Any fan of the syndicated, estrogen-charged talk show, “The View,” knows Mario Cantone. And they know he has more than a few opinions on just about every subject.
While Cantone has served as a regular contributor and guest co-host—and every straight woman in middle America’s gay best friend—for more than 17 years, he doesn’t harbor any aspirations to become a member of the cast.
“I don’t think I’ll ever be permanent,” he explained over the phone from his home in New York City. “ABC’s news department is running the show and they happen to like me…but they’re going to pick woman. That’s what they want and that’s what it should be.”
Cantone, a Boston native, has worked with nearly every member of the fluid cast and appreciates the opportunity to work in his adopted hometown. He admits he is “probably more political” on the show than when he takes the stage.
The 55-year-old actor and comedian is bringing his “newish” one-man show to Fort Lauderdale’s Parker Playhouse. He’s bringing his band and promises several entertaining musical numbers, including a new opening.
“I love working with music,” he enthusiastically confessed. “There (are) a lot of people who have never seen me perform live. It’s very different from anything I do on television. It’s very musical, with a lot of stand-up and pop culture and musical impressions. Bruce, Liza, Judy and I will all be there.”
Speaking of television, unlike many actors who created iconic roles on television and regretted the experience, Cantone still appreciates his breakout role as Charlotte’s gay wedding planner, Anthony Marentino, on “Sex and the City.”
“It’s tough because you risk becoming pigeonholed, but you can’t bite the hand that feeds you,” he added, hoping another movie sequel will be filmed. “I hope they rectify that last one.”
Unlike other actors and comedians, he only draws a line when it comes to reality shows, when it comes to working.
“I’d do the biggest piece of shit,” Cantone said, “as long as it’s scripted.”
Cantone also has a theater project in the works with former “Sex and the City” cast mate Cynthia Nixon directing. The play will recognize the accomplished Canadian female impersonator Craig Russell, who died in 1990.
His biggest concern is the degree of control stars lose when they turn their lives over to producers and editors in reality shows.
Plus, his husband would simply put his foot down if a camera followed the longtime couple around 24-hours a day.
“If you don’t have control, they can make you look like an asshole,” he said adamantly. “Kathy Griffin did hers and stayed above it. Joan and Melissa Rivers did, too.”
In the meantime, he’s happy to continue singing and dancing and telling jokes—as long as they’re scripted.
Actor and comedian Mario Cantone appears at the Parker Playhouse, 707 NE 8th St. in Fort Lauderdale, on Saturday, June 13 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $35.40 - $88.50 at ParkerPlayhouse.com.