Local barfly Craig Anthony, known to patrons of Gennaro’s Bar in Metairie as “Karaoke Craig” and “That Guy,” is set to perform on May 2nd at Jazz Fest as the replacement for Fleetwood Mac as the replacement for The Rolling Stones.
The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival announced today it has booked the ironman karaokeist who has drunkenly belted Paul Simon’s “You Can Call Me Al,” Simple Minds’ “Don’t You (Forget About Me),” and Jefferson Starship’s “We Built This City” at Gennaro’s every Saturday for the last 20 years to ensure the integrity of its schedule from this point forward.
After The Rolling Stones and their replacement Fleetwood Mac both canceled their May 2nd performances due to illness, scrambling Jazz Fest producers worried there would be a big hole in the festival’s 50th-anniversary lineup with such a short time frame left. Fortunately, Karaoke Craig had several openings after Gennaro’s encouraged him to pursue the opportunity.
“We [Gennaro’s] can’t wait for Craig to go somewhere else and share his special talent.”
“We [Gennaro’s] can’t wait for Craig to go somewhere else and share his special talent,” said longtime bartender Lyssia Dagostino who has caught every single one of Karaoke Craig’s shows for the last seven years while working. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for us… er… him.”
Worried some kind of untimely condition or circumstance may befall Karaoke Craig as happened with Stevie Nicks and Mick Jagger, Jazz Fest producers were quickly reassured by Gennaro’s patrons who say the entertainer has performed even after passing out drunk and with the flu by using what he calls his “‘Weekend at Bernie’s’ apparatus.”
Karaoke Craig, 52 and a Shrewsbury native, has never missed a performance during his 20-year career earning him the nickname “The Goodnight Gnat” or “Goodgnat” from bar patrons.
“Craig will be absolutely thrilled to hear the news when he sobers up.”
“Craig will be absolutely thrilled to hear the news when he sobers up,” said Dagostino as she pushed his limp hand to sign the contract.
Inside sources say local legend Mr. Okra was actually the Jazz Fest’s choice as the next fill-in but ultimately declined the opportunity due to his passing in 2018. Karaoke Craig reportedly will not be told he was the backup backup backup plan.
The sources also said Karaoke Craig might even be willing to sing a song or two from both The Rolling Stones and Fleetwood Mac catalogs as long as DJ John downloads the songs in advance. Dagostino said the request has been put in to Jazz Fest producers on a sliver of paper.