our culture, what celebrities say and do eclipse that of the
masses. From what they wear, where they eat and where they
party, the idea of celebrity has always been a fascinating
topic. Many celebrities have taken that notion and capitalized
on it by writing an autobiography about their rise to stardom or
their opinions on various topics. When all is said and done,
does the celebrity actually give their audience juicy snippets
about their lives? Or does it backfire with the audience
scratching their heads? In ďCelebrity AutobiographyĒ a rotating
cast of comedians read the most hilarious excerpts from various
celebrityóthatís rightóautobiographies. Mario Cantone, who
gained a huge following with his role on Sex and the City,
is one of the headliners at the
Miami from May 5-8.
Mario recently talked with Markís List about the upcoming
show, working on Sex and the City and being an openly gay
You will be down in
Can you talk about ďCelebrity AutobiographyĒ and whose books you
will be reading from?
You know, I want most of them to be a
surprise; but there is a Sly Stallone and Tommy Lee
juxtaposition where I read Tommy and
Eugene reads Sly. That
one is really funny. Itís a fun gigóI really enjoy it. Every
once in a while they ask me to do the show and, if Iím
available, Iíll do it.
How do you pick who you will be
including in the show?
Eugene Levy and Dayle Refel usually
give me ones that have never been done before; ones that are a
challenge. But if I donít like it or I get tired of reading from
one particular book, I will ask to change it. One of the new
ones Iím doing is really good. At first I thought, ďWhat?
This isnít going to work.Ē But so far itís worked.
Reading from the autobiographies,
is there something youíve learned about certain celebrities that
you were surprised by?
Not really. Itís just mainly
surprising how they think everything they say is so important
and fascinating, and itís really not. Thatís really the
point of the show.
Who are some of your favorite
celebrities to impersonate?
I did former Miss
Prejean, for a while when it was popular and new. I donít do it
anymore, but it was a lot of fun when I did. I love doing
Tommy Leeóheís probably my favorite one.
What do you think most people donít
know about being a celebrity?
Well, thereís a lot of crazy stuff
that goes on in this business. I think the young ones have a
problem with it a lot of the time and are partying all the time.
There are good people and thereís mean people, and there are the
ones out there that you think are going to be intimidated by and
they end up being really nice. Itís all very surprising.
What has it been like working with
Rachel Dratch and Sharon Gless?
They are very funny, talented ladies.
I love Rachelósheís so funny. Sheís a great girl to work with.
Iíve never worked with Sharon,
but I was on a cruise with her and got to know her, and she was
really nice and very real. Iím looking forward to working with
her for the first time.
You gained a huge following with
your role on Sex and the City.
Is Anthony Marrantino still a big part
of your act?
No, I never ever talk about him.
Sometimes people will yell from the audience, ďAnthony!Ē Heís
never been a part of my actóheís a character I play and someone
I love playing. It became this huge thing and theyíve taken me
along for the ride. I got to do both of the movies after the
series, and itís just been great.
If there were another movie, do you
think there is still room for the characters of ďAnthonyĒ and
I doubt there will be a third one, but
if there is another movie, I guess they need to have a baby.
Maybe Anthony would like children. We can have a big gay baby
In addition to the show, what are
some of the other projects you are working on?
I just finished a pilot for Warner
Bros. and NBC starring Don Johnson and Iím the second male lead
in it. Itís more of a comedy/drama. Mr. Johnson is very, very
good in it. Heís playing a role that he has never played
before. Itís written by Michael Patrick King, who also wrote
Sex and the City. I hope and pray that it gets picked
upóIíll know in a week or two. Iím on pins and needles waiting.
For all of the up and coming young
gay comedians or actors out there, what is your advice?
My advice is that itís really hard.
When youíre an openly gay comedian or actor itís very
difficultóitís not easy. Iíve had five different
development deals in my life with studios like Imagine and
Lionsgate, where the show was developed around me; but the shows
never went anywhere. Thereís never been an openly gay actor or
comedian thatís really had a show specifically developed for
them. Well, it happened once with
Nathan Lane, but
it didnít get on the air. Itís really something Iíve wanted.
Also, gay actors donít get paid the same as the straight ones.
Iím very lucky to come as far as I have, but it hasnít been
easy. There are plenty of actors who are in there closet, and
they are the ones that have the more successful careers. Itís a
double standardóyou can play gay if youíre straight, but you
canít play straight if youíre gay. Iím glad though that
Neil [Patrick Harris] is able to do that on his on show.
If you could go back, would you
think twice about coming out as an actor or comedian?
I canít live or think that way.
You sacrifice a lot definitely. If I were just an actor it might
have been easier, but Iím a comedian alsoóI have a voice and a
Speaking of that platform, what kind
of experience are you hoping to give your audience in
I just hope they enjoy it. If youíve
never seen something like it before, itís definitely something
you should come out and see. Itís fascinating what some of
these people writeóitís going to be really fun.