Las Vegas Backstage Talk

Carnie Wilson, Willie Tyler & Lester

October 12, 2017

Audio of interviews are posted below

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Singer, Talk Show Host- Carnie Wilson, Reality Star, and one of the original founding members of Wilson Phillips returns on Las Vegas Backstage Talk radio show with Comedian Michele LaFong.

Wilson Phillips is appearing at The Henderson Pavillion on Oct. 13.  Carnie Wilson updated us on her guest hosting The Talk, her relationship past and present with her father Brian Wilson, her weight struggles, and future career plans.

The daughter of American 1960s pop icon Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys, and his first wife, former singer Marilyn Rovell of The Honeys, she co-founded Wilson Phillips with her younger sister Wendy and childhood friend Chynna Phillips when they were in their teens. They released two albums, Wilson Phillips and Shadows and Light, sold 12 million albums, and charted three No. 1 singles and six top 20 hits before breaking up in 1993.  For more:wilsonphillips.com

Wilson Phillips appearing at The Henderson Pavillion on Sat., Oct. 13

Willie Tyler & Lester

willie tylerWillie, Lester, LaFong (2)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ventriloquist Willie Tyler and Lester guests live in-studio.

Willie Tyler has appeared in many television commercials, sitcoms, and movies. He got his first big break in 1972 on Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In.
Tyler has had guest roles in The Parent ‘Hood, Pacific Blue, What’s Happening Now!!, The White Shadow and The Jeffersons, as well as serving as host of the popular Saturday morning children’s anthology series The ABC Weekend Special throughout the early 1980s. He appeared in the 1978 film Coming Home. In addition, he has appeared in television commercials in the 1980s for McDonald’s and Toyota.
He appeared as himself in the 2004 BET Comedy Awards, Frank McKlusky, C.I., For Da Love of Money, In the House, the 4th Annual Black Gold Awards, The 1st Annual Soul Train Music Awards, Motown Returns to the Apollo, Lou Rawls Parade of Stars, Powerhouse, The White Shadow, American Bandstand, Vegetable Soup, The Flip Wilson Show, The Statler Brothers Show, The Hollywood Palace and Match Game. On September 18, 2006, Tyler was the first ventriloquist to appear on the Late Show with David Letterman’s Ventriloquist Week.

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July Las Vegas Backstage Talk Column

July  2014- Casino Player Magazine, Gaming Today

by Michele LaFong

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After three years of trying, I finally scored an interview with Jay Leno. Although I had watched Jay countless times over the years on the Tonight Show, I never actually saw him perform his stand-up show live for a full 90 minutes till last month when I checked out his show at the Mirage, and I must say his set was even more impressive than I expected it to be. From the moment Jay hit the stage it was a laugh-a-thon. He opened with strong topical set-up/punchline type jokes that he would typically do in his opening monologue on television. He was like a joke machine for the entire first half of the show. I didn’t notice any notes on stage, nor did I see him using any cue cards, and it made me wonder how he can remember every joke and segue so effortlessly. He never stumbled or once had a “senior moment!” As much as I enjoyed the first half of the show, I loved the second half even more. Jay delved into the audience some, working the sold-out crowd masterfully. My favorite part of Leno’s show was when he told stories about his background, family, personal experiences with meeting celebrities for the first time, and referencing things and guests from events that happened on the Tonight Show. It was all meat and potatoes, without filler for the entire 90 minute performance. There aren’t too many comedians that can sustain that rhythm and flow of laughs so consistently with clean, smart thought provoking comedy…especially for an hour and a half. Jay returns to the Mirage on July 11 & August 8, and November 1, 21, 22. Our interview will air on Las Vegas Backstage Talk on July 3 & 5.
Wilson Phillips returned to the Eastside Cannery on June 7, and surprisingly put on a very different but equally entertaining show than when I saw back in October. Mixing in some of their famous parents’ hits from the Mamas and Papas and the Beach Boys from an album that they finally recorded at the request of their fans, I especially loved that part of the show and the stories they told of how those hits were born and came about. As usual, the show had lots of personality, and spontaneity.
Both Ventriloquist Willie Tyler & Lester recently guested on LVBST live in-studio. Willie Tyler is an icon in show business getting his first big break on Rowen & Martin Laugh-in. He also was then featured on The Jefferson’s, and many other TV shows as well as being the first ventriloquist to be booked on Late Night with David Letterman. It was a trip having a ventriloquist with his comedy partner in-studio live on radio! It was a throwback to the Edgar Bergan days. I hadn’t seen Willie in many years, not since we were booked together on a national TV commercial for Mercedes Benz. Willie hasn’t aged a bit…and neither did Lester! We used to share the same manager, Marty Fischer who also handled Senor Wences. An edited portion of Willie & Lester on LVBST can be seen on casinocenter.com
For the very first time and for one night only Talk Show Host Wendy Williams will be performing her comedic one-woman show which will debut at The Venetian. Last month, Williams revealed to her guest Comedian Joy Behar on her popular television talk show that she’s always wanted to be a stand-up comic and will finally take her shot at it on Saturday, July 11 at 10pm. That night will also mark the launch of the Venetian’s new Lipshtick Comedy series, which will feature an impressive weekend line-up of female comedy talent including Heather McDonald & Iliza Shlesinger, Rita Rudner, Caroline Rhea & Wendy Liebman, Lisa Lampanelli, Whitney Cummings, Joy Behar, Susie Essman, Jen Kirkman & Natasha Leggero, Jennifer Coolidge, and Loni Love. I’m sure this new venue will do well. There has always been a market for strong female comedians even back in 1998 which is why I produced and starred in “Funniest Females” back in the Comedy Theatre upstairs at O’Sheas, and currently co-star and co-produce Leading Ladies of Comedy with Judy Tenuta, and singing impressionist Bethany Owen in the Indian Casino market.
On June 7, 2014 Comic/Magician the Amazing Johnathan and fiancée Anastasia Synn tied the knot in one of the most off the wall weddings Vegas has ever hosted. Longtime friend and entertainer Gallagher became an ordained minister specifically to marry the couple for the star-studded event. The ceremony took place at “A Special Memory Chapel,” and had a circus atmosphere. David Copperfield, Carrot Top, Louie Anderson, and many other performers attended. Comedian Gallagher is developing a reality show where he marries couples by day and turns the chapel into a comedy club at night. “I have many clubs around the country that would like me to bring this reality show to their venue for an episode.” Gallagher said. On July 12, Gallagher starts a two-week run at the Golden Nugget in the main theater. He has proven from his last successful run in Las Vegas at the Laugh Factory at the Tropicana that he is a very funny and relevant comic and a consistent entertainer. Due to health issues, June 30th – July 1st, the Amazing Johnathan will give his final performances at the Magic Castle in Los Angeles, CA. After 35 years of bringing his unique style of comedy and magic to the world, the Amazing Johnathan is retiring from performing and these final four shows will be video tapped for a future documentary.
My Picks for July: Carlos Mencia, TI July 4, Bob Weir & Ratdog, Palms, July 5, Queen & Adam Lambert, Hard Rock, July 5 & 6, America, Cannery, July 6, Gallagher, Golden Nugget, July 10-19, New Kids on the Block, Planet Hollywood Resort, July 10-13, Wendy Williams, Venetian, July 11, Jay Leno, Mirage, July 11, The Bangles, Eastside Cannery, July 12, Bill Cosby, TI, July 18, Heather McDonald and Iliza Schelesinger, Venetian, July 18 & 19, Lady Gaga MGM Grand, July 19, Nine Inch Nails, Soundgarden, Planet Hollywood, July 19, Paul Revere & the Raiders, the Cowsills, Eastside Cannery, July 19, Nick Swardson, Mirage, July 25 & 26, Rita Rudner, Venetian, July 25 & 26, The Voice Tour, Hard Rock, July 25, Boston, Cheap Trick, Hard Rock, July 26, Spinners, Cannery, July 26, Olivia Newton-John, Flamingo July 29- Aug. 30.

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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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Carnie Wilson, Willie Tyler-Las Vegas Backstage Talk

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

Audio of interviews posted below (Scroll down)

Carnie Dedicated head shot high rescarne Wilson Phillips Hi-Res02

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Singer, Talk Show Host- Carnie Wilson, Reality Star, and one of the original founding members of Wilson Phillips returns on Las Vegas Backstage Talk radio show with Comedian Michele LaFong.

Carnie is promoting her upcoming show with Wilson Phillips at The Eastside Cannery on June 7.  She updated us on her guest hosting The Talk, her relationship past and present with her father Brian Wilson, her weight struggles, and future career plans.

The daughter of American 1960s pop icon Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys, and his first wife, former singer Marilyn Rovell of The Honeys, she co-founded Wilson Phillips with her younger sister Wendy and childhood friend Chynna Phillips when they were in their teens. They released two albums, Wilson Phillips and Shadows and Light, sold 12 million albums, and charted three No. 1 singles and six top 20 hits before breaking up in 1993.  For more:wilsonphillips.com

Wilson Phillips appearing at The Eastside Cannery on Sat., Oct. 5

Willie Tyler & Lester

willie tylerWillie, Lester, LaFong (2)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Willie Tyler and Lester guests live in-studio.

Willie Tyler has appeared in many television commercials, sitcoms, and movies. He got his first big break in 1972 on Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In.
Tyler has had guest roles in The Parent ‘Hood, Pacific Blue, What’s Happening Now!!, The White Shadow and The Jeffersons, as well as serving as host of the popular Saturday morning children’s anthology series The ABC Weekend Special throughout the early 1980s. He appeared in the 1978 film Coming Home. In addition, he has appeared in television commercials in the 1980s for McDonald’s and Toyota.
He appeared as himself in the 2004 BET Comedy Awards, Frank McKlusky, C.I., For Da Love of Money, In the House, the 4th Annual Black Gold Awards, The 1st Annual Soul Train Music Awards, Motown Returns to the Apollo, Lou Rawls Parade of Stars, Powerhouse, The White Shadow, American Bandstand, Vegetable Soup, The Flip Wilson Show, The Statler Brothers Show, The Hollywood Palace and Match Game. On September 18, 2006, Tyler was the first ventriloquist to appear on the Late Show with David Letterman’s Ventriloquist Week.

 

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Carnie Wilson, Don Barnes-38 Special-LVBST

Oct. 3, 2013- 6-7pm PST 1230AM in LV & The Web

Audio of interviews posted below (Scroll down)

Carnie Dedicated head shot high rescarne Wilson Phillips Hi-Res02

 

 

 

 

 

 

Singer, Talk Show Host- Carnie Wilson, Reality Star, and one of the original founding members of Wilson Phillips guests onLas Vegas Backstage Talk radio show with Comedian Michele LaFong.

Carnie is promoting her upcoming show with Wilson Phillips at The Eastside Cannery on Oct. 5.  She shared what it was like now that she’s married and what it’s like being a mom, her relationship past and present with her father Brian Wilson, her weight struggles, and future career plans.

The daughter of American 1960s pop icon Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys, and his first wife, former singer Marilyn Rovell of The Honeys, she co-founded Wilson Phillips with her younger sister Wendy and childhood friend Chynna Phillips when they were in their teens. They released two albums, Wilson Phillips and Shadows and Light, sold 12 million albums, and charted three No. 1 singles and six top 20 hits before breaking up in 1993.  For more:wilsonphillips.com

Wilson Phillips appearing at The Eastside Cannery on Sat., Oct. 5

Don Barnes-Founding member of 38 Special

don barnes 38_PS_1_4505_COLOR_8X10_BORDERDon Barnes Live 1 Credit Carl Dunn

 

 

 

 

 

 

Founding member of 38 Special, Don Barnes, guests on LV Backstage Talk with Comedian Michele LaFong.

After more than three decades together, 38 SPECIAL continue to bring their signature blast of Southern Rock to over 100 cities a year. And at each and every show, thousands of audience members are amazed by the explosive power of the band’s performance.

Their many Gold and Platinum album awards stand in testament to the endurance of a legendary powerhouse.

With sales in excess of 20 million, most associate the band with their arena-rock pop smashes, “Hold On Loosely,” “Rockin’ Into the Night,” “Caught Up in You,” “Fantasy Girl,” “If I’d Been the One,” “Back Where You Belong,” “Chain Lightnin’,” “Second Chance,” and more – Timeless hits that remain a staple at radio, immediately recognizable from the first opening chord, and paving the way to their present-day touring regimen.  For more: 38special.com

38 Special is appearing at The Cannery on Sat., Oct. 5

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