Las Vegas Backstage Talk

Rob Schneider, Don Brewer, Russell Peters

August 31, 2017

Audio of interviews posted below (Scroll down)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rob Schneider guests on Las Vegas Backstage Talk radio show with Comedian Michele LaFong, the only show that “Gets Personal with the Stars.”

Rob Schneider is appearing at The Laugh Factory, at The Tropicana H & C, Sept. 2 & 3

After opening for comedians such as Jay Leno and Jerry Seinfeld, Schneider made his network television debut in 1987 on “The David Letterman Show.” In 1990, “Saturday Night Live” producer Lorne Michaels saw Schneider’s appearance on HBO’s “13th Annual Young Comedians Special” and hired him to be a regular on SNL. During his four seasons on SNL, Schneider was nominated for three EmmyR Awards and a Peabody Award..

Schneider is well-known for his longtime collaboration with Adam Sandler and Sandler’s production company, Happy Madison. Schneider has starred in several Happy Madison projects, including “The Benchwarmers,” “50 First Dates,” “The Longest Yard,” “Eight Crazy Nights,” “Little Nicky” and “Mr. Deeds.” Schneider co-wrote and starred in “Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo,” “Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo,” “The Hot Chick” and “The Animal.”

Schneider was the star of the new CBS show, “Rob,” about a lifelong bachelor who married into a tight-knit Mexican-American family. Rob is a successful architect who elopes with Maggie in Las Vegas after a whirlwind romance.

For more about Rob Schneider, click HERE.

Don Brewer (Grand Funk Railroad)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don Brewer, original founding member, co-lead singer and drummer for Grand Funk Railroad guests on Las Vegas Backstage Talk radio show with Comedian Michele LaFong.

Known as “The American Band,” the high-energy five-piece group will play forty shows all over the USA this year. Grand Funk Railroad includes original founding member Don Brewer (vocals and drums, writer and singer of the multi-million selling hit, We’re An American Band) and bassist Mel Schacher, “The God Of Thunder.” Joining Don and Mel are true “All Stars.” Singer Max Carl is a rock veteran from 38 Special. Max penned and sang 38’s biggest hit “Second Chance” and was co-founder of California’s legendary Jack Mack and the Heart Attack. Don refers to Max as “the best blue-eyed soul singer on the planet.” Lead guitarist Bruce Kulick is best known for his 12 years with KISS and also has credits with Michael Bolton, Meatloaf and Billy Squier. (KISS members Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley were influenced early on by Grand Funk.) Keyboardist Tim Cashion has a master’s degree in music from the University of Miami. Affectionately called “Dr. Tim,” his credits include stints with Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band and English soul man Robert Palmer.
Comedian Russell Peters

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Russell Peters guests on Las Vegas Backstage Talk radio show with Comedian Michele LaFong.

Comedian Russell Peters is a very funny guy.

And not just kind of funny.

He’s so friggin’ funny that his standup touring earned him, according to Forbes, a whopping $21 million last year.

With that in mind, it’s about time you get familiar with Mr. Peters because we think he really deserves to be more famous. In fact, his current international tour is called…Almost Famous.

Russell is working on new material and figuring out his new set in clubs across the United States. These are work in progress shows! You never know what’s going to happen. Lots of free-styling and improv. Watch for new dates to be announced soon and watch for new international dates in 2018 & 2019!

To see a complete listing of Russell’s upcoming shows, click here

And be sure to register for Russell’s Emails to be notified about shows in your area ahead of the general public

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Rob Schneider, Don Brewer, Russell Peters

June 29, 2017

Audio of interviews posted below (Scroll down)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rob Schneider guests on Las Vegas Backstage Talk radio show with Comedian Michele LaFong, the only show that “Gets Personal with the Stars.”

Rob Schneider is appearing at The Laugh Factory, at The Tropicana H & C, July 1 & 2

After opening for comedians such as Jay Leno and Jerry Seinfeld, Schneider made his network television debut in 1987 on “The David Letterman Show.” In 1990, “Saturday Night Live” producer Lorne Michaels saw Schneider’s appearance on HBO’s “13th Annual Young Comedians Special” and hired him to be a regular on SNL. During his four seasons on SNL, Schneider was nominated for three EmmyR Awards and a Peabody Award..

Schneider is well-known for his longtime collaboration with Adam Sandler and Sandler’s production company, Happy Madison. Schneider has starred in several Happy Madison projects, including “The Benchwarmers,” “50 First Dates,” “The Longest Yard,” “Eight Crazy Nights,” “Little Nicky” and “Mr. Deeds.” Schneider co-wrote and starred in “Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo,” “Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo,” “The Hot Chick” and “The Animal.”

Schneider was the star of the new CBS show, “Rob,” about a lifelong bachelor who married into a tight-knit Mexican-American family. Rob is a successful architect who elopes with Maggie in Las Vegas after a whirlwind romance.

For more about Rob Schneider, click HERE.

Don Brewer (Grand Funk Railroad)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don Brewer, original founding member, co-lead singer and drummer for Grand Funk Railroad guests on Las Vegas Backstage Talk radio show with Comedian Michele LaFong.

Known as “The American Band,” the high-energy five-piece group will play forty shows all over the USA this year. Grand Funk Railroad includes original founding member Don Brewer (vocals and drums, writer and singer of the multi-million selling hit, We’re An American Band) and bassist Mel Schacher, “The God Of Thunder.” Joining Don and Mel are true “All Stars.” Singer Max Carl is a rock veteran from 38 Special. Max penned and sang 38’s biggest hit “Second Chance” and was co-founder of California’s legendary Jack Mack and the Heart Attack. Don refers to Max as “the best blue-eyed soul singer on the planet.” Lead guitarist Bruce Kulick is best known for his 12 years with KISS and also has credits with Michael Bolton, Meatloaf and Billy Squier. (KISS members Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley were influenced early on by Grand Funk.) Keyboardist Tim Cashion has a master’s degree in music from the University of Miami. Affectionately called “Dr. Tim,” his credits include stints with Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band and English soul man Robert Palmer.
Comedian Russell Peters

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Russell Peters guests on Las Vegas Backstage Talk radio show with Comedian Michele LaFong.

Comedian Russell Peters is a very funny guy.

And not just kind of funny.

He’s so friggin’ funny that his standup touring earned him, according to Forbes, a whopping $21 million last year.

With that in mind, it’s about time you get familiar with Mr. Peters because we think he really deserves to be more famous. In fact, his current international tour is called…Almost Famous.

Russell is working on new material and figuring out his new set in clubs across the United States. These are work in progress shows! You never know what’s going to happen. Lots of free-styling and improv. Watch for new dates to be announced soon and watch for new international dates in 2018 & 2019!

To see a complete listing of Russell’s upcoming shows, click here

And be sure to register for Russell’s Emails to be notified about shows in your area ahead of the general public

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Rob Schneider, Don Brewer, Russell Peters

Sept. 3, 2015 

Audio of interviews posted below (Scroll down)

rob_s_4

 

 

 

 

 

Rob Schneider guests on Las Vegas Backstage Talk radio show with Comedian Michele LaFong, the only show that “Gets Personal with the Stars.”

After opening for comedians such as Jay Leno and Jerry Seinfeld, Schneider made his network television debut in 1987 on “The David Letterman Show.” In 1990, “Saturday Night Live” producer Lorne Michaels saw Schneider’s appearance on HBO’s “13th Annual Young Comedians Special” and hired him to be a regular on SNL. During his four seasons on SNL, Schneider was nominated for three EmmyR Awards and a Peabody Award..

Schneider is well-known for his longtime collaboration with Adam Sandler and Sandler’s production company, Happy Madison. Schneider has starred in several Happy Madison projects, including “The Benchwarmers,” “50 First Dates,” “The Longest Yard,” “Eight Crazy Nights,” “Little Nicky” and “Mr. Deeds.” Schneider co-wrote and starred in “Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo,” “Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo,” “The Hot Chick” and “The Animal.”

Schneider was the star of the new CBS show, “Rob,” about a lifelong bachelor who married into a tight-knit Mexican-American family. Rob is a successful architect who elopes with Maggie in Las Vegas after a whirlwind romance.

For more about Rob Schneider, click HERE.

Rob Schneider is appearing at The South Point Showroom Sept. 4-6

Don Brewer (Grand Funk Railroad)

Grand Funk Railroad --on-StairsDon Brewer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don Brewer, original founding member, co-lead singer and drummer for Grand Funk Railroad guests on Las Vegas Backstage Talk radio show with Comedian Michele LaFong.

Known as “The American Band,” the high-energy five-piece group will play forty shows all over the USA this year. Grand Funk Railroad includes original founding member Don Brewer (vocals and drums, writer and singer of the multi-million selling hit, We’re An American Band) and bassist Mel Schacher, “The God Of Thunder.” Joining Don and Mel are true “All Stars.” Singer Max Carl is a rock veteran from 38 Special. Max penned and sang 38’s biggest hit “Second Chance” and was co-founder of California’s legendary Jack Mack and the Heart Attack. Don refers to Max as “the best blue-eyed soul singer on the planet.” Lead guitarist Bruce Kulick is best known for his 12 years with KISS and also has credits with Michael Bolton, Meatloaf and Billy Squier. (KISS members Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley were influenced early on by Grand Funk.) Keyboardist Tim Cashion has a master’s degree in music from the University of Miami. Affectionately called “Dr. Tim,” his credits include stints with Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band and English soul man Robert Palmer.
Grand Funk Railroad is appearing at The Golden Nugget Sept. 4

Comedian Russell Peters

Russell PeRussell Peters 8-24-13

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Russell Peters returns on Las Vegas Backstage Talk radio show with Comedian Michele LaFong.

Celebrated comedian Russell Peters returns to The Pearl inside Palms Casino Resort on Aug. 2, 2014 at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $49, plus any additional service fees.

Russell Peters is back and exploring new material! After the very successful release of Notorious on Netflix, Peters finds himself back on the road putting together new material as he works through a handful of 2014 dates. Fans can be prepared for some crowd work and…some randomness, all mixed with the comedic styling Peters is known for.

This year has been big for Peters who signed on to be a judge for this season’s NBC “Last Comic Standing.” He joins the likes of Roseanne Barr, Keenen Ivory Wayans and JB Smoove as they search for the funniest talent in America (premiered May 22).

Peters spent most of 2013 touring with the Notorious live show which followed a string of special performances and appearances including being the first comedian to play Brooklyn’s new Barclays Center in November 2012. More than 10,000 fans attended the show, making it the largest comedy show ever in the history of the New York City borough.

Peters’ special, The Green Card Tour LIVE From the O2 Arena, was recorded in London in 2010. The special was broadcast on Showtime, Comedy Central, Netflix USA and Netflix UK. In 2009, Peters set a UK attendance record for the highest attendance for a one-off comedy show with more than 16,000 fans attending his show at the O2 Arena. Peters also went on to have the highest attended comedy shows at Sydney, Australia’s Acer Arena and Melbourne’s Rod Laver Arena in 2010.

Starting in 2008, Peters was one of the first stand-up comedians to self-finance, self-produce and distribute his own comedy specials and DVDs, with Red, White and Brown and 2011’s, The Green Card Tour LIVE from the O2 Arena. The DVDs went on to sell more than 250,000 units across North America. Peters is currently developing original programming for Netflix.

Listed on the Forbes List as one of the top ten Highest Earning Comics in the U.S. in 2009 and 2010, Russell Peters has spent the past 23 years building a career to become one of the biggest comics in the world.

Russell Peters is at The Pearl Theatre at The Palms Sept. 6.

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Jan. LV Backstage Talk column

By Michele LaFong

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(click on article to enlarge)

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

Last month, after interviewing Charlie Daniels, best known for his No. 1 country hit “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” and hearing several songs from his new Off the Grid CD – Doin’ It Dylan, a tribute piece in which the Charlie Daniels Band puts a southern twist on a collection of Bob Dylan’s most classic songs, I felt compelled to check out his show at The Orleans theatre to witness for myself how this country and southern rock legend skilled on guitar, fiddle, and mandolin, manages to stay so relevant at 78 years of age. It was closing night of National Finals Rodeo week. Backstage prior to the show we were chatting it up and I noticed that even his deep speaking voice was resonating with every word. He came across all American as apple pie, and was quite humble and personable both on and off stage. I had no idea what to expect from Charlie’s show but I knew after 50 plus years of creating his own new definitions of music which scored hits on rock, country, pop and Christian charts alike, and winning almost every music award along the way that I would be in for a real treat… and I was!
From the moment Daniels hit the stage, he displayed personality using some theatrics in some jovial interaction with his fellow band members. He really played to his audience when he sang a song about rednecks that clearly won the room over early on. Every type of music was covered from classic Christmas songs to blues and everything in between with Charlie’s signature southern sound and spin in the music’s interpretation. He even played a Johnny Cash tune to play tribute to the star that was so kind to him in Nashville when he was trying to break into the very competitive music business.

Charlie also showed much appreciation of his fellow band members throughout the show and during the introduction of an instrumental entitled Black Ice, an intricate, jamming concert-piece which was designed to showcase the skills of his musicians with solos from each band member which included an 8 minute solo from drummer, Pat McDonald which received a standing ovation in the middle of the show.

I found it interesting that the two Dylan songs that Charlie chose to play were coincidently the same two that I picked to showcase samples of during my interview with him which aired on LVBST. Tangled Up In Blue, and Gotta Serve Somebody, which I absolutely loved! (I noticed when I interviewed Daniels that we had the exact same taste in artists from Gregg Allman to B.B King, when he confessed, “I would love to have the opportunity to record with B.B.) Bob Dylan was the original before the Beatles, and before everyone else.” Charlie declared on stage. He told the story of how he was called to record with Dylan as a one-time fill in because the guitarist that was hired for the series of recording sessions could not make the very first one however after the session was over, Bob insisted that Daniels stay on and finish the project with him because he was the perfect person for the job.
Of course the show closed with the much awaited Devil Down in Georgia, which had the audience on its feet.
What a perfect way to end National Finals Rodeo week! Charlie will be touring the country starting in January, and has several dates in casinos nationally. I highly recommend his show.

The other artist featured on Las Vegas Backstage Talk with Daniels was Ventriloquist Jay Johnson, who is mostly remembered for his role as the schizophrenic ventriloquist “Chuck and Bob” on the classic ABC television comedy “Soap”. Jay was on my radio show promoting the new DVD release of his Tony Award-winning Broadway show The Two and Only,” a show which he wrote and performed. Jay Johnson made his Broadway debut at the Helen Hayes Theatre. Four months before the Broadway opening “Jay Johnson: The Two and Only” played the Colony Theatre where it won the Los Angeles Ovation award for Best Solo Show. The show was originally produced Off-Broadway the previous season at Atlantic Theatre company where it earned rave reviews and a Lucille Lortel Award nomimation. He has written and performed in television specials for NBC, CBS, HBO and made hundreds of appearances on variety specials and talk shows like “The Tonight Show” (with Jay Leno and Johnny Carson) and “The David Letterman Show”. He has been featured in more than 30 national commercials. His acting credits include appearances on “CSI”, “That 70’s Show”, “Dave’s World”, “Night Court”, “Broken Badges” and many other shows that have come and gone.
I had the pleasure of working with Jay years ago when we were performing on Senor Wences’ 100th Birthday Tour at The Improv in LA with Paul Winchell, Milton Berle, John Byner, Charles Fleisher, and many more. I hadn’t had the opportunity to speak with Jay since that night’s performance and it was gratifying to hear that his rendition of that very special evening’s dinner with those two ventriloquist legends had matched my exact recollection of events. The full interviews of Charlie Daniels and Ventriloquist Jay Johnson are archived on Lasvegasbackstagetalk.com, as with all our other shows. Please Like us on facebook to be eligible for future show tickets and other offerings. With rodeo week, Christmas, and New Years’ behind us the schedule for headline entertainment in Las Vegas for 2015 is slowly being put together and released.

My Picks: Joe Rogan, the Mirage, January 1-2, January 30- 31, Elton John, Caesar’s Palace, January 16–24, Rob Schneider, South Point, January 16– 17, Styx, Palms, January 18, Santana, Mandalay Bay, January 21-31, Daniel Tosh, Mirage, January 23–24, Tommy Roe, South Point, January 23-25, Rod Stewart, Caesar’s Palace, January 27 – February 15, Bobby Slayton and Kevin Pollock, South Point, January 29-31, Burt Bacharach, Smith Center, Jan. 30, Jackie Evancho, Smith Center, Jan. 31, Pitbull, Enrique Iglesias, Mandalay Bay, Jan. 31, Tim Allen, Mirage, Jan. 31

 

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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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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)

GamingTodayMarch CPayout 1

 

 

 

 

 

(Click on article to read)

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.”

Chuck Negron1

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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