Frank TV Gets Political (Sort Of)
November 4 will be a sad day for comedians across the nation. Without our current POTUS in office, some of their finest shticks will be coming to an end. But for comedic impressionist Frank Caliendo, the new reign can only mean one thing — a new character to play on his television show. Find out what we can expect on the funnyman's second season of Frank TV premiering October 21 at 11 pm/ET.
TVGuide.com: With your show premiering in the final days before election, what type of political sketches can we expect?
Frank Caliendo: I have started to work on Barack and McCain a bit. McCain is all about "friends," but Barack is more difficult for me. His voice is somewhere between Ted Koppel and an alien. It's getting better, and one out of 15 times I'll hit it. And if I keep doing it, hopefully I hit it all the time [laughs]. Then it's about finding the jokes for it. I'm having real trouble with making the Dow Jones seem funny. I say the word bailout and people just get mad!
TVGuide.com: What about Palin and Biden?
Caliendo: I don't think there's anything I can do with Sarah Palin. Tina Fey has that so nailed. You'll always be compared if you're not going to be able to outdo them, and Tina Fey has that cornered. And Joe Biden ...is he still in it?
TVGuide.com: Is there ever concern about audience reaction when impersonating the presidential candidates — especially in such a split election?
Caliendo: It's hard to do comedy about that because people are reacting to it. Half are booing and half are cheering. It's like listen, I'm in the middle of a comedy show — we're not trying to get you to rock the vote.
TVGuide.com: Who is your favorite character to play?
Caliendo: Charles Barkley has been the most fun because I get to call people knuckleheads, and they love it! I could mean it, and they wouldn't even know.
TVGuide.com: How did you get involved in this kind of comedy?
Caliendo: I started mimicking people as kid, and I just realized I was good at it. I grew up watching TV constantly so it's a part of me. It used to be all presentational — you know, talking about people and making the observations. Now, it's become more about me and telling stories.
TVGuide.com: Besides some new political material, what else is coming up for the show?
Caliendo: I'll maybe add a couple new voices, but a bunch of new jokes. I'm the only kind of person that has to change personas more, otherwise [fans think] I don't have "new" stuff. We have some new guys who do a lot of work, it's a lot stronger and bigger.
TVGuide.com: So come post-Inaguration Day, will we every see George W. again?
Caliendo: "Oh, I'll be around forever" [said in character]. No, I think I'll do less of it, but you still see Clinton and Jimmy Carter everywhere. I mean if you're still seeing Jimmy Carter, you're not going to get rid of George Bush.