Frank Caliendo is a master in the world of impressions whether he's on ESPN, or on the stand-up stage. He's even got a pretty epic Vine account that promises you hours of procrastination and laughs. If you follow Frank like we do, then you know he's much more than a man with many voices. We took the opportunity to talk to one of our favorite funny men and picked his brain on what else is in the works for him, got the skinny on some sports stuff, and even drilled him on the upcoming super bowl halftime festivities to see if he thinks it'll really be all that, ummm, “fun.”
OC Weekly (Ali Lerman): I have to get this out of the way for a friend of mine so, any plans for The Comebacks part two?
Frank Caliendo: (Laughs.) The funny thing about that is, that's the only one that I've ever done and I was probably only on the set for maybe thirty minutes. They did put me throughout the movie though so it probably seemed like I worked for weeks. That was a pretty fun movie. How old is this guy asking?
In his 30s for God's sake! He's also been known to watch Pixar movies so what can I say? Your gig for ESPN seems so great. I mean how much fun are you having?
Oh yeah, it's great. They want me to do a whole bunch more but it's hard because when you are doing football sketches, they actually have to be about football! I was talking to Neal Brennen and he was telling me about how hard it was to figure out ideas for Chappelle Show. And that was one of the greatest sketch shows, but for me, it's like trying to do a football sketch every week and you can only talk about football. You know, it's just crazy. How do you think about material for that? I don't want to recycle things and for ESPN, they kind of let me do different kinds of things that aren't all about current jokes. They let me make fun of ESPN in a lighthearted way most of the time.
I know with the ESPN stuff right now you're staying pretty busy but, do you ever think about doing a sitcom again?
You know, I haven't looked at anything right now because I have the ESPN stuff I'm doing every few weeks so that's kind of it for me right now. I've been just kind of prancing around thinking about new ideas though. I talked a little with Jim Breuer and we had an idea about being a couple of dads in a show and I've talked to a couple of other people too. I'm always trying to figure out who my character would be because I'm always thirty different characters. I know who I am in real life as a regular person but, the hard thing to figure out is teaching people to believe who I am. I can peak someone's interest for a while when we're just talking, but on stage people are looking for the impressions. Figuring out how to transition is something that I've been working on. Once the ESPN thing rolled around I started to work on new impressions because that's what works there. So during football season I'm really working on who I can parody on ESPN so it works and people won't hate me.
You could always be a dad who only does impressions for their baby so they'll stop crying.
(Laughs.) Yeah but if I can even find a way to transition out of that into where I am as a character, it's be great. I mean, Jim's done a great job of rearranging his act completely to where he's all about being a dad. It's pretty cool. I think he's even better now than he's ever been.
I totally agree, Breuer is great. Well since you at least seem to be so knowledgeable in football, do you have any super bowl predictions?
I'd say I'm about a medium. I mean, you go into ESPN and these people are all stats and stuff. They're monsters and you feel like you know nothing next to them. (Laughs.) The Broncos look good but the Saints and the Seahawks do too. There are four or five teams that legitimately look fantastic. It'll probably just come down to who looks better on a certain day. And nobody knows too because one team could just get hot! A team that is 9-1 now could end the season 10-6 because they lose games. It's crazy, you just never know.
What about something we do know and that's that Bruno Mars will be preforming at halftime for the super bowl?
Uhhh I only know like one song by him and I couldn't even tell you what it's called. I'll tell you what though, I think I could be a backup dancer for him. I wanted to do that for Madonna but they wouldn't let me do that either. I think we were talking about that last time with the guy on the tightrope during Madonna's set. Richard Simmons.
Ha!! That's right! That poor guy and his nuts. Halftime shows used to be something you wanted to watch and now it's like, Bruno Mars? Naw. I'm good.
(Laughs.) Yeah they all look overly marketed to me. All I know I that I'm not their target audience anymore.
We'll you're right on cue with your Vine account. It seems like everyone is loving what you do on there!
Oh yeah. That's something new that I've been doing and that's a fun little thing. I try to do them sparingly but I have to do some more. The Morgan Freeman one is in my act and that hits for everyone, not just the sports audience.
Alright well before I let you go, what's the scoop on your weekend in Irvine?
I'll do some of the original stuff because some people want to see that but then I'll go do something extra with it some everyone gets new stuff. The first ten to fifteen minutes of my act is pretty much new. That's where I've been pushing myself to do some totally different things. So there are probably about ten different minutes where I try to do something new that I've never done in my life. I mean, people hear the voice and they think they've seen me do it but, no. That's the toughest thing about doing impressions. People are always looking for new ones but it's kind of about doing new things with them.
Catch Frank Caliendo at the Irvine Improv December 13th through 14th, 71 Fortune Drive Irvine, CA 92618, (949) 854-5455. For tickets go to www.Improv.com. For more info, check out his website www.FrankCaliendo.com and follow him on Twitter and Vine @FrankCaliendo.