Billy Gardell (Mike Biggs from the hit CBS show “Mike Molly”) returns to his roots in stand-up comedy through his tour with an appearance at Coral Springs Center of the Performing Arts on June 27.
Gardell began his career in 1986 at age 17 at the Bonkerz Comedy Club in Orlando. He loves returning to Florida to visit family and reconnect with his roots. He quipped, “My son’s grandparents are down here, and uncles, cousins. I’m sure Mickey Mouse will hold me ransom at some point. It’s fun for my son to get to be around his family.”
Gardell is the host of the new game show “Monopoly Millionaire’s Club,” which is based on the board game and produced by the team behind “Deal or No Deal.” Contestants join him on stage to test their luck and intuition as they move around a game board for the ultimate prize of $1 million. The show has been in syndication since March 28; new episodes air Sundays at 8 p.m. on WTVX and at 9 p.m. on WSFL.
Gardellsaid that he considers it a gift to be doing comedy at his own pace. He emphasizes how fortunate he is to no longer have to be on the road for weeks, suffering through the hardships of travel. His wife, Patty, often travels with him and especially enjoys going to cities where they have relatives or to such major cities as Chicago and Las Vegas.
Gardell’s live comedy performance will begin at 8 p.m. at the Coral Springs Center for the Arts, 2855 Coral Springs Drive, in Coral Springs. Tickets costs $30 to $60 plus tax. Visit the box office from 1 to 6 p.m., order by phone at 954-344-5990, or visit CoralSpringsCenterForThearts.com.
Welcome back to Florida. What do you enjoy most about coming back?
I’ve got a lot of family down here and a lot of roots in Florida, so it’s always a pleasure to be back.
“Mike and Molly” is such an incredible success. The show does a good job of attracting a multi-generational audience. Is it possible for you to have any anonymity in your everyday life?
You know, this is what’s so great about this show. It’s one of those old-time shows that brings people together. It’s quite a compliment. I’m not super-bombarded. People come up sometimes and they’re usually paying the bills, so it’s nice. I have just the right level of fame.
Is Melissa McCarthy truly crazy?
She’s a grounded person and supremely talented. She commits to anything.
Who in the “Mike and Molly” cast makes you laugh the most?
The two who break me up is Reno Wilson [Officer Carl MacMillan, Mike’s best friend and partner] and Lou Mustillo [Mike’s quirky father-in-law]. They crack me up the most in rehearsal.
I understand your son is 11 years old. Does he think you’re funny?
Sometimes … when I’m not telling him what to do with his life.
Does your son watch “Mike and Molly”?
Yeah. He thinks it’s a funny show. He can take it or leave it, you know?
Who is the most outrageous guest you’ve had on “Monopoly Millionaire’s Club”?
It’s a cross section of America. You’ve got people from all over the place playing, and the cool thing about that show is that that person will walk away with life-changing money. It’s neat and infectious. I don’t mind doing it because it not my money. (ha-ha)
Do you picture yourself doing stand-up throughout your life?
You know, I love doing stand-up at this level. It’s not what it used to be, where you go on tour, and you’re gone for weeks. It’s not long trips anymore. It’s a gift to be doing comedy at this level.
Where is your favorite place to vacation?
We always like to go somewhere tropical lately for Christmas. We found a nice little place down in the Keys.
What do you do to unwind?
I like being home with my family, or I always try to stay up and watch a movie by myself, but that usually doesn’t happen.
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