January 26, 2017
Audio of interviews are posted below (Scroll down)
Ralphie May returns on Las Vegas Backstage Talk Radio Show with Comedian Michele LaFong.
In a very candid interview Ralphie May addresses some of the obstacles and behind the scenes’ “going-ons” that are realities in”the business” of show business. He also speaks about his very first gig. Opening for Sam Kinison.
Veteran comedian Ralphie May’s popularity exploded after the success of the first season of NBC’s hit reality series, “Last Comic Standing”. Long-time fans of Ralphie’s stand-up were joined by countless new fans when America thought he was robbed of the winner’s title. Despite the show’s outcome, Ralphie’s special brand of comedy combines the familiar elements of hip-hop and topical comedy with a dash of southern down-home flavor and quick wit making Ralphie May one of the most popular comedians in the country. His first DVD, appropriately titled “Just Correct,” went PLATINUM!
His special brand of humor and incredible timing has allowed him to cross social, cultural, and ethnic barriers and has earned him roles in such films as FOR DA LOVE OF MONEY and GAS, to name a few of several independent productions. Ralphie has worked as an actor, writer and producer on ESPN’s Mohr Sports starring Jay Mohr and had four appearances on CBS’s The Late Late Show w/ Craig Kilborn as well as eleven appearances on Jimmy Kimmel Live. He has been seen on Tough Crowd, The Man Show and MTV’s Bash as well as in guest-starring roles on numerous television shows including NBC’s Whoopie. In an appearance on The Tonight Show w/ Jay Leno he received a standing ovation, the first comedian in 10 years to receive this honor. The New York Times raves, “Ralphie is phenomenal…”The Washington Post describes his comedy style as a “Tour de Force.” At the age of seventeen, Ralphie entered a talent show, to which the winner would get to open for Sam Kinison. A dream came true… Ralphie won the contest and after the show, Sam turned to Ralphie and said, “That was the funniest thing I’ve ever seen in my life.”
More about Ralphie May here–>
You can catch Ralphie May headlining at Harrah’s H&C. Jan. 26th – Feb. 18
Felix Cavaliere’s Rascals
Rock & Roll and Songwriter Hall of Fame inductee Felix Cavaliere guests on Las Vegas Backstage Talk radio show with Comedian Michele LaFong, and brings his Rascals to the Golden Nugget, Feb. 28.
In the mid-60s, Cavaliere formed The Young Rascals with Dino Danelli, Eddie Brigati and Gene Cornish. The band signed with Atlantic Records and had their first No. 1 hit with “Good Lovin’” in 1966. The Young Rascals went on to be one of the biggest groups in the county for the remainder of the 60s with songs, “Groovin’,” “A Girl Like You,” “A Beautiful Morning,” and “People Got to Be Free,” the latter the groups’ biggest hit, topping the charts for five weeks in 1968. The follow up single, “A Ray of Hope,” was written for and about Teddy Kennedy.
Following the disbandment of The Young Rascals in 1972, Cavaliere continued on as a solo-artist releasing his self-titled debut album in 1974, followed by “Destiny” in 1975. Two years later, he returned to a band environment with the release “Treasure,” the self-titled debut from his new band. Cavaliere returned to solo work with the release of “Castles in the Air” in 1979.Share on Facebook Tweet
May-Las Vegas Backstage Talk
Syndicated column in Casino Player Magazine, and Gaming Today.
by Michele LaFong
(click on articles to enlarge)
Comedian/Actor John Pinette was a favorite recurring guest on Las Vegas Backstage Talk radio show. He was found dead recently in a hotel room in Pittsburgh, where he was attending a family function. He was only 50. The apparent cause of death was a pulmonary embolism, his manager, Larry Schapiro, said. John was expected to return on LVBST in mid-May to promote his return engagement at The Orleans Showroom. I was looking forward to it because he always made me laugh on and off stage. I was an avid fan of all of his stand-up specials “Show Me the Buffett,” “I’m Starvin’!” and “Still Hungry.” I laugh just thinking about them! He was working on another stand-up project when he died. He will be greatly missed. On April 10, I re-aired my first interview with him. It covered everything from his legendary stint on the last episode on Seinfeld, to his starring role in “Hairspray” on Broadway. The interview is worth listening to and is archived on lasvegasbackstagetalk.com
Felix Cavaliere and The Rascals put on a rockin’ high energy, “crowd pleasing” show at The Suncoast Showroom last month. I loved that he continuously got up from behind the keyboard to dance! Not only did Felix play all his hits as promised in our interview like “Good Lovin’,” “Groovin’,” “A Girl Like You,” “A Beautiful Morning,” “People Got to Be Free,” and How Can I Be Sure?,” but he also threw in many surprises like when he sang “You Better Run” by Pat Benatar. I had no idea that Cavaliere had written that song! He’s a tremendous talent. It’s no surprise that he is a Songwriter’s Hall of Fame inductee.
Legendary Comedian Marty Allen performed a string of show dates together with his wife Singer Karon Kate Blackwell, at The Plaza in celebration of his 92nd birthday. Marty has not lost any of his timing, charm, or connection with his audience. He still delivers a solid, “old school” updated, throw-back to vaudeville type of show. I just love him! He’s “old school” and iconic, always doing a Meet & Greet at no charge following every show. Some of the celebrities that attended were Terry Fator, Rich Little, and even Marty Allen’s former Comedy Team Partner, Steve Rossi. Wonders never cease. Who knows… in another10-20 years perhaps Allen & Rossi will reunite on-stage as well! Since both Marty Allen, and Steve Rossi have guested on LVBST separately, when I compared their videotaped interviews, I couldn’t help but notice how hilariously different their recollections are of their past history together. The edited video is posted on gaming today.com
After interviewing Comedian Tommy Davidson, one of the original cast members of “In Living Color,” on Fox TV, I went to see him perform in the “In Living Color Reunion Tour” with David Alan Grier, at Aliante Casino. David opened the show. His stand-up was honest and well-paced. His political material was very strong. Both David, and Tommy’s comedy had substance and depth, were animated, and engaging. Both used their voices well, and performed creative sound effects.
Tommy’s show had less of a stand-up feel to it and was more stylized. His impressions and characters were spot-on, and his take-off of President Obama was hilarious. It was nice to see these two skilled comedy veterans perform back to back. The only thing that would have made the evening perfect is if at the end of the show they would have done something together.
Comedian George Wallace ended his show on April 26, after a ten year run at The Flamingo. Wallace expects to do a little bit of everything while moving on from the 10-year run at Flamingo Las Vegas. “I may tour the world, the US, do some radio and television and continue to make people laugh and enjoy my life. I am blessed and we will see what lies in store for me. Although there is no word yet of who or what will replace Wallace in the 10pm slot, Rumor has it that it could possibly be going to Tommy Davidson. He is fresh, popular, and versatile enough to pull off a one-man show in Vegas. He has paid his dues in show-biz, and deserves the slot.
Speaking of deserving the slot, many of you have been thanking me for recommending Singing Funnyman Pianist Michael Shane who by popular demand has recently been given his own nights at Bootlegger Bistro. Shane is scheduled every Thursday, and Friday in May from 6pm, as a solo act, and has Special Guest drop-ins as well. With no cover charge, great food and atmosphere, Michael’s show at Bootlegger Bistro should be a no-brainer!
Picks for May: Comedian Tom Dreesen, May 2 & 3 Smith Center, Olivia Newton John May 6-10, Flamingo, Jane’s Addiction, The Linq, May8-10, Gary Puckett and Union Gap, May 9-11, South Point, Ray Romano/Kevin James, May 9 & 10, Mirage, Eli Young Band, May 10, Palms, LeAnn Rimes, May 9 & 10, The Orleans, Leslie Gore and Peggy March 11, Suncoast, Lilly Tomlin, Danny Wright, May 11, Smith Center, Cheech & Chong, May 16, Hard Rock, Lewis Black, May 17 & 18, Mirage, The Oak Ridge Boys, May 16, Eastside Cannery, Jeffrey Osborne and Peabo Bryson, May 17, Cannery, Ben Vereen, May 17 & 18, Suncoast, Kansas, May 17, Redrock Resort, Guns N’Roses, May 21-June 7, Hard Rock, Air Supply, May 23-25, Orleans, Kathy Griffin, May 23, Mirage, Ralphie May, May 23-25, South Point, Ron White, May 24, Mirage, Bruce Bruce, May 24 & 25, Suncoast, Cher, Cyndi-Lauper, May 25, MGM, Katt Williams, May 25, Hard Rock, Backstreet Boys, Avril Lavigne, May 30 & 31, Planet Hollywood, Paula Poundstone, May 30 & 31, The Orleans, Johnny Mathis, May 30, Smith Center, Paul Rodgers, May 31, Eastside Cannery.