This week, Ira spoke with Magician Gary Darwin. To listen to the interview click below.
Gary Lee Meador (Gary Darwin) moved to Las Vegas in his teens. He started the magic club to get acquainted with show girls and other magicians who passed through town.
Darwin worked as a bellman at the Riviera Hotel, spending half his money on magic and the other half on girls. His magic collection grew over the years, as well as autographs he collected from famous performers at the Riviera.
He is a multi-talented entertainer and author, a caricature artist, a five – ball juggler, a one-liner comic, and has written more than 30 books on magic and other related topics.
This week, Ira spoke with Basile The Comedian. To listen to the interview click below.
Basile, the comedian, who is headlining at the Laugh Factory in the Tropicana Las Vegas through February 21, is one of the most diverse entertainers in the world today. He has entertained millions of comedy fans in the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia and Africa with his blend of material and improvisation.
Basile also stars in the critically acclaimed comedy series “Growing Up Greek in America,” which is spoken in Greek and English, and has sold over a million copies worldwide. He has been heard on Armed Forces Radio, syndicated radio and comedy segments on XM/Sirius Satellite Radio.
He has made more than 100 television appearances throughout the world, including HBO, Showtime, Comedy Central, and A&E. Basile is also known for his voice work as Universal Studio’s Bullwinkle J. Moose, as well as voices for the Cartoon Network and many Japanese anime series.
In March of 2010, Basile was nominated for an Emmy Award for his work on ESPN’s “30 for 30” episode “The Legend of Jimmy the Greek,” as the voice of Jimmy “The Greek” Snyder (Syionidis).
This week, Ira spoke with Christopher Cross. To listen to the interview click below.
Singer-songwriter Christopher Cross, who will be performing at the Golden Nugget February 12, made history with his 1980 self-titled debut album, winning five Grammy Awards, including—for the first time ever—the four most prestigious awards: Record of the Year (for the single “Sailing”), Album of the Year, Song of the Year (also for “Sailing”), and Best New Artist.
Now, 30+ years after his extraordinary emergence into the music business, Cross continues his recording and performing career with a new album, “Secret Ladder,” that evokes the artistry of such great singer-songwriters as Joni Mitchell and Randy Newman while addressing contemporary concerns head-on.
“Of course, I’m still a romantic at heart,” adds Cross, whose classic hits – including “Ride Like the Wind,” and the Oscar-winning “Arthur’s Theme (Best That You Can Do)” from the film starring Liza Minelli and Dudley Moore – remain staples on radio to this day.
While Cross is an avowed pacifist, he is a big supporter of those who serve in the armed forces. “Secret Ladder” includes the late-added track, “We Will Remember You,” as a means of honoring their service.
“My father was an Army doctor and my mother, a nurse,” he says. “I feel strongly that returning vets and those who made the ultimate sacrifice deserve to be recognized and never forgotten. The song itself is neither pro- nor anti-war. The children’s choir really enhances the message. We recorded it after the album was finished, but I felt that it definitely needed to be included.”
The album ends with the loving, lushly orchestrated “A Letter to My Children.” “It’s a very personal song,” says Cross. “I wanted to make a lasting statement for my kids that reflected both the wonderful mystery of their births and my deep feelings for them now that they’re grown.”
This week, Ira spoke with Mick Foley. To listen to the interview click below.
Mick Foley, WWE Hall of Famer, author, and comedian, who will be performing at the South Point February 5-6, is one of the cornerstones of WWE’s meteoric rise in the late 90’s.
Foley earned the nickname ‘The Hardcore Legend’ for his ability to absorb seemingly inhuman punishment in some of the most dramatic matches in sports-entertainment history. Already a respected veteran for his 11 physically punishing years wrestling under the name Cactus Jack, Foley’s career soared to new heights in WWE as ‘Mankind’, a character Foley claimed was inspired by a combination of reading ‘Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein’ and listening to the music of Tori Amos.
As Cactus Jack, Foley won the 1995 ‘King of the Deathmatch’ tournament in Yokohama, Japan, and continued wrestling, despite the amputation of his right ear, in a match against Vader in Munich, Germany in 1994. As Mankind, Foley was a 3-time WWE Champion, but is best known for his epic and brutal battle with The Undertaker in 1998’s ‘Hell in a Cell’ match, during which he was knocked unconscious after falls both off of and through the 16 foot Cell structure. Despite the injury, Foley finished the match – with one of his front teeth lodged in his nose.
With retirement looming as a result of that physically demanding style, Foley penned his own memoir, ‘Have a Nice Day’ without the aid of a ghost-writer – writing 200,000 words in longhand in 50 days.
After speaking at some of the most respected colleges and universities in America – including MIT, Syracuse University, Notre Dame and The University of Miami – Foley decided to take his verbal skills to the stand-up comedy stage in 2009.