Over the course of the past few years, Italian-Canadian comedians have tried to immerse and entertain audiences all over, and of all ages. Within the community, you can easily tell a story about your Nonna or how your mom mops the floor with “javel”, and you’ll have the crowd in the palm of your hand. For Toronto based comedian Frank Spadone, he’s aiming a lot higher and finding various ways to tickle your funny bone. As I learned speaking to him for over a half hour last week, Spadone is a family man, and as humble a man as you can get. Aside from drawing material from his Italian upbringing, he can now resort to his wife and kids to write material. He does not stick to the Italian-Canadian comedy script. Not only is Spadone a stand-up comedian, but he is also an actor, acting in various independent films, and you may have seen him CBC’s hit sitcom, “Mr. D”, starring his close friend and fellow comedian, Gerry Dee. It is safe to say that he has a full calendar, along with gigs all over Canada and North America. I spoke with Spadone in regards to his upcoming Montreal gig, taking place this Saturday, January 28th at the Leonardo Da Vinci Centre, and here’s what he had to say and more:
Gianni Fiasche: It’s been a while since you’ve had a gig in Montreal, what can we expect from this show?
It’s going to be a great show; there will be the classic bits that everyone wants hear, and I’ve got some new material that I’ve been testing out lined up too. You got to play some classic bits, it’s like going to see your favorite band, and they skip out on all the hits. Audiences have seen me do smaller sets in Montreal, and now I get to do a full set, it’s gonna be great.
GF: Do you enjoy performing in Montreal?
FS: Love Montreal. I’ve had some of my best shows there from playing at the festival (Just For Laughs), and Montreal is such an entertainment city and such a big city, it’s great for comedy, I love coming up and doing shows there.
GF: Speaking of Just For Laughs, you had a great run with “The Ethnic Show” in 2015; were you ever star struck by any of the comedians performing at the festival?
FS: Oh God yes! Back in 2015 in Montreal, I was invited to do a midnight gig at the St-Catherine Theatre, and also performing in the same midnight show was the one and only Dave Chappelle. I couldn’t stop staring at him and thinking, “you ain’t a skinny boy anymore”, he was so built and buff. But I got to say, that was one of the times where I was star struck and at the same time, breathing in a comedy master’s second hand smoke and it was great.
GF: Tell me how comedy started for you:
FS: I’ve actually always been into photography, and still am today. If I wasn’t a comedian I’d definitely be a photographer. I worked on jobs and people I worked with in Toronto always thought I was funny, the way I expressed myself and told stories. Some of these people pushed to perform my first ever gig at an open mic night in downtown Toronto at the “The Laugh Resort”. That night, I did my five minute routine, and it went so well that I just continued doing it afterwards. I think of that night quite often.
GF: Were you always funny?
FS: I always enjoyed imitating people, especially my father, but he hated it. Now my kids imitate me and I hate it, so everything comes full circle in the end.
GF: If you could take three things to a dessert island what would they be?
FS: My wife, my kids and my mom’s food.
GF: What’s Frank Spadone’s favorite movie?
FS: Hands down “Dumb & Dumber”. I love Jim Carrey, he’s such a physical comedian and a legend. I like to think that I can also be a physical comedian during my gigs.
GF: This is one of the darker questions; what song would you have played at your funeral?
FS: *Laughs* that’s great! The “Rocky” theme song. Wouldn’t that be something? That’s a great question, I love it!