Mario Cantone

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Mario Cantone
Mario Cantone by David Shankbone.jpg
Mario Cantone, April 2007
Born(1959-12-09) December 9, 1959 (age 54)
Stoneham, Massachusetts, U.S.
MediumStand-up, television, film, stage
NationalityAmerican
Years active1987–present
GenresCharacter comedy, observational comedy, physical comedy
Subject(s)Everyday life, family, celebrities, stereotypes
SpouseJerry Dixon (2011–present)
Notable works and rolesVarious in Chappelle's Show
Anthony Marentino on Sex and the City
Mikey Abromowitz in Surf's Up
Websitehttp://www.mariocantone.com
 
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Mario Cantone
Mario Cantone by David Shankbone.jpg
Mario Cantone, April 2007
Born(1959-12-09) December 9, 1959 (age 54)
Stoneham, Massachusetts, U.S.
MediumStand-up, television, film, stage
NationalityAmerican
Years active1987–present
GenresCharacter comedy, observational comedy, physical comedy
Subject(s)Everyday life, family, celebrities, stereotypes
SpouseJerry Dixon (2011–present)
Notable works and rolesVarious in Chappelle's Show
Anthony Marentino on Sex and the City
Mikey Abromowitz in Surf's Up
Websitehttp://www.mariocantone.com

Mario Cantone (born December 9, 1959) is an American stand-up comedian, writer and actor, with numerous appearances on Comedy Central including Chappelle's Show. He also played Anthony Marentino on Sex and the City. His style is fast-paced and energetic, with much of his humor coming from his impersonations of various characters ranging from his family members, to celebrities, to stereotypes.

Early life[edit]

Cantone was born in Massachusetts, and raised in Stoneham, where his family moved when he was two.[1] He was the fourth of five children of Mario, Sr., a Boston restaurant owner, and his wife, Elizabeth (née Pescione).[2] His father moved the family to Stoneham, according to Cantone in a 2004 New York Times interview to get her away from her bookie relatives.[1] Cantone stated that the problem "was that she was not only a bookie but she was also a compulsive gambler."[1] His mother, who had been a big band singer in her youth, died when he was 21.[1]

Cantone's first impression was of Julia Child, which he presented in a junior high school talent show.[3] He graduated from Stoneham High School in 1978[4] and Emerson College in 1982.[5]

Early career[edit]

He began his professional career hosting a children's show called Steampipe Alley, which aired on New York-New Jersey superstation WWOR-TV from 1988 to 1993.[6]

Stand-up career[edit]

In his stand-up concerts, he is known for his occasionally campy[7] impressions of entertainment personalities such as Liza Minnelli, Judy Garland, Bruce Springsteen, Jim Morrison, and Bette Davis as well as for his original songs.[8]

Much of his comedy derives from his boisterous Italian-American family.[1][9] Cantone, who is gay,[7] has said that he considers himself an actor and comedian who happens to be gay rather than a gay comic relying on gay jokes.[10] "Talking about being gay is a very small part of my show and when I first started I wasn’t out on stage but I was out off stage, I certainly didn’t lie about it on stage but if you didn’t know you were an idiot and you lived in a cave after seeing me…really??"[3]

Acting career[edit]

Sex and the City[edit]

Cantone is well known for his role in the HBO series Sex and the City as Anthony Marentino, Charlotte York's gay wedding planner who dispensed advice with a rapid fire delivery.[11]

Broadway[edit]

Cantone made his Broadway debut in 1995, replacing Nathan Lane in the role of Buzz in Terrance McNally's Tony Award–winning play, Love! Valour! Compassion! [12][13] Later that year, he appeared in the revival of The Tempest with Patrick Stewart.[14] Several years later, Cantone did a workshop for The Lion King as Timon but was not comfortable with the makeup or manipulating a puppet and eventually left the project.[15][16] In 2002, he created and wrote his own one-man show for Broadway, An Evening With Mario Cantone.[17] A year later, Cantone starred as Gidger in Richard Greenberg's The Violet Hour[18] in a part written specifically for him.[7][19] The Violet Hour received mixed reviews[20] and closed after 54 performances.[21]

In 2004, Cantone appeared as Samuel Byck in Stephen Sondheim's musical Assassins. [13] Originally slated for the 2001 Broadway season, Assassins was postponed because of the September 11, 2001 attacks.[22] [23] In 2001, Cantone had turned down the role of Carmen Ghia in Mel Brooks's The Producers for the part.[19] His other Broadway credits include his second one-man show, Laugh Whore, which ran from October 24, 2004, to January 2, 2005, at the Cort Theatre. Laugh Whore received a Tony Award nomination for Best Special Theatrical Event and an Outer Critics Circle award nomination for Outstanding Solo Performance.[9] Showtime taped the December 11, 2004 performance, which premiered on May 28, 2005.[24] It was the network's first Broadway production to air as a comedy special.[25]

In September 2010, Cantone appeared in a staged reading of the Charles Messina play A Room of My Own at The Theatre at 45 Bleecker Street in Greenwich Village.[26] As of November 2012, the play was still in development with Cantone in the cast.[27][28]

Other work[edit]

He has appeared in the Comedy Central roasts of Joan Rivers and fellow Boston-area native and Emerson College alumni,[5] Denis Leary.[29] That network's Chappelle's Show featured him in a segment called "Ask A Gay Dude."[4] His voice over work includes Sunsilk "hairapy" advertisements.[30] and the voice of the talent scout bird Mikey Abromowitz in the 2007 computer animated movie Surf's Up.[31] He has appeared frequently on the Opie and Anthony radio show.[32]

A regular guest on the ABC daytime talk show The View since at least 2003,[1][7] in August 2013, he was in the news as a rumored replacement for retiring co-host Joy Behar.[33][34]

In August 2013, it was reported that he will be among the judges of the 2014 Miss America pagent.[35]

Personal life[edit]

In October 2011, Cantone married his partner of 20 years, musical theater director Jerry Dixon. The ceremony was officiated by pastor Jay Bakker.[36]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

YearTitleRole
1994Quiz ShowPasserby
Who Do I Gotta Kill?Rico
1997MouseHuntZeppco Suit #1
1999Dangerous HouseLeonardo, Paulo (voice)
2003Happy HourGeoffrey
Crooked LinesCliff
2005Searching for Bobby DCasting Director
2006Farce of the PenguinsSidney (voice)
The Last RequestMr. Oliver
2007Three Days to VegasChris
DANGEROUSE3Leonardo
Staten IslandMr. Burton
Surf's UpMikey Abromowitz (voice)
2008Sex and the CityAnthony Marentino
2010Sex and the City 2Anthony Marentino
Circus MaximusRomano
2011Jackie Goldberg Private DickBartender
Dangerous House: Ghost SearchlightLeonardo (voice)
Dirty MovieThe Director

Television[edit]

YearTitleRoleNotes
1988-1993Steampipe AlleyVarious
1994NYPD BlueBidder #1Episode: "Rockin' Robin"
2001EdScott HayesEpisode: "Mixed Signals"
2003Chapelle's ShowHimselfSeason 1 Episode 6
2000-2004Sex and the CityAnthony Marentino
2006-2008Men in TreesTerri Romano
2009Killer HairLeonardo(TV movie)
Hostile MakeoverLeonardo(TV movie)
2011A Mann's WorldNicky(TV movie)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Messenger, Eric (10 October 2004) "Mario Cantone's Loud Family Reunion." The New York Times. Retrieved 3 August 2013.
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ a b Gerani, Christine, (22 May 2013), Mario Cantone: The Interview. SpotOnLongIsland.com. Retrieved August 7, 2013.
  4. ^ a b TCM Archive Materials Mario Catone
  5. ^ a b Emerson College Notable Alumni
  6. ^ TV Guide, Mario Cantone: Biography.
  7. ^ a b c d Stevenson, Bill (9 December 2003), "Super Mario", The Advocate 
  8. ^ Sex and the City's Mario Cantone Talks Broadway, Impersonations, WatchMojo.com. Retrieved August 7, 2013.
  9. ^ a b Playbill Vault, Laugh Whore. Retrieved August 4, 2013.
  10. ^ Eichenwald, Wes (2 June 2010) "Mario Cantone is out and proud - and much more" Austin360.com. Retrieved August 7, 2013.
  11. ^ Mario Cantone Killer Comic, (originally published 3 May 2004), People magazine. Retrieved August 4, 2013.
  12. ^ Weber, Bruce (30 June 2000) "Theater Review; True Love and a Crisis at Christmas (When Else)?" The New York Times. Retrieved August 4, 2013.
  13. ^ a b Playbill Vault, Mario Cantone. Retrieved 4 August 2013.
  14. ^ Playbill Vault, The Tempest. Retrieved August 7, 2013.
  15. ^ Marks, Peter, (7 June 2002) "C'mon, Make Me Laugh" The New York Times. Retrieved August 4, 2013.
  16. ^ Rooney,David (24 October 2002) Review: “Mario Cantone: Laugh Whore," Variety. Retrieved August 4, 2013.
  17. ^ Playbill Vault, An Evening with Mario Cantone. Retrieved August 4. 2013.
  18. ^ Manhattan Theatre Club. Retrieved August 4, 2013.
  19. ^ a b Ernio Hernandez (11 November 2003) Interview with Mario Cantone. Playbill. Retrieved August 4, 2013.
  20. ^ For example, see Ben Brantley's 7 November 2003 review in The New York Times, Charles Isherwood's 6 November 2003 review in Variety, and John Simon's 17 November 2003 review in New York magazine. Retrieved August 4, 2013.
  21. ^ Playbill Vault, The Violet Hour. Retrieved 4 August 2013.
  22. ^ Ernio Hernandez (22 April 2004). "The Shots Heard Round the World: Musical Assassins Opens on Broadway". Playbill.
  23. ^ Sarah Beaumont (14 December 2003). "Something Just Broke".  Sondheim.com. 
  24. ^ Ernio Hernandez (25 April 2005) Broadway's Laugh Whore with Mario Cantone Premieres on Showtime May 28. Playbill.com. Retrieved August 6, 2013.
  25. ^ Levin, Gary and Bianco, Robert, (July 21, 2004) "Alley throws her weight behind series." USA Today. Retrieved August 7, 2013.
  26. ^ Lenzi, Linda (September 21, 2010). "Photo Coverage: Cantone, Macchio et al. in A ROOM OF MY OWN". 
  27. ^ Playbill (8 November 2012) Mario Cantone, Rachel Dratch, Zach Galligan Set for Reading of A Room of My Own. Retrieved August 4, 2013.
  28. ^ Charles Messina.com. Retrieved August 4, 2013
  29. ^ Comedy Central. About Mario Cantone. Retrieved August 4, 2013.
  30. ^ Lippert, Barbara (21 August 2006) Barbara Lippert's Critique: The Mane Man. Adweek. Retrieved August 4, 2013
  31. ^ Mario Cantone Interview – SURF’S UP
  32. ^ BookingEntertainment.com. Retrieved August 7, 2013.
  33. ^ Carly Mallenbaum, (30 July 2013) "Who Should Replace Joy Behar" USA Today. Retrieved on August 4, 2013
  34. ^ Wagmeister, Elizabeth (31 July 2013) "The View Says Goodbye to Joy Behar — and Who Should Replace Her?" TV Guide. Retrieved August 4, 2013.
  35. ^ DigitalSpy. (August 14, 2013) Amar'e Stoudemire, Mario Cantone to judge Miss America pageant. Retrieved August 14, 2013
  36. ^ Mario Cantone marries his partner of 20 years

External links[edit]