarre events that helped shape sports television, ESPN, boxing, Las Vegas, and Showtime. With an eclectic cast of characters that includes every big name in boxing, including Marvin Hagler, Mike Tyson, Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, as well as such names in the entertainment world as Rodney Dangerfield, Sylvester Stallone, Russell Crowe, and Jerry Lewis, Bernstein’s memoir will have you in stitches.

Al Bernstein’s book, 30 Years, 30 Undeniable Truths about Sports, Boxing and TV,” and has already received a great reception. People from the sports, entertainment and media world are talking about this book. Talks about female broadcasters, tells his “Mike Tyson story,”

The Lennon Sisters

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Kathy Lennon, of The Lennon Sisters, guests on LV backstage Talk with Comedian Michele LaFong.

The Lennon Sisters made their TV debut on Christmas Eve 1955 on “The Lawrence Welk Show” when youngest member Janet was just nine years old. Following their successful debut, Welk professionally adopted the girls and The Lennon Sisters became regulars on the program every Saturday night for the next 13 years.

Later, the sisters entered the music scene with their first hit, “Tonight, You Belong to Me” reaching #15 on the charts in 1956. Labeled “America’s Sweethearts of Song,” they recorded their first album, “Let’s Get Acquainted,” in May of 1957.

In 1961, the group’s single “Sad Movies (Make Me Cry)” reached #1, becoming their highest charting record. Other popular recordings include “Scarlet Ribbons,” “Greensleeves,” and Schubert’s “Ave Maria.”

Throughout the ‘70s, The Lennon Sisters toured extensively and made regular performances on “The Andy Williams Show.” The group also appeared on “Family Feud,” “Hollywood Squares” and “Tattletales.”

The Lennon Sisters are comprised of original members Janet and Kathy and younger sister Mimi.

 

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June-Las Vegas Backstage Talk syndicated column

by Michele LaFong

June-Las Vegas Backstage Talk syndicated column in Casino Player Magazine and Gaming Today.

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June 2014 marks Las Vegas Backstage Talk’s one year anniversary in Casino Player Magazine.  Along with the debut of my column, I was also asked to write the Cover/feature for that issue.  Because I remembered how excited I was to have Bill Cosby guest on my radio show, I really wanted to use his interview for my first Cover/feature for June 2013 edition… And it’s a good thing I did because now he’s really hard to catch up with!  Last November Cosby performed his first TV concert special in 30 years, appropriately titled Far From Finished, which debuted on Comedy Central and is now sold on DVD.  He continues to make regular appearances on the Late Night Talk Show circuit, and his touring schedule is quite hectic. Bill Cosby will return to the TI on July 18.

Many of our past guests are also experiencing an exciting year since they were last on LVBST.

Jon Taffer, the guru, who helps revive bars that are on the verge of bankruptcy, has been a favorite recurring guest on my radio show since his very first season on reality TV.  Not only has “Bar Rescue” been renewed for its fourth season, which will begin airing in the fall but in addition, Jon landed another reality series on Spike TV produced by “Bar Rescue” producers Eyeworks USA called Hungry Investors, featuring celebrity chef John Besh and “Top Chef All-Star” vet Tiffany Derry.The trio seek out and help ‘diamond in the rough’ failing restaurants meet their potential.  Each week, the ‘Hungry Investors’ team puts two struggling restaurants to the test to prove they deserve a second chance at success. The enterprise that shows the most promise of turning things around earns significant cash investment. Both establishments seek to prove to the expert team that the only thing keeping them from financial fortune and success is finding an investor who believes in them.

In my last interview with Comedian Adam Carolla, Adam casually mentioned that he had a new reality series debuting on Spike TV called To Catch a Contractor. Prior to Adam’s success in comedy, he earned his living as a master carpenter. “I take it personally when contractors pass off their subpar work on average citizens and leave homeowners holding the bag.”

Each episode follows Carolla, along with no-nonsense contractor Skip Bedell and his wife, investigator Allison Bedell, as they seek retribution for wronged homeowners, whose construction nightmares range from the laughably incompetent to frighteningly hazardous homes that have been left completely torn apart. Carolla and the Bedells hunt down and confront unscrupulous builders, drag them back to their construction disasters, and make them finish the job right. Carolla and his expert team share their knowledge and ingenuity with the builders – not only in an effort to deliver homeowners the job they paid for, but also to give these suspect contractors the opportunity to redeem themselves.  Personally, I find this new series to be as entertaining as “Catch a Predator” on Dateline.  The only thing missing from it is the under-aged girl or guy using the old but reliable iced tea lure to get the unsuspecting predator comfortably seated in the house prior to the big confrontation!  Obviously, this series is catching on quick because Catch a Contractor has already been renewed for a second season. Adam Carolla will be returning to The TI August 29 to tape another podcast.

Comedians Wanda Sykes and Russell Peters also have a new reality series since last guesting on LVBST.  Wanda is one of the executive producers of NBC’s new Last Comic Standing, and Russell Peters is a judge alongside with comedy icons Roseanne Barr, and Keenen Ivory Wayans.

HBO recently renewed Real Time with Bill Maher for a 13th season since his last appearance on LVBST and continues his residency at The Palms H & C. I could not be happier for him!

I too have recently been cast on a new docu-series pilot that is being produced by NBC’s Univision. Hopefully, this new off-beat reality series will make air! I will keep you posted…

“Plastic Surgeon to the Stars,” Dr. Julio Garcia, recently returned on LVBST to update us on the latest treatments to shave off years of aging.  Usually when I ask him “what new cutting-edge treatments are available that you would recommend?” he replies “not much.” However, on this visit, his answer was quite different.  “I now offer a new, exciting, FDA Approved skin tightening procedure called ThermiTight which reduces wrinkles and tightens loose skin in the lower face and neck.  It’s also is good for double chins.  The results are natural looking, and continue to improve over time. It also has been proven to work on frown lines and reduce cellulite.

Normally, Dr. Garcia does not offer free consultations however, if you mention Casino Player Magazine when making an appointment, not only will he give a free evaluation but will also apply a 10% discount towards the treatment needed.

Thursday, June 5, is the Scleroderma Research Foundation’s flagship fundraiser at the Las Vegas House of Blues inside Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino. Bob Saget hosts an evening of delicious food, wine and comedy with Jay Leno and special musical guest Ben Folds. This is the SRF’s inaugural Las Vegas event.

It’s a night of gourmet food featuring the “hot cuisine” of Top Chef Masters Susan Feniger, Mary Sue Milliken and Rick Moonen.

The evening includes a small number of exclusive live auction packages. Attendees include stars from the worlds of television, film, music and business—and many others who have been directly or indirectly affected by scleroderma.

Call 800-441-2873. A limited number of reserved tables and General Admission seats are available. This event typically sells out in Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco.

Wilson Phillips returns to the Eastside Cannery on June 7, and always delivers a very entertaining, crowd-pleasing show.  If you love Southern White Rock, treat yourself to see Gregg Allman at The Palms H & C on June 21.  Bobby Vinton returns to Eastside Cannery on June 28.   I was his opening act over ten years ago, and remember Bobby stopping at nothing to entertain… that included standing on tables while singing from the audience!

Other Picks for June: Jay Leno, June 6, Mirage, Lionel Richie, June 6, Mandalay Bay, Kid Rock, June 6, Cosmopolitan, Billy Joel, June 7, MGM, Kevin James, June 7, Mirage, Stained, June 7, Palms, James Darren, June 7 & 8, South Point, Steve Winwood, June 13 & 14, The Linq, Kathleen Madigan, June 14, Mirage, Chelsea Handler, June 13 &  14, Cosmopolitan, Junefest with Creedence Clearwater Revisited and Loverboy, June 14, Sunset Station, Rick Springfield, June 14, Primm Valley Resorts,  William Shatner, June 19-21, MGM, Jay Mohr,  June 21& 22, South Point, Jeff Bridges and The Abiders, June 21 & 22, Red Rock Resorts, Tamar Braxton, June 20, Mandalay Bay, Natalie Cole, June 28, Primm Valley Resorts.

 

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Las Vegas Backstage Talk column

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Feb. Las Vegas Backstage Talk column in Casino Player Magazine, and Gaming Today.

by Michele LaFong

With the advent and popularity of Smart TVs, where it is now possible to watch web TV on your main set, alternative programming and new opportunities for entrepreneur talent for internet entertainment is growing daily.  This new popular trend couldn’t have been more evident than at the IAWTV awards, “the Oscars” of the Internet Shows held at The Rio H & C last month.

Many familiar faces were seen on the red carpet like “Fitness Celebrity”, and “Infomercial King” John Basedow, inventor and star of “Fitness made Simple.” Basedow was a presenter, and was also nominated for three awards.  When John guested on LVBST with Guinness World Record holder, Comedian Fran Capo, “World’s Fastest Talker, John explained what awards he was up for this year; “(Best Variety Series) is for CULTURE POP, my YouTube series where I take to the streets getting people’s opinions on the top entertainment, celebrity and pop culture news. The second is for FIT NOW with BASEDOW (Best Writing), in which I give fitness, exercise and nutrition tips for people to improve their bodies and lives, The third is for the work I do with Buzz60 Entertainment News (Best News Series) and that’s awesome since they’re one of the first companies to give me a job where I get to keep my shirt on.”  Both Fran Capo, and John Basedow’s interviews are archived on lasvegasbackstagetalk.com

Following a successful 7 month run at The Laugh Factory at The Tropicana, Legendary prop comic and watermelon-smasher Gallagher quietly closed his seven-night a week show on December 30.  It’s a wonder that this eccentric free spirited, flighty, highly creative, mad comedy genius could stay in one place for that long!  I’m definitely going to miss him and the backstage drama that always seemed to follow him.   I’m sure every comic that has worked at The Laugh Factory in the last 7 months, has a “Gallagher story” to tell!  When I asked what his plans were after his out of state gigs were over, his response was “wherever I end up!”  He explained his state of mind at this stage of his life quite well in a recent interview that I entitled “Getting really personal with Gallagher.”  That video can now be seen on casinocenter.com.

Dana Carvey, one of my favorite and funniest guests returned on LVBST to promote his upcoming dates at The Orleans Showroom, Jan. 31 & Feb.1.  Right off the bat, he did a very funny but scary impression of me…I hope it wasn’t as dead-on as it sounded!  Not only is he always upbeat, freshly hilarious, and topical, but he’s also one of the nicest mega-talents in show business.  Dana shared some of his comedy writing, and developmental process. “I tape all of my shows but it’s really hard to get myself to listen to it…yet it’s incredibly instructive.  I’m really hard on myself.”  After a show, from time to time, you might find Dana trying his luck out at The Black Jack tables. “Paul Anka taught me how to play… You gotta whack it.  You really gotta whack it!  I was reminded what Paul Anka sounds like when he’s talking…and I must say…it was a little eerie.  We touched on many interesting subjects including Mike Meyers and the possibility of more Wayne’s World projects.  The interview will air on Jan. 30.

Grammy Award-winning musician and acclaimed actor Meat Loaf will return to the RockTellz & CockTails stage at the PH Showroom inside Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino.  Meat Loaf will perform 24 dates, beginning Feb. 13, kicking off the 2014 series.  Shows will be every Thursday, Saturday and Tuesday, Feb. 13 to April 8, at 7 p.m.  Meat always delivers a dynamic and dramatic show and is a very interesting character.  The legendary musical group and Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame inductees The Jacksons are the next legacy artists of the RockTellz & CockTails series. The Jacksons, including Jackie, Tito, Jermaine and Marlon, will perform 40 shows, beginning Feb. 20.  Thurs.-Sun. 9:30pm

I finally went to check out Golden Globe winner,Pia Zadora’s new nightclub show at Pia’s Place @ Piero’s.  Her residency there started in Sept. and is open ended Thursday-Saturdays at 9pm.  Pia Zadora is at home working the room, singing, telling funny stories, and even has special guest drop- INS like Jerry Lewis, Rich Little, Steve Rossi, and other notables.  Pianist Vince Falcone, former musical director for Frank Sinatra heads her quartet in an intimate, throw-back setting that recreates “Old Vegas”.  A great time!  Pia invited me to do some comedy…and next time I will…

Another gem not to be missed of headline entertainment without a cover charge is Singer/Piano player/Funnyman Michael Shane.  Shane was hand-picked by Steve Wynn, to perform at Wynn’s Tower Suite Bar, and is a regular on LVBST.   Michael keeps the night moving from behind the piano with never a dull moment and lots of personality.  He also takes requests and can’t be stumped.  I love it!  Like Pia, Michael is popular and puts on Special Guest Star drop-ins .  He can be seen on some Thursdays at Bootleggers Bistro at 5:30pm. Be sure to check their schedule as they don’t give out dates too far in advance.

Other acts not to miss this month include Comedian Amy Schumer, Feb. 7& 8, The Mirage, Herman’s Hermits with Peter Noone, Feb. 7-9, Clint Holmes, Feb. 8, Smith Center, Clint Black, Feb. 13, The Smith Center, Dion, Feb. 13 & 14, The Orleans, Crystal Gayle, Feb. 14-16,  The South Point, Ron White, Feb. 14 & 15, The Mirage, The Eagles, Feb. 15 & 16,  MGM, Boz Scaggs, Feb. 15, Eastside Cannery,  Mike Epps, Feb. 15, The  Palms, Helen Reddy,  Feb. 15, The Orleans Showroom, George Lopez, Feb. 21 & 22, The Mirage, John Pinette, Feb. 21 & 22, The Orleans, Adam Carolla, Feb. 21, TI, Danny Wright, Feb. 23, The Smith Center, George Thurgood & The Destroyers, Feb. 27, The Smith Center, Rob Schneider, Jan. 30- Feb. 1, The South Point, , Ray Romano, Feb. 28 & March 1, The Mirage.

Your comments are always appreciated.

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BJ Thomas, Jackie ‘The Joke Man’ Martling-LV Backstage Talk w/Comedian Michele LaFong

Listen to show below.

Nov. 15, 2012 6pm-7pm PST 1230AM in LV & The Web

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 hitmaker 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–>

You can catch BJ Thomas headlining at Suncoast Hotel & Casino

Suncoast Showroom, Sat & Sun, Nov. 17th & 18th 7:30pm

Reservations

Comedian – Jackie ‘The Joke Man’ Martling

Jackie “The Joke Man” Martling, 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 lasvegasbackstagetalk.com

More about Jackie Martling here–>

You can catch Jackie Martling headlining at MGM

Brad Garrett’s Comedy Club, Wed – Sat, Nov. 14th – 17th 8:00pm

You can listen to a recording of our show below!

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