Las Vegas Backstage Talk

Ray Romano, Al Jardine

November 10, 2016

Audio of interviews are posted below… except on Internet Explorer

Ray & LaFong

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ray Romano, and original Beach Boy Al Jardine, guest on Las Vegas Backstage Talk radio show with Comedian Michele LaFong.

Ray will be appearing at The Mirage on Nov. 11 with David Spade.

Ray Romano, the star from one of the most respected comedy sitcoms in television history, Everybody Loves Raymond, teams up with David Spade, the wise-cracking, power-hungry assistant from Just Shoot Me, for an evening of hilarious banter as they share our stage together.

Al Jardine- The original Beach Boys

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Al Jardine, returns on Las Vegas Backstage Talk radio show with Comedian Michele LaFong

Al Jardine joined Brian Wilson on the road for Brian’s ‘No Pier Pressure’ Summer 2015 Tour.   It Started at the Mountain Winery in Saratoga, CA and hit sixteen more cities in the US and eight in the UK, Brian performed songs from his Capitol album, No Pier Pressure, as well as top hits and fan favorites spanning his 50-year career with The Beach Boys and as a solo artist.

For all the confirmed dates and venues: http://www.aljardine.com

 

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Ray Romano, Al Jardine

April. 28, 2016

Audio of interviews are posted below… except on Internet Explorer

Ray & LaFong

Ray Romano, and original Beach Boy Al Jardine, guest on Las Vegas Backstage Talk radio show with Comedian Michele LaFong.

Ray Romano, the star from one of the most respected comedy sitcoms in television history, Everybody Loves Raymond, teams up with David Spade, the wise-cracking, power-hungry assistant from Just Shoot Me, for an evening of hilarious banter as they share our stage together.

 

Al Jardine- The original Beach Boys

Al-Jardine-149x200wilson-jardine-176x200

Al Jardine, returns on Las Vegas Backstage Talk radio show with Comedian Michele LaFong

Al Jardine joined Brian Wilson on the road for Brian’s ‘No Pier Pressure’ Summer 2015 Tour.   It Started at the Mountain Winery in Saratoga, CA and hit sixteen more cities in the US and eight in the UK, Brian performed songs from his Capitol album, No Pier Pressure, as well as top hits and fan favorites spanning his 50-year career with The Beach Boys and as a solo artist.  The Beach Boys will be at The Smith Center on April 30.

For all the confirmed dates and venues: http://www.aljardine.com

 


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Ray Romano, Al Jardine

May 28, 2015

Audio of interviews are posted below… except on Internet Explorer

Ray & LaFong

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ray Romano, and original Beach Boy Al Jardine, guest on Las Vegas Backstage Talk radio show with Comedian Michele LaFong.

Ray Romano, the star from one of the most respected comedy sitcoms in television history, Everybody Loves Raymond, teams up with David Spade, the wise-cracking, power-hungry assistant from Just Shoot Me, for an evening of hilarious banter as they share our stage together.

The Mirage, Ray Romano, with David Spade, May 29 & 30

Al Jardine- The original Beach Boys

Al-Jardine-149x200wilson-jardine-176x200

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Al Jardine, returns on Las Vegas Backstage Talk radio show with Comedian Michele LaFong

Al Jardine will join Brian Wilson on the road this summer for Brian’s ‘No Pier Pressure’ Summer 2015 Tour. Starting at the Mountain Winery in Saratoga, CA and then hitting sixteen more cities in the US and eight in the UK, Brian will perform songs from his forthcoming Capitol album, No Pier Pressure, as well as top hits and fan favorites spanning his 50-year career with The Beach Boys and as a solo artist. Rodriguez, star of the Oscar-winning documentary Searching for Sugarman, will open the concerts with a special set. Brian will also be joined by former band-mate Blondie Chaplin, who recently joined Brian on tour and sang “Sail On, Sailor” and “Wild Honey.”

For all the confirmed dates and venues: http://www.aljardine.com

 

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Oct. LV Backstage Talk Column

by Michele LaFong

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Las Vegas Backstage Talk’s syndicated monthly column in Casino Player Magazine, and Gaming Today-Oct.

Finalist on Last Comic Standing Lachlan Patterson on Las Vegas Backstage Talk with Comedian Michele LaFong (10 min. edited)

Oct. LVBST column
When Randy Bachman, founding member of The Guess Who, the Canadian band responsible for such hits as “No Time” and “American Woman” left to explore his personal musical horizons, he joined forces with Fred Turner to create Bachman-Turner Overdrive and rock & roll history was made. I, along with millions of other fans worldwide, grew up and sang along to radio hits such as “Taking Care Of Business,” “Let It Ride,” and “Roll On Down The Line.” So when I heard that after 20 years of fan demand these two giants of hard driving tunes were reuniting, touring, and appearing at The Cannery August 30, billed as Bachman & Turner, I knew I had to get an interview, which I finally landed with Fred Turner. You can imagine my shock when backstage, before their concert Fred casually dropped the bombshell scoop to yours truly that this was his very last show with Bachman. “I am retiring and have lots of other unfinished business to take care of…I’m just taking care of unfinished business, you might say…loose ends to tie up. I’ve got a bucket list with lots of things I need to do.” When asked how Randy Bachman took the news, he responded “Randy’s got so many things going on all the time with so many artists, and new projects, he’s just fine! …Maybe I’ll be back in a few years…you never know.” While watching the concert I was kind of sad but felt blessed to be witnessing the last historic show of Bachman & Turner. They never announced the news to the crowd and I haven’t heard a peep about it since.
Another thing that has come to an abrupt end is the celebrity impersonating “dealertainers” that the Imperial Palace, now The Quad soon to be the Linq was so famous for. It seems this was not a popular decision with many of their loyal customers. Also, the Clarion Resort on Convention Center Drive formally Royal Americana, Debbie Reynolds Hotel & Casino, Paddlewheel, and Greek Isles has closed for good. It’s been an interesting quaint little property that opened as the Royal Inn in 1970. Debbie Reynolds gave me my first running show there, “Vegas Live” starring Michele LaFong.
It is with a heavy heart that I am addressing the untimely passing of Comedy Icon Joan Rivers who at age 81 seemed ageless, and invincible. I was asked to join WTTG-TV (FOX 5) Washington via Skype to share some of my personal interactions with Joan when guesting on her afternoon talk show back in the 80’s and speak on the impact that she had on comedy in general. Like so many other stories being shared by industry over the weeks about Joan’s generosity, graciousness, and wonderful sense of humor, I experienced much of the same. Joan’s approach to comedy was fearless and unapologetic- breaking ground and paving the way for other female comics. Ironically she hated being referred to as a pioneer or a trail blazer because her work was not even close to being done. In fact, in a recent interview before her passing she was quoted as saying “I hate when female comics come up to me and say “Oh you broke barriers for women… I’m still breaking barriers….” Sadly her work was unfinished but her legend lives on and she is sorely missed.
Another feminine comedy ground-breaker of sorts is New Jersey native “Queen of Comedy” Sommore, who began her career as the first woman to host BET’s ”Comic View,” and then later hosting Russell Simmons’ “Def Comedy Jam” and “Showtime at the Apollo.” She was the 1995 recipient of the Richard Pryor Award for Comic of the Year, and in 2000 she entered “The Guinness Book of World Records,” performing for an audience of more than 50,000 people in Atlanta as part of the “Queens of Comedy” tour. A recording of the show became the longest-running and highest-rated special in the history of Showtime Networks.
I recently interviewed Sommore, who was promoting her upcoming weekend at Suncoast Hotel & Casino on Labor Day Weekend. With credits which include her status as being among the top-grossing stand-up comediennes in the United States and abroad, as well as Oprah Winfrey proclaiming her “a force to be reckoned with in the new millennium,” it’s of no wonder that Sommore sold out both nights at the 500 seat theatre before the weekend even began with Suncoast having to turn away hundreds of fans. Her show equally as impressive had substance and she drew a drinking, spending well-dressed crowd. I think it was obvious just from her credits that Queen of Comedy Sommore deserved to be performing in a much bigger theatre on The Strip. I’m sure Las Vegas won’t make that mistake again as word gets out fast!
Another impressive comedienne making a difference in comedy is Wanda Sykes. Wanda is Executive Producer of NBC’s Last Comic Standing which got renewed for a second season. I recently interviewed runner-up Lachlan Patterson, and Winner Rod Man who were promoting their upcoming Last Comic Standing Tour with all 5 finalists in the show. The audio of their interviews are archived on our site. I will be doing a backstage videotaped interview with both Lachlan, and Rod Man in between their sold out shows at Aliante Casino. An edited portion will be posted on gamingtoday.com, casinocenter.com.
Bill Maher returns to the Palms on Oct. 10 & 11. He always puts on a solid, funny, relevant show, and is one of my favorite return guests on LVBST. Bill’s interview will air on Oct. 9.
My Picks:
Wanda Sykes, Treasure Island, Oct 3, The Beach Boys, The Cannery, Oct. 4, Lewis Black, The Mirage, Oct. 4, Daniel Tosh, Mirage, Oct. 10 & 11, Legends of Motown: the Four Tops, Temptations, Spinners, Cannery, Oct. 10 & 11, Loni Love, Venetian, Oct. 10 & 11,
The Eagles, MGM Grand, Oct. 11, Queensryche, Eastside Cannery, Oct. 11, Enrique Iglesias and Pitbull, Mandalay Bay, Asia, Red Rock Resort, Oct. 17, John Fogerty, Palms, Oct. 17, Ray Romano and David Spade, Mirage, Oct. 17 & 18, Zac Brown Band, MGM Grand, Oct. 17, Carlos Mencia, Treasure Island, Oct. 17, Smokey Robinson, Eastside Cannery, Oct. 18, Ron White, Mirage, Oct. 24 & 25, Bill Engvall, Treasure Island, Oct. 24, Wendy Williams, Venetian, Oct. 31.

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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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Ralphie May, Richie Minervini-Las Vegas Backstage Talk

May 22, 2014 6pm-7pm PST 1230AM in LV & Web

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Comedian Ralphie May guests on Las Vegas Backstage Talk with Comedian Michele LaFong on 1230AM in Las Vegas and streaming live in a backstage interview at The South Point Hotel and Casino.  Ralphie  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.”

Will soon be featured in Michele LaFong’s Syndicated “Las Vegas Backstage Talk” Column in Casino Player Magazine, and Gaming Today.

Ralphie is performing at South Point Showroom May 23-25  For more go to ralphiemay.com


Comedian Richie Minervini

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Comedian Richie Minervini guests on LVBST in a backstage interview from The Wynn Theatre, the set of Mall Cop 2.  Richie is Kevin James stand-in, and has been Kevin’s opening act for over 15 years at The Mirage.

Richie Minervini is a seasoned entertainer and actor. A veteran of standup comedy, Richie is the former owner of Long Island’s premier comedy club, The East Side Comedy Club. His stage is where celebrities, Rosie O’Donnell, Jay Leno, Eddie Murphy, Kevin James, Ray Romano and Michele LaFong started their standup careers.

Comic / Actor Richie Minervini, from the movie “Zookeeper” with Kevin James, Richie is opening for Kevin James at The Mirage on June 7.   He is the voice of Elmo the Ostrich in “Zookeeper.”

Click here to watch the trailer for “Zookeeper.”

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