Mario Cantone

Mario Cantone

Born: December 9, 1959
Age: 58
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Biography

Mario Cantone (born December 9, 1959) is an American comedian, writer and actor, with numerous appearances on Comedy Central including Chappelle's Show. He also played Anthony Marentino on Sex and the City. His style is fast-paced and energetic, with much of his humor coming from his impersonations of various characters ranging from his family members, to celebrities, to stereotypes.

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Early life

Cantone was born in Massachusetts, and raised in Stoneham, where his family moved when he was two. He was the fourth of five children of Mario, Sr., a Boston restaurant owner, and his wife, Elizabeth (née Pescione). His father moved the family to Stoneham, according to Cantone in a 2004 New York Times interview to get her away from her bookie relatives. Cantone stated that the problem "was that she was not only a bookie but she was also a compulsive gambler." His mother, who had been a big band singer in her youth, died when he was 21.

Cantone's first impression was of Julia Child, which he presented in a junior high school talent show. He graduated from Stoneham High School in 1978 and Emerson College in 1982.

Early career

He began his professional career hosting a children's show called Steampipe Alley, which aired on New York-New Jersey superstation WWOR-TV from 1988 to 1993.

Stand-up career

In his stand-up concerts, he is known for his occasionally campy impressions of entertainment personalities such as Liza Minnelli, Judy Garland, Bruce Springsteen, Jim Morrison, and Bette Davis as well as for his original songs.

Much of his comedy derives from his boisterous Italian-American family. Cantone, who is gay, has said that he considers himself an actor and comedian who happens to be gay rather than a gay comic relying on gay jokes. "Talking about being gay is a very small part of my show and when I first started I wasn't out on stage but I was out off stage, I certainly didn't lie about it on stage but if you didn't know you were an idiot and you lived in a cave after seeing me…really??"

Acting career

Sex and the City

Cantone is well known for his role in the HBO series Sex and the City as Anthony Marentino, Charlotte York's gay wedding planner who dispensed advice with a rapid fire delivery.

Broadway

Cantone made his Broadway debut in 1995, replacing Nathan Lane in the role of Buzz in Terrance McNally's Tony Award-winning play, Love! Valour! Compassion! Later that year, he appeared in the revival of The Tempest with Patrick Stewart. Several years later, Cantone did a workshop for The Lion King as Timon but was not comfortable with the makeup or manipulating a puppet and eventually left the project. In 2002, he created and wrote his own one-man show for Broadway, An Evening With Mario Cantone. A year later, Cantone starred as Gidger in Richard Greenberg's The Violet Hour in a part written specifically for him. The Violet Hour received mixed reviews and closed after 54 performances.

In 2004, Cantone appeared as Samuel Byck in Stephen Sondheim's musical Assassins. Originally slated for the 2001 Broadway season, Assassins was postponed because of the September 11, 2001 attacks. In 2001, Cantone had turned down the role of Carmen Ghia in Mel Brooks's The Producers. His other Broadway credits include his second one-man show, Laugh Whore, which ran from October 24, 2004, to January 2, 2005, at the Cort Theatre. Laugh Whore received a Tony Award nomination for Best Special Theatrical Event and an Outer Critics Circle award nomination for Outstanding Solo Performance. Showtime taped the December 11, 2004 performance, which premiered on May 28, 2005. It was the network's first Broadway production to air as a comedy special.

In September 2010, Cantone appeared in a staged reading of the Charles Messina play A Room of My Own at The Theatre at 45 Bleecker Street in Greenwich Village. As of November 2012, the play was still in development with Cantone in the cast. The Off-Broadway production is expected to begin previews in February 2016.

Other work

He has appeared in the Comedy Central roasts of Joan Rivers and fellow Boston-area native and Emerson College alumni, Denis Leary. The network's Chappelle's Show featured him in a segment called "Ask A Gay Dude." His voice over work includes Sunsilk "hairapy" advertisements. and the voice of talent scout Mikey Abromowitz in the 2007 computer animated movie Surf's Up. He has appeared frequently on the Opie and Anthony radio show.

A regular guest on the ABC daytime talk show The View since at least 2003 and a guest co-host since 2005, more regularly since 2014, in August 2013, he was in the news as a rumored replacement for retiring co-host Joy Behar.

Cantone was among the judges of the Miss America 2014 pagent. He appeared on the July 3, 2016, episode of The $100,000 Pyramid as a celebrity guest star.

Personal life

In October 2011, Cantone married his partner of 20 years, musical theater director Jerry Dixon. The ceremony was officiated by pastor Jay Bakker.

Filmography

Film

Year Title Role Notes
1994 Quiz Show Passerby Historical film produced & directed by Robert Redford and based on Richard N. Goodwin's memoir Remembering America: A Voice From the Sixties.
Who Do I Gotta Kill? Rico Comedy film directed by directed and co-written by Frank Rainone with James Lorinz and Rocco Simonelli.
1997 MouseHunt Zeppco Suit #1 Comedy film directed by Gore Verbinski.
2002 Pandora Tech Support Short animated comedy-drama film directed and written by Antonio Campos.
And She Was Mario Comedy film directed by Frank Rainone.
2003 Happy Hour Geoffrey Comedy-drama film directed and co-written by Mike Bencivenga.
Crooked Lines Cliff Comedy film directed and co-written by Harry O'Reilly.
2005 Searching for Bobby D Casting Director Adventure/comedy film directed and co-written by Paul Borghese.
2006 Farce of the Penguins Sidney (voice) Direct-to-video parody directed by Bob Saget. of the 2005 French feature length nature documentary March of the Penguins (French La Marche de l'empereur ; ) directed and co-written by Luc Jacquet.
The Last Request Mr. Oliver Comedy film directed and written by John DeBellis.
2007 Three Days to Vegas Chris Comedy film written and directed by Charlie Picerni.
Staten Island Mr. Burton Crime film written and directed by James DeMonaco.
Surf's Up Mikey Abromowitz (voice) Computer-animated mockumentary family comedy film directed by Ash Brannon and Chris Buck.
2008 Sex and the City Anthony Marentino Romantic comedy film written and directed by Michael Patrick King.
2010 Sex and the City 2 Anthony Marentino Romantic comedy film written and directed by Michael Patrick King.
Circus Maximus Romano Comedy film directed and written by Thomas J. La Sorsa.
2011 Goldberg, P.I. Bartender Comedy film directed by Steven Moskovic and Rosario Roveto Jr.
Dirty Movie The Director Comedy film directed by Jerry Daigle and Christopher Meloni.
2015 In Stereo John Resnick Romantic comedy film directed and written by Mel Rodriguez III.

Television

Year Title Role Notes
1988-1993 Steampipe Alley Various
1994 NYPD Blue Bidder #1 Episode: "Rockin' Robin" (S 1:Ep 22)
2001 Ed Scott Hayes Episode: "Mixed Signals" (S 1:Ep 21)
2003 Chappelle's Show Himself Season 1 Episode 6
2000-2004 Sex and the City Anthony Marentino Recurring
2004 Mouthing Off: 51 Greatest Smartasses Himself Comedy special
2005 Laugh Whore Himself Comedy special
2006-2008 Men in Trees Terri Romano Recurring
2009 Killer Hair Leonardo (TV movie)
Hostile Makeover Leonardo (TV movie)
2011 A Mann's World Nicky (TV movie)
2014 Toadalees Filth, Flarn & Gee TV Movie Animated film directed by Ryan Duff.
2015 Hindsight Simon Episodes:
  • "Pilot" (S 1:Ep 1)
  • "Square One" (S 1:Ep 2)
2016 The $100,000 Pyramid Himself (celebrity guest) Episode: Mario Cantone vs. Robin Roberts
2017 Match Game Himself (celebrity guest) Season 1, Episodes 6-7
Season 2, Episode 6
Charities

Mario Cantone supports the following charitable causes: Gay Youth, Gay Rights.

[ Source: Wikipedia ]