This week, comedian and impressionist Frank Caliendo joins Major Garrett on “The Takeout” podcast to discuss how comedy has changed as a result of the nation’s divisive politics and the long pandemic. Caliendo, known for his impressions of celebrities like Morgan Freeman and George W. Bush, also talks about how he workshops his celebrity personas — and why mimicking Joe Biden is difficult.
- Caliendo on touring during COVID: “I’ve been on the road some. I kind of pick and choose my spots. But every time I seem to pick a couple of dates to go on the road, they announce a new variant…Being careful about spoilers here for Spider-Man No Way Home, but I might be creating this hole in the multiverse, so.”
- On COVID fatigue: “I think people are exhausted. People are exhausted but still cautious, right? So nobody knows what to do… as soon as people start to think, they realize they don’t know what’s going to happen and they stop thinking about it… I think you just try and go on as much as you can as normal and then adjust as everything changes, which is constant.”
- On what impressions Caliendo is asked to do the most: “Morgan Freeman is one that is out there, I guess. [NFL Coach John] Madden was still there for a while. It was Jon Gruden. Now he’s had his issues and I’ve taken that off.”
- On his political comedy: “So for me, my political stuff has never been actually political… my political stuff is finding what’s silly about the person. And even if even if I don’t like the politician in some way, shape, or form, I find something that I might like about them. And that’s what I blow up.”
- On whether he is optimistic about America heading into 2022: “I think you have to be because if you’re not, that’s I think that’s where we all just get paralyzed… I think too many people are. You know, again, I’m like everybody else. I don’t know what to believe and what not to believe and what to know and what not to know, I never understand. You know, the Omicron thing that’s going on right now? It’s a frenzy… I just do my best to go out and be courteous to other people. That’s what I try to do. I understand that other people may be a little more worried or less so.”
Executive producer: Arden Farhi
Producers: Jamie Benson, Jacob Rosen, Sara Cook and Eleanor Watson