Emmy-nominated game show host, stand-up comedian and actor Billy Gardell will be bringing his comedy to Patchogue Theatre June 7. Dan’s Papers had the opportunity to speak with him about his comedy and upcoming Country Music Television (CMT) scripted drama as he concludes his sixth and final season of the successful sitcom Mike and Molly. Above all else, and with humble gratitude, he would like to thank the fans of Mike and Molly for the incredible run, and their loyalty for so many years.
What drove you to pursue comedy?
I knew I wanted to be a comedian when I was about nine years old. I’ve always liked making people laugh. I just think it’s one of the best gifts you can give someone.
What inspires your comedy style?
I’m from a working-class town, so my humor is working-class based, which is—if we get through this with a laugh, it’s gonna be easier to get through this. And don’t take yourself too seriously.
What do you love most about Monopoly Millionaires’ Club?
I love giving people money that’s not mine.
Can you tell me more about CMT’s upcoming eight-episode scripted drama, right now titled Million Dollar Quartet?
It’s a show about the beginning days of 1952, the very beginning days of Sun Studios. And there’s a quartet that will end up there—Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, and Johnny Cash, and I get to play Colonel Tom Parker, Elvis’ manager.
You must be excited to be playing such a dynamic character as Colonel Tom Parker. Can you tell me what you’re looking forward to with this role?
It’s just a wonderful role. It’s wonderfully written, and it’s a nice turn from my last role because I get to go from Mike, who had a great moral compass, to the Colonel, who has no moral compass at all.
Mike and Molly is concluding its final episodes after six seasons. What are you taking away from this show?
I’m taking so many things away from this show. I get to be friends with a cast that I couldn’t have loved more to work with every single day. I miss them every day, and I got a great stand-up career because of it. I get to play theaters and casinos instead of 200-seat rooms.
Speaking of the cast, what was it like working with Melissa McCarthy?
She’s wonderful. She’s always in the moment. She’s very giving, very kind, and I couldn’t have asked for a better acting partner.
You’ll be performing at Patchogue Theatre on June 7. What are you looking forward to?
When I started my career, I spent two years living on Long Island. I lived off of Jericho Turnpike in Huntington, so it’s gonna be neat to come back to Long Island.
Billy Gardell at the Patchogue Theatre on Tuesday, June 7 at 8:30 p.m. Proceeds from ticket sales will benefit Knapp Cardiac Care Center at Brookhaven Memorial Hospital Medical Center, the Patchogue Family YMCA and more than 20 other local charities. For tickets and more information visit patchoguetheatre.org or call 631-207-1313.