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Television legend Ed Asner has won seven Emmy Awards for performing which is more than any other male actor. He is primarily known for his role as Lou Grant on both The Mary Tyler Moore Show and its spinoff series Lou Grant. Asner has had an extensive voice-acting career and starred as the voice of Carl Fredericksen in Pixar’s award-winning animated film Up (2009).

On this podcast the 91-year-old Ed Asner tells us stories about where it started and opens up to our Gentry Thomas about being a Son of a Junkman and the journey of the Junkyard to bright lights of Hollywood! 

You can tell that Ed is no fan of Donald Trump. He calls President Trump a liar and says that better years are ahead of us with President elect Joe Biden. 

Ed has had a chance to work with some of the biggest stars of all time. During this episode of Backstage Pass the Emmy Award winner talks about being on screen with Elvis and what made Mary Tyler Moore so special. 

Recently Ed Asner went on Kelly Clarkson’s new daytime TV show and commented on how she smelled.

Other television appearances with Ed Asner include The Bronx Zoo, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, Hawaii Five-O (1975), Hawaii Five-O (2012 remake), The Middle, The Trials of Rosie O’Neill, Hearts Afire, The Untouchables, Curb Your Enthusiasm, CSI: NY, Betty White’s Off Their Rockers, Working Class, Michael, Tuesdays and Thursdays, The Glades, just to name a few and many made-for-television movies. 

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Pauly Shore talks new movie Guest House and his favorite bands of all time.

Marie Osmond told us she is channeling every diva she has ever worked with for her latest role in Lifetime’s Christmas Edition. In this new holiday flick Marie plays a media tycoon, we asked how she felt about the new “Fake News” term, along with the media’s responsibility to tell the American people the truth about the news. Osmond wanted to make it clear that she loved our country, and that the people need to make sure to be responsible themselves, when getting their news. “They need to not just be listening, but they really need to do their research”. The 61 year singer and actress added that “I don’t do politics, who cares what celebrities think when it comes to politics? I don’t.” 

Fans have fallen in love with Marie since the 70’s when she starred on the variety show Donnie and Marie, some will remember her 1973 #1 hit Paper Roses and some know her from her recent stint on The Talk. She did not want to discuss her exit from the daytime talk show, but did open up with us about her music. The singer said she has more music on the way and talked about winning a CMA Award in 1986 for Country Vocal Duo with Dan Seals on the song Meet me in Montana. Music has always been her medicine she explained, Marie is one of the founders of The Children’s Miracle Network and wanted everyone to check out her music video for her song Music is Medicine. 

Finally we asked Marie what a typical Christmas was like in the Osmond household. Her answer may surprise you when it comes to the Holiday’s at Marie’s!

Listen to this episode and other episodes of Backstage Pass with Gentry Thomas by going to The Podcast Playground. 


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When it comes to long careers in television, few can rival the success of TODAY’sAl Roker. Hailing from Queens, a borough of New York City, the beloved weatherman has been one of NBC’s most trusted voices for over 40 years.

Now, he’s out with his 13th book, “You Look So Much Better in Person: True Stories of Absurdity and Success,” in which he shares the lessons he’s learned over his distinguished career. 

Al tells us the story of when his Father took him to get his drivers license in a 1967 Ford Squire station wagon and how he got his start in show business on the radio in college. 

He gave us the gravy on this years Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. This will be the 94th year of the historic event and the parade must go on! It will be “reimagined as you might imagine” Roker told us, “Santa will hit Harold’s Square this year and NBC will be there to cover it”. Even with an increase in Covid cases in NYC, they will have a revised version of the parade this year in the City. NBC’s coverage begins Thanksgiving Day 9am all times zones. 

The beloved weather man expressed that “climate change is a real and there is no question that it’s happening.” he also told us that “You can have good paying jobs, you can have job growth and be a steward to the planet”. Roker also said that Donald Trump was incorrect when he called NYC a ghost town. Roker lives on the upper eastside of Manhattan and says “it’s just as crowed as ever”. 

After 40 years of broadcasting with NBC Al Roker has had a front row seat to 9-11, the #MeToo movement, presidential elections and the latest being Covid-19. We wanted to focus on the positive moments in his career covering musicians, authors and celebrities. Al admitted that meeting Charles Schultz  the American cartoonist, who is credited for the Peanuts comic, was a dream come true.”

Listen to the podcast to hear the rest of our conversation with Al Roker. 

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Actress Lea Thompson reflects on her Back To The Future days playing Lorraine and working with Michael J. Fox. The 80s actress admits she has been spending a lot of time cooking and cleaning lately for her family due to covid-19. Lea recalls another virus that swept the planet in the 1980s when she was starring in blockbuster movies. That was the AIDS virus. Since the first cases were reported in the U.S. in 1981, 39 million people have died from the HIV virus, including 619,000 globally last year alone according to Lea says she is really proud of America right now and how many are coming together but still have work to do. “We’ve started appreciating people that we took for granted in the past (and in the future) “like grocery store workers and people who pick the crops and of couse the nurses and the janitors.”  Thompson told us on the podcast.

Lea has been married to director Howard Duetch since 1989. The 59 year old Thompson opened up to our own Gentry Thomas about how they met on the set of Some Kind of Wonderful in 1987. She reminisced with us about their first photo together and how she recently posted it on her Instagram Page. Her husband is known for directing Pretty in Pink, The Great Outdoors and Grumpier Old Men to name a few. Both her and Duetch  have directing creds now since Lea has directed 7 episodes of ABC’s hit show The Goldbergs.  Lea and hubby Howie often share directing notes these days, but she wanted to make it clear that Howard does not have back to back hit shows with a network like she has done recently. 

Listen to this week’s episode of Backstage with Gentry Thomas and for even more interviews and content join us on The Podcast Playground. 

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Always great to catch up with Danny Tanner on this episode of Backstage he tells us that he and his wife have been sleeping in separate beds. Saget claims that Pets and Dirty Jokes can help everyone through this tough time. You will hear plenty of jokes when Bob Saget returns to host the 34th annual Cool Comedy – Hot Cuisine fundraiser, benefiting the Scleroderma Research Foundation (SRF), on Sunday, Oct. 18. The comedian will be joined by celebrity chef and restaurateur Susan Feniger as co-host of the now online event.

The fundraiser will for the first time be a virtual experience open to global audiences, according to a press release. The event will be live-streamed on YouTube and feature a bey of special musical and comedian guests, including Jack Black, Kelly Clarkson, Queen Latifah, Ray Romano, and John Stamos. 

Cool Comedy – Hot Cuisine was started in 1987 by SRF founder and first CEO Sharon Monsky to help raise funds and awareness for scleroderma. To date, the event has raised more than $45 million to fund scleroderma research. 

To register for the event, go here. Sponsorships begin at the “Friend” level for $100.


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Rob Reiner joins Gentry Thomas Backstage this week to get “The Band” back together. They discuss Trump and Archie Bunker similarities, along with heading down memory lane with Reiner’s commentary on some of the iconic movie scenes that have made him one of Hollywood’s most accomplished directors. 

Listen to the podcast and hear the 73 year old Reiner recall the train and bridge scene from Stand By Me, When Harry Met Sally’s restaurant orgasm scene with Meg Ryan, “You can’t handle the truth” in the court room with Jack Nicolson in A Few Good Men and the final kiss from The Princess Bride. 

America fell in love with Rob Reiner when he played the character Meathead on All in the Family. The star of this 70s sitcom was Archie Bunker played by Carroll O’Connor. The character “Archie” was often described as a racist, sexiest, bigot, some of the same names you will hear people call our current President Donald Trump. Gentry Thomas asked Reiner if their were any similarities between the two? Hear Rob’s response and his outlook on the future of movie making in this episode of Backstage with Gentry. 

The cast and director of classic rock mockumentary This Is Spinal Tap are reuniting for a virtual table read that will be moderated by Patton Oswalt. Released in 1984, the Rob Reiner (The Princess Bride) movie starred Christopher Guest (The Princess Bride), Michael McKean (Better Call Saul) and Harry Shearer (The Simpsons) as the hapless British heavy metal band, Spinal Tap. 

The table read will take place on October 14th, 2020 and will aim to raise money for the Philadelphia Democrats ahead of the November 3 General Election. 

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In his new book “Disloyal” Michael Cohen describes the president as “a cheat, a liar, a fraud, a bully, a racist, a predator, a con man.”

In our interview Cohen recalls the first time he met Donald Trump face to face calling it “a day he will never forget”. On that same day he landed the role as Executive Vice President of The Trump Organization and special council. He admits to admiring Trump for 20 years prior to that meeting having read The Art of The Deal twice and feeling a true connection in their personalities. Cohen opens up to Gentry Thomas about the pivot moment when he realized he had made the biggest mistake of his life aligning with Donald Trump.

From 2017 to 2018, Cohen was deputy finance chairman of the Republican National Committee. In April of 2018 the FBI came to showed up at Cohen’s doorstep, but according to him they waited until his son left for school and the officers where very cordial with Cohen who at the time was the lawyer for The President of the United States. They took a bunch of documents from his home, his law office and a hotel room he was staying at.  Cohen would go on to plea guilty to five counts of willful tax evasion; one count of making false statements to a bank; one count of causing an unlawful campaign contribution; and one count of making an excessive campaign contribution. Looking back on these mistakes our host Gentry Thomas asked Cohen what did he learn from all this? “I want people to understand this, that when Donald Trump hired him he was a real estate guy and once he became President he changed” explained Cohen. 

Michael Cohen joined us from house arrest as he was among some of the inmates at  Otisville Federal Prison in upstate NY, who were released into home confinement because of concerns about the spread of the coronavirus. Mr. Cohen, 53, is serving a three-year sentence for federal crimes and has one more year left to serve. 

Click the link to listen to Cohen’s new podcast called “Mea Culpa” with Michael Cohen 

Buy Michael’s new book “Disloyal”

For more Backstage Pass with Gentry Thomas be sure to subscribe @ The Podcast Playground 

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The rapper turned actor has stayed hustling since breaking on the scene in the early 80s. His real name is Tracy Marrow but his friends call him Ice! When we sat down with him on this week’s episode of Backstage he told us that when he recorded Cop Killer he felt like “people just looked at me as a rapper out of LA with palm trees and Hollywood limelight and thought police brutality didn’t exist”. But now he says the biggest difference is “accountability” Ice credit the cell phones on the streets capturing the wrong doing of police officers. 

In his new movie called “Equal Standard” Ice-T plays a gang member In his latest film highlighting tensions between police and the black community.

Nearly three decades ago, Ice and his heavy metal band Body Count recorded a song called “Cop Killer,” about a man fed up with police brutality, that threw gasoline on the already raging rap culture wars. In 2017, Body Count released the song “No Lives Matter,” about racism and classism in America. In between messages, Ice has spent 21 years playing NYPD Detective Fin Tutuola on “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit.” And last month, the Grammy winner executive-produced and acted in “Equal Standard,” a movie available to rent online about a black cop shooting a white cop and the ensuing community fallout. “It costs nine dollars, but you spend that on Starbucks so stop playing,” Ice said.

Ice did the movie for free for the same reason he spends most of his social media energy lobbing f-bomb-laced truths at his over 2 million followers across platforms: “We’re at a very important part of history right now, world history.” We caught up with Ice to talk racism, hip-hop and how he does things differently at age 62.

Check out this week’s episode with Gentry Thomas and Ice T plus download even more content @ The Podcast Playground. 

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Jessie James Decker Dishes on New Music and Her First Cookbook!

Jessie James Decker has been busy balancing her thriving career and home life while under quarantine, and tells our Gentry Thomas that her Mother recently told her she should slow down. When we spoke this week with the 32-year-old, she talked all about how quarantine has been going for her family of five, as well as her new music and her highly anticipated first cookbook, Just Feed Me.

Jessie shares down-home and simple-to-make recipes for drinks, appetizers, and full dinners–many Italian, Southern and Cajun dishes which were handed down to her from her mom. 

Jessie and her husband, Eric Decker, share three young children together — 6-year-old daughter Vivianne and their two sons, 5-year-old Eric II and 2-year-old Forrest. Jessie admits that she roots for the Jets on Sundays. 

If you are looking to get this Southern Girl who likes City Lights on the dance floor she says that anytime she hears the song “I want you back” by The Jackson 5 she is dancing in her boots! 

Get more Backstage Pass with Gentry Thomas on The Podcast Playground, Apple Podcasts, Spotify and wherever else you Pod! 





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Colin Jost Of ‘SNL’ Knows You’re Laughing At His ‘Very Punchable Face’

Listen to this episode of Backstage Pass with Colin Jost the top writer for SNL and the lucky guy that has Scarlett Johansson’s heart.

Jost’s new memoir, A Very Punchable Face, describes his experiences growing up in a middle-class household on Staten Island.

He talks about living in NYC in the midst of the pandemic and talks his days attending Harvard with Mark Zukerberg. Jost recalls being one of the first users on Facebook and opens up about how in most cases an Ivy League education is over rated. 

Saturday Night Live’s Colin Jost knows there’s something about his clean-cut image that rubs some people the wrong way. When he joined SNL as a writer in 2005, he worked off-camera — and didn’t have to think about his looks. Colin admits that his favorite sketch on SNL so far has been Drunk Uncle that he wrote for Bobby Moynihan. 

In his new book, which is a NY Times best seller, Jost has a chapter about Donald Trumps appearance on SNL prior to him being elected President in November of 2015. Listen to the Podcast to find out what Jost said about our commander and chief. 

Colin Jost may be best known for his role as the lead anchor for Weekend Update. He let us know that the crew will be back live at Rockefeller Plaza LIVE for Saturday Night again in late September. The newly engaged Colin Jost talks wedding bells and first dance song selection for his upcoming wedding with Scarlett Johansson. 

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Rob Schneider wants to remind people that he started his career as a stand up comedian. Long before he was on “Saturday Night Live” alongside Adam Sandler, David Spade and Chris Rock, Schneider was writing jokes and mailing them to the “SNL” offices in the hopes of being discovered.

“I remember when I was 16, I used to write jokes and send them to the show,” Schneider says. “And then 7 years later I was on the show.” 

When Rob sat down with Gentry Thomas he told us “there are a lot of brilliant comedians that I admire today; Dave Chapelle, Bill Burr, Whitney Cummings, Amy Schumer, to name a few. But his best advice for stand-up comedy was from Jay Leno. Schneider recalls riding around in San Francisco early in his career with Leno when he told him “you better have 5 minutes that kills”! Also some sound advise came from Rob’s friend Jerry Seinfeld, he told Rob once that if you are not funny within 2 minutes then you have no act”!

For the past several years he’s been touring small comedy clubs around the US working on material for his first Netflix special, “Asian Momma, Mexican Kids.” As the title suggests, he talks a lot about his family during the show.

“I’m at the point in my life where I don’t mind being honest. This is the least amount of lies I’ve ever told in any comedy routine.”

In the interview Rob opens up about his relationship with longtime friend Adam Sandler whom he met in 1988. Sandler once told Gentry that Rob is obsessive compulsive with his vitamins. Schneider admits to taking 72 vitamin a day. Hear his list of must have supplements to add to your daily regime. His new Netflix special has been dedicated to Raymond Francis who has penned a handful of books that Schneider says will give you better quality of life. His favorite book from Francis is Never Be Sick Again. During these days of covid-19 we could all use some sound advise when it comes to our immune system. We personally feel that sometimes laughter can be the best medicine. So listen to our latest episode of Backstage with Gentry Thomas and share it with all your friends! 


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Joey Fatone Talks ‘Common Knowledge,’ His Post-N SYNC Hosting Career. He also told Gentry Thomas on the Podcast his biggest moment personally with the band. 

The former *NSYNC member joins Common Knowledge after starring in My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2, serving as an announcer on Family Feud from 2010 through 2015, and hosting The Singing Bee and Parents Just Don’t Understand.

Joey, now 43, told us that former band member Chris Kirkpatrick would win if N-Sync ended up in a fight to the death! 

Listen to Backstage with Gentry Thomas and Joey Fatone in this episode of the podcast to find out which band mate is the most street smart and which one is the best with the books in the classroom. 

In the summer of 1995, after befriending Chris Kirkpatrick, a fellow Universal Studios stage performer who was singing in a doo-wop group, he became the fourth member of NSYNC, along with Justin Timberlake and JC Chasez. Then Lance Bass was added to the group that would become NSYNC. In 2001, Fatone co-starred with *NSYNC bandmate Lance Bass in the Miramax film On the Line, he guest starred with NSYNC on a 2001 episode of The Simpsons episode New Kids on the Blecch, and also did voice work with Bass on the same episodes of Disney’s Kim Possible and Adult Swim’s Robot Chicken.

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Steve-O has some strong feelings about the coronavirus pandemic. The Jackass star revealed to us that he had tested positive for COVID-19, despite following all the recommended safety protocols. He also revealed that he was completely asymptomatic, and only realized he’d contracted the virus as a precaution. During his current stand-up tour, he got tested and received negative results. However, after someone suggested he get tested for antibodies too, the results came back positive.


Recently Steve O had Basketball Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal on his Podcast. On our interview he tells Gentry that he learned a lot talking with the Big Fella.


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Kathy Ireland teams up with a #1 New York Times Bestselling Author Rachel Van Dyken For First Novel, “Fashion Jungle”

As if building up a multi-million-dollar fashion and home licensing enterprise and her philanthropy weren’t enough of a follow-up to a highly successful modelling career, Kathy Ireland can now add novelist to her list of credits, with her first title written with the number-one New York Times best selling author Rachel van Dyken, Fashion Jungle, out January 28, 2020The new book is being described as Valley of the Dolls meets Sex and the City, and will be an ‘honest and exciting foray into the world of fashion.’

Ireland draws on her own experiences, including her faith, as she and van Dyken tell the story of four women within the modelling industry, against the very relevant backdrop of the #MeToo movement and human trafficking.

‘Fashion Jungle is a novel based on twists and turns that are true. It’s the one story I never expected to tell. The fashion industry is a beautiful and simultaneously an ugly and dangerous place. I entered the jungle at the age of 16 and made wonderful friends and more than a few enemies. Fashion illusion can be responsible for great tragedy. Girls who starve themselves, recreational drug and alcohol use that becomes addictive, sex trafficking, statutory rape and most people are shocked to learn how many models lose their lives or simply disappear,’ says Ireland.
Ireland herself had appeared on the covers of Vogue and Cosmopolitan, among others, and graced three Sports Illustrated covers, one of which is its best selling issue of all time.

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Backstage With Gentry Thomas

Candace Cameron Bure joined us from quarantine where she said the one bright spot is that her children are back at home and she is having a lot of down time to spend with her family. Candace married former professional hockey player Valeri Bure

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Newt Gingrich joined us live from Italy, which has been one of the hot spots during the covid-19 outbreak. He and his wife Callista have been in quarantine for the last few weeks. The former Speaker Of The House discussed how he took in Palm Sunday mass on the small screen (his phone iphone). Gingrich also talked about the current state of the relationship with the United States and China in which he believes there is still more to come out of China and the World Health Organization. Gringrich feels strongly that there has been cover ups and misinformation on the covid-19 virus.

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Backstage With Gentry Thomas

Vivica A. Fox got personal with us talking about her former marriage, having regrets about not having kids and let’s us know that she has a new podcast called Hustlin’ now available.


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Rick Springfield releases new single titled “Wall Will Fall” to benefit also he tells Gentry if he ever had sex with Jessie’s Girl?

WATCH: Rick Springfield has been trying to teach everyone how to play Jessie’s Girl in less than 60 seconds on his Instagram

A couple friends were looking to pass some quarantine time, the New Orleans native Vance DeGeneres, a guitarist for ‘80s New Wave band The Cold who moved on to a successful career as a comedy writer and producer in Los Angeles, and his buddy Rick Springfield decided to co-write a song.

The initial idea was to goof on the process, as documented in an online series of short, humorous clips dubbed “The Ultimate Mini-series: The 60-Second Guide to Songwriting With a Partner.”

But low and behold, the song they came up with, “The Wall Will Fall,” turned out to be better than they expected. They ended up working with a litany of famous friends, including Paul Stanley of Kiss, Sammy Hagar, Richard Marx, Fred Schneider of the B-52s, and DeGeneres’ sister, Ellen. Many more familiar faces make cameos in the song’s video.


“The Wall Will Fall” was released on May 8 via digital download on Apple iTunes and Amazon Music, and via free streaming on Spotify and Pandora. Proceeds benefit Feeding America, the hunger relief organization with a nationwide network of food banks.

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Spike Lee talks about the protesters, The Knicks and his new movie. Da 5 Bloods is a 2020 American war drama film directed and produced by Spike Lee. Four African American Vietnam veterans return to Vietnam in search of the remains of their fallen squad leader and the promise of buried treasure. These heroes battle forces of humanity and nature while confronted by the lasting ravages of the immorality of the Vietnam War.

Spike also talks about his feelings when he see’s The American Flag

Lee admits that he “see’s a broken promise” when looking at The United States Flag. Something he reminds us you will see in the film Da 5 Bloods. The star of the filmmakers latest work is Chadwick Boseman who’s character tells his fellow bloods how “black people having been fighting for the United States from the very beginning.”  Lee in the interview gives us an example by saying “the first person to die for this country at the Boston Massacre was Crispus Attucks in 1770.” He went on to say “the whole Kaepernick kneeling was all about what we are marching for today, the whole narrative got twisted. Colin wasn’t protesting the US Flag or the veterans that fought for this country, he was kneeling for social injustice.”   

The iconic filmmaker wrote the script for “Do The Right Thing” back in 1988, some 31 years ago. He explains how that award winning film is so relevant today. 

What’s up with The Knicks biggest Fan? Is Spike back on the bandwagon? He updates us on his relationship with the New York Knicks.

Lee said “he will not return for any more games for the remainder of the season”.

All Spike Lee wanted to do was use the employee entrance at Madison Square Garden. Really, it’s all he knows.

A long time New York Knicks superfan, has been using it for 28 years.. But suddenly, they wouldn’t let him — security told him to use a different entrance.Lee was then in a full-on feud with the Knicks and team owner James Dolan over his treatment.Lee explained, we will wait and see how the new GM Leon Rose does with hiring a new coach and filling out his roster.  Fans questioned how the franchise could treat its biggest fan with such disrespect.

Which turns out that they have been eliminated from this years playoffs. The NBA Board of Governors met with Adam Silver to vote and approve a plan to return to play on July 31 with 22 teams at Disney World.

To hear the FULL interview click the play button on the top of this article.

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