Las Vegas Backstage Talk

Jim Belushi, Tony Butala-The Letterman

Sept. 21, 2017

 Audio of interviews are posted below

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comedian, actor and blues musician Jim Belushi guests on Las Vegas Backstage Talk radio show with Comedian Michele LaFong.

Performer Jim Belushi, along with blues band The Sacred Hearts, will bring high-energy, soulful hits and a lot of laughs to The Tropicana  Oct. 6-8.

Jim Belushi is known worldwide for making people laugh as a regular on “Saturday Night Live,” his long-running comedy series “According to Jim” and his many film appearances. In addition to his film and TV career, Belushi’s music career blossomed in 1995 when he joined forces with House of Blues regulars, The Sacred Hearts. Soon after, friend Dan Aykroyd asked Belushi to join him as part of the Blues Brothers. To get ready to play with the Blues Brothers, Belushi would crash rehearsals of The Sacred Hearts. He had so much fun jamming with them, they eventually collaborated and have been performing as Jim Belushi & The Sacred Hearts ever since.

Jim Belushi & The Sacred Hearts have played for many notable figures including Al Gore, former President Bill Clinton and former California Governor Gray Davis. The band frequently headlines shows at the House of Blues venues, benefits and hundreds of corporate events.

The band’s first CD, “36 x 22 x 36,” was released in 1998 and delivered a blend of Memphis rhythm & blues seasoned with a lot of soul. Additionally, the “According to Jim Soundtrack” was released in 2005, containing music by Jim Belushi & The Sacred Hearts featured in fan-favorite series episodes. Much of the show’s music was written and recorded by Belushi and bandmates Johnny Rubano and Tony Braunagel, who also made regular guest appearances on “According to Jim.”

Belushi is known for his work on the live stages of Second City and “Saturday Night Live,” to the soundstages of “About Last Night,” “K-9,″ “Mr. Destiny,” “Return to Me,” and in ABC TV’s breakout comedy series of 2002 “According to Jim.” For the concert with The Sacred Hearts at The Orleans, Belushi will sing, talk, flirt, dance on table tops and do at least one back flip.

Tony Butala, original founding member of The Letterman

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Tony Butala, Original founding member of The Lettermen guests on Las Vegas Backstage Talk radio show with Comedian Michele LaFong to promote The Lettermen’s  upcoming engagement at The South Point Showroom on Sept. 23 & 24 at 7:30pm.

Butala estimates that the group made some 200 appearances on television shows such as Dick
Clark’s “American Bandstand” series, “Shindig”, and “Hullabaloo” were interviewed and
performed on talk shows and variety shows with Johnny Carson, Mike Douglas, Merv Griffin,
Jack Paar, Milton Berle, Steve Allen, Dinah Shore, and many others throughout the 60’s and 70’s,
cultivating new crops of fans.

Over its 50 years, the trio has gone through a few personnel changes. Engemann left in 1967,
replaced by Gary Pike, Jim Pike’s younger brother. A few years later, due to vocal problems,
Jim left the group and was replaced by his even younger brother, Donny Pike. The group stayed
stable, with this combination all through the seventies and early eighties led by the constant
member Tony Butala. Since then, Mark Preston, Ernie Pontiere, Bobby Poynton, Darren Dowler,
Don Campeau, Chad Nichols and Donovan Tea, have each had stints as members of The
Lettermen.

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John Mulaney, Weird Al Yankovic

March 5, 2015 6pm-7pm PST 1230AM in LV & Web

John Mulaney Photo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comedian John Mulaney guests on Las Vegas Backstage Talk with Comedian Michele LaFong to promote his upcoming debut at The Mirage on March 6 at 10pm.

John Mulaney is also an actor, writer, and producer. He is best known for his work as a writer on Saturday Night Live (SNL) and as a standup comedian. He is the creator and star of the Fox sitcom Mulaney. The series is a semi-autobiographical series about his life as a standup comedian and premiered on October 5, 2014.
In addition to writing for SNL, Mulaney has appeared on the show’s “Weekend Update” segment. He and SNL actor Bill Hader co-created the recurring SNL character Stefon. Mulaney was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series with the SNL writing staff from 2009-2012.  Mulaney won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics at the 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards with Justin Timberlake, Seth Meyers and Katreese Barnes.
In addition to his work on SNL, Mulaney is a prolific stand-up comedian. He has performed once on Live at Gotham, once on Conan, once on Jimmy Kimmel Live, twice on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, twice on Late Night With Conan O’Brien, and once on Comedy Central Presents. Mulaney also released a stand-up comedy album entitled Primetime Emmy Award in 2009, and a stand-up comedy special called New In Town in 2012. Both were produced with Comedy Central.

Weird Al Yankovic

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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.”

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 was featured in Comedian Michele LaFong’s Syndicated Monthly Column “Las Vegas Backstage Talk” in Casino Player Magazine.  He will be performing at Planet Hollywood May 12-16.

More about Weird Al here–>

Get the “Alpocalypse” album here–>

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Jim Belushi, Wild Willy Parsons, J.Chris Newberg

Oct. 2, 2014- 6-7pm PST 1230AM KLAV in LV & The Web

 Audio of interviews posted below (Scroll down)

Jim Belushi & The Sacred Hearts Photo 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comedian, actor and blues musician Jim Belushi guests on Las Vegas Backstage Talk with Comedian Michele LaFong.

Jim Belushi along with blues band The Sacred Hearts will bring laughs and soulful hits to the Orleans Showroom October 4 & 5.

Jim Belushi is known worldwide for making people laugh as a regular on “Saturday Night Live,” his long-running comedy series “According to Jim” and his many film appearances. In addition to his film and TV career, Belushi’s music career blossomed in 1995 when he joined forces with House of Blues regulars, The Sacred Hearts. Soon after, friend Dan Aykroyd asked Belushi to join him as part of the Blues Brothers. To get ready to play with the Blues Brothers, Belushi would crash rehearsals for The Sacred Hearts. He had so much fun performing with them, they eventually merged professionally and have been performing as Jim Belushi and The Sacred Hearts.

The band’s first CD, “36 x 22 x 36,” was released in 1998 and delivers a Memphis rhythm & blues sound seasoned with a lot of soul. Additionally, the “According to Jim Soundtrack” was released in 2005, containing the music by Jim Belushi & The Sacred Hearts featured in fan favorite series episodes. Much of the show’s music was written and recorded by Belushi and bandmates Johnny Rubano and Tony Braunagel, who also made regular guest appearances on “According to Jim.”

Wild Willy Parsons, J. Chris Newberg

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Emmy Winning Comedian Wild Willy Parsons, and J. Chris Newberg guest in a backstage interview on LVBST.

The New Tropicana should be filled with laughter beginning Monday, Sept. 29 through Sunday, when Wild Willy Parsons takes the stage at the Laugh Factory. Parsons will be sharing the comedy clubs stage with Chris Newberg, and host Brett Riley. At first glance, Willy Parsons’ biker-clad girth could send society’s most decadent citizens scampering for their lives. But instead, The sends them home with a fresh and positive outlook, about their own misconceptions of the stereotypical biker.
Parsons, born Sept. 18, 1959 in San Diego, Calif., attended Mar Vista high school in Imperial Beach, Calif., with actor Matthew Modine, and Ozzy/Badlands ex-guitarist, Jake E. Lee. Willy lives in North Hollywood, Calif., and is best friends with his lifelong idol, Mahogany Rush guitarist, Frank Marino.
Parsons has made numerous TV appearances including “Last Comic Standing,” “Last Call with Carson Daly,” “The Dennis Miller Show,” Showtime, MTV, “The Tracey Ullman Show,” “Evening at the Improv,” Caroline’s Comedy Hour, and “Comics Only,” to name a few. He has opened for such acts as Sam Kinison, Andrew Dice Clay, Richard Jeni, Pauly Shore, Steppenwolf, The Charlie Daniels Band, and Buddy Miles. A stand-up comedian and an actor, Willie has been in several movies including “The Guardian,” directed by William Friedkin, and “Nothing to Lose,” directed by Steve Oedekerk. Willy’s Emmy Award came in 1985, for his writing on “Technical Difficulties.” Wild Willy released his live CD, “American Made,” recorded at The Comedy Store, in 2001.
J. Chris Newberg’s refreshingly smart and edgy humor, delivered with a streetwise sense of philosophic cool, has propelled the guitarist/songwriter-turned-comedian to the forefront of the national comedy scene. Newberg’s standup cleverly combines his hilarious and off-beat observations on life with original acoustic guitar songs and infectious melodies. He has been seen on “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” “Last Comic Standing” and Comedy Central. Brett Riley is one of the most original fresh faces coming to light in the comedy world. With the swagger of a rock front man and the likability of a college drinking buddy, this walking “series of unfortunate events,” takes the audience on a personal tour of the Riley view. He covers everything from pop culture to relationships, family, advice on how to mess with people, and the ability to sing well enough, to make your mom forget the other stuff that comes out of his mouth.

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Paula Poundstone, Cory Wells, founding member of Three Dog Night

May 29, 2014 6pm-7pm PST 1230AM in LV & Web

Audio of interviews posted below (Scroll down)

Paula Poundstone (3)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paula Poundstone returns on Las Vegas Backstage Talk radio show with Comedian Michele LaFong.

Poundstone began nurturing her stand-up comedy talent in 1979 on the Boston comedy scene before moving to San Francisco. By 1990 she had moved to Los Angeles, starred in multiple HBO comedy specials and appeared on “Saturday Night Live.” Poundstone was the first woman to receive a Cable ACE Award for a comedy special for her one-hour HBO special, “Cats, Cops, and Stuff.” She received her second Cable ACE Award for her self-titled HBO talk show series.

Continuing with many successes throughout the 1990s, Poundstone starred in “The Paula Poundstone Show” on ABC, appeared in her second one-hour special on HBO titled “Paula Poundstone Goes to Harvard,” and appeared on camera and as the voice of characters in several television shows including: “Cybill,” “Science Court,” “Hercules” and “Home Movies.” In 2007, she appeared in a BRAVO comedy special, “Paula Poundstone: Look What the Cat Dragged In.” Poundstone is the recipient of an Emmy® Award for her field pieces on the PBS program “Life & Times” and most recently appeared in the television documentary “Why We Laugh: Funny Women.”
Poundstone is a regular panelist on NPR’s weekly quiz program “Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me,” where her impeccable timing is key to the show’s format. She has written several magazine articles, including five years of writing the back page column in “Mother Jones,” and has authored multiple books, including “There’s Nothing In This Book That I Meant To Say.” Her first comedy CD, “I HEART JOKES: Paula Tells Them In Maine,” was release in 2009. Her most recent comedy CD titled “I HEART JOKES: Paula Tells Them In Boston,” was released in 2013. Both are available at www.paulapoundstone.com.

Paula will be appearing at Orleans Showroom on May 30 & 31 at 8pm

 

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Cory Wells

Cory Wells, (far right) founder of Three Dog Night guests on LV Backstage Talk with Comedian Michele LaFong.  LVBST is the only show that really “Gets Personal with the Stars.”

With hits like Mama Told Me (Not To Come), Joy to The World, Black And White, Shambala, Easy To Be Hard, An Old Fashioned Love Song, The Show Must Go On, One,  Never Been To Spain, Liar, Eli’s Coming, The Family Of Man, Out In The Country, Try A Little Tenderness, are just a few reasons why this band has stood the test of time, and attracting new fans, recording new music, but still playing the hits.

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Steven Wright-LVBST with Comedian Michele LaFong

Jan. 2, 2014- 6-7pm PST 1230AM in LV & The Web
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Academy Award®-winner and Grammy® Award nominee Steven Wright guests on Las Vegas Backstage Talk radio show with Comedian Michele LaFong. 

After launching his comedy career at the age of 23 as a regular performer at Ding Ho’s Comedy Club and Chinese Restaurant in Cambridge, Mass., Wright got big break and was booked on “The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.” Following his performance, Wright was invited to return to the Tonight Show the following week for a rare back-to-back appearance. His new kind of comedy and lackluster voice caught the comedy world’s attention, and he later appeared on “Saturday Night Live” and “Late Night with David Letterman.” As his fame grew, he starred in two HBO specials — “A Steven Wright Special” and “Wicker Chairs and Gravity.”

In 1985, Wright received a Grammy® nomination for his debut album, “I Have a Pony.” Twenty-two years later, he won a second Grammy® nomination for its sequel, “I Still Have a Pony.” Following his second nomination, he was the first inductee into The Boston Comedy Hall of Fame.

In 2011, Wright voiced the character Danny on an episode of the animated series, “Aqua Teen Hunger Force” and guest starred on the hit series “Louie.”  Wright returns to The Orleans Showroom January 3 and 4 with his trademark wit, absurdist one-liners, monotone voice and deadpan delivery.  Showtime each evening is 8 p.m.  For more about Steven Wright: www.stevenwright.com

Steven Wright is featured in Jan. issue of LVBST column in Casino Player Magazine, and “Getting Personal with the Stars” in Gaming Today.

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Margaret Cho, Kevin Meaney-LVBST w/Comedian Michele LaFong

BPG Drop Dead DivaBPG Drop Dead Diva

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio of interviews posted below (Scroll down)

Sept. 5, 2013- 6-7pm PST 1230AM in LV & The Web

Emmy & Grammy-nominated comedian and actress, Margaret Cho guests on Las Vegas Backstage Talk with Comedian Michele LaFong.  Cho was featured in LaFong’s syndicated column, “Vegas Backstage Talk” in Sept. issue of Casino Player Magazine.

Margaret Cho is set to return to the road this September in support of her new stand-up comedy show called MOTHER. MOTHER is a complicated and completely original take on sex, queer politics, drugs, guns, identity and madness, proving time and time again, boundaries uncrossed are meaningless.  Nothing is sacred, least of all, this MOTHER.

The cornerstone of MOTHER revolves around Cho’s long-suffering Korean mom and a staple of her shows, for all tour info: 

 Margaret was recently was back in New York co-hosting ABC’s The View on July 25 & 26. Her tv show, “Drop Dead Diva,” now in it’s 5th season will air brand new episodes thru the fall every Sunday on Lifetime while her new YouTube series, a dark comedy about three women fresh out of jail titled, “In Transition,” can be seen every Wednesday thru September 18 on Cho’s YouTube channel here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NeQYh9gtNK4&feature=share&list=PLIUvOXZ9sn4hIEamhAYvwnQ9fWDyhplWd          

In addition, Cho has teamed with comedian Jim Short for a brand new podcast show called “Monsters of Talk.” Margaret &           Jim get intimate and up front with their guests which have included Tegan & Sara and Billy Bragg among others. Click here to listen in http://www.margaretcho.com/2013/05/28/monsters-of-talk-podcast-latest-episodes/

Margaret will make various television appearances in the coming months including TheTalk and The Arsenio Hall Show on October 1, E!’s Fashion Police on October 4 and Hallmark Channel’s Home & Family show and Chelsea Lately on October 10.   For more about Margaret: http://www.margaretcho.com/

 September 6 at The Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas, NV. Click here for all tour info: http://www.margaretcho.com/

Comedian Kevin Meaney

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Kevin Meaney guests on LVBST with Comedian Michele LaFong in a videotaped interview from Brad Garrett’s Comedy Club, at The MGM in Las Vegas, where he will be headling through Sunday.

Kevin has been one of the country’s most popular standup comedians for more than 25 years. Tom Shales of the Washington Post said, “Picture the precocious love child of Jonathan Winters and Ethel Merman and you have some idea of Kevin Meaney’s act.”

His first HBO special in 1986 catapulted him to the forefront of the comedy scene. In 1987, Kevin made his debut appearance on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and was invited by Johnny to join the guest panel. Since his first appearance, Kevin has returned to the show a dozen times. He was a special guest on Saturday Night Live and has appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman, Regis, Oprah and Late Night with Conan O’Brien.

Kevin also starred in the CBS sitcom Uncle Buck which ran for a full season. In addition, he has done numerous guest appearances on both sitcoms and dramas. He also had a featured role in the movie Big.

Known for drawing upon his family relationships for much of his material, Kevin has made such lines as “That’s not Right” and “We’re Big Pants People” and “We’re going to lose the house” (delivered in the tremulous voice of his mother) catch phrases for hilarity. An evening with Kevin is a trip to the funhouse and one laugh escalates into a bigger one and good-hearted humor prevails.

Kevin is also a successful writer and producer. He wrote and produced and starred in a one-man autobiographical play titled Wedding Vows in Vegas which premiered at the prestigious U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen, Colorado before going on to
a successful summer run in Boston at the Hasty Pudding Theatre. Steve Martin called it, “The most innovative, heart-rending and funny show I’ve seen in along, long time.”

In 2002, Kevin moved home to NY from Los Angeles and began working on Broadway in the hit musical, Hairspray. Hairspray
has been a life changing experience for Kevin and during an interview on XM Radio’s Stand Up Sit Down on May 28, 2008, Kevin told the host that he was gay.
It’s been a big transition but he’s seemed to find humor in how this all happened.

So, Big Pants People of the world unite… your leader is here,his name is Kevin Meaney and he’s on a mission of mirth.

Kevin is currently living in New York with his daughter.

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