Frank Caliendo talks w/ Mark & Theresa about ballet dancing, kids, and working with his brothers.
Theresa: And you’re back inside MyFixitUpLife with my husband Mark.
Mark: And my wife Theresa and a bunch of Ford trucks.
Theresa: Oh we are surrounded by awesome trucks.
Mark: And keynote speaker, impresario — is it okay if I call you an impresario?
Frank: I don’t even know what that means.
Mark: Good. I don’t either.
Frank: But I sing every once in a while.
Mark: So we’re not joined by Jay Leno.
Theresa: No we’re not.
Mark: We could be. We are joined by Frank Caliendo though who — where would anybody know you from?
Frank: I was a dancer for years.
Mark: You look it.
Theresa: Ballet probably.
Frank: I’ve just been doing comedy. You know Fox NFL Sunday the pregame show there with Terry Bradshaw, with those goons. I was on MAD TV for five years; you can see re-runs for that. And now I’ve been working in Vegas at the Monte Carlo for the last year or so. Doing the Tonight Show in a couple of weeks.
Mark: Are you going to be the guest or the guest host?
Frank: Yeah, I’m going to dress up as Jay and take over. No you know just doing the guest thing. Doing the same thing that I’m doing right now.
Theresa: So we’ll be with you?
Theresa: Awesome. That’s great.
Frank: We’re going to be fixing up some stuff.
Theresa: Awesome…we’ll bring the tools.
Frank: There it is. Perfect.
Theresa: Yeah, we can do that. No problem.
Mark: Now rumor has it you fixed up a farmhouse behind your current shack, which you designed.
Frank: Yeah it had trailer siding on it; it was a fairly nice house. We tore apart the middle of it. It was a good design of a house, the floor plan was nice but there was a pantry as you walked in the front door or the house — there was a pantry there so we cut out the pantry and made a giant space with a pool table and all that kind of stuff for the kids. Knocked out a couple of other walls and built a playroom and stuff like that.
Mark: Sweet, how many kids do you have?
Frank: I don’t have any yet. I’m just planning.
Mark: Good, because I feel totally awkward now.
Frank: No, two. I have a 6-year-old and a 4-year-old. Were you in there for the performance?
Theresa: No, we were out here working.
Frank: Well, Human Nature was there and they’re an amazing Motown type group but they’re all Australian and the funny thing is they would sing Motown and they’d sing it amazingly and then they would speak and I would think it was The Wiggles.
Theresa: Oh, really?
Frank: Yeah and I was like ‘Fruit Salad — yummy, yummy.’
Theresa: So you’re very familiar with The Wiggles?
Frank: Oh yeah. Do you guys have children?
Mark: Yeah, oh yeah.
Theresa: A girl and a boy.
Frank: So you’ve experienced The Wiggles?
Theresa: Yeah we’ve spent a lot of time singing all those songs in our head — you can’t get rid of them.
Frank: I’ve gotten the chance to meet them, which is pretty cool. A joke of mine is usually ‘Any parents here? You ever do this, you watch The Wiggles and the kids leave the room and a half an hour later you’re the only one still there watching The Wiggles.’
Theresa: Oh, my goodness.
Mark: We’ve done that before, yeah.
Frank: You don’t even realize you’re watching.
Theresa: We were watching Blue’s Clues and our 2-year-old was out of the room and he’s doing something else.
Frank: Probably like physics or something.
Mark: And the horrifying thing is I kind of said to myself ‘What’s going to happen next? Steve, no Steve!’
Theresa: Well the funny thing ,too, is our 2-year-old kind of brings out the Home Depot book and like the One, Two, Three or Popular Mechanics — like the really big books and he spends hours reading them. So he’s got a crazy genetic thing from us about home improvement. Yeah, and we’re watching Blue’s Clues.
Mark: Ha ha. And we’re watching Blue’s Clues. You can actually see the brain matter coming out of the ears and eyes. It’s a train wreck.
Frank: And I walk that way too, like in Blue’s Clues, where I just pretend I’m walking and the scenery moves behind me.
Theresa: That actually is a good technique. We should try that at home.
Mark: Now here’s a question that I’ve always wanted to ask, but never had the opportunity to ask anyone and I quote…
Theresa: Uh oh. I’m nervous.
Mark: Yeah, I would get nervous.
Theresa: Should I turn my headset off so I can’t hear it?
Mark: I got this from Kermit the frog roughly twenty years ago when he was interviewing Rich Little. When Kermit asked — now this is a hard-hitting question this is ripped from today’s headlines, or twenty years ago — are you speaking in your own voice or are you imitating yourself?
Theresa: Right now.
Mark: Right now.
Frank: I know, I know I got it. I’m just going to give you an awkward stare just to make you feel as uncomfortable as possible. I mean the last time that was asked it was by a puppet.
Theresa: My husband is quite like a puppet.
Frank: No this is it.
Theresa: This is you?
Frank: That’s a funny question.
Theresa: Now do your kids impersonate different characters they see on TV?
Frank: Um little bits, but they’re shy so they will around me.
Theresa: Shy? How can you have shy kids?
Frank: They are just sick of watching dad? I don’t know. They do little bits of voices but there’s a show, maybe you know it, it’s Phineas and Ferb, have you seen that?
Frank: They do the Phineas and Ferb stuff all the time.
Theresa: Yeah Lexi likes that.
Mark: Right on, I haven’t seen it. I don’t love the children enough to watch all the shows.
Theresa: Now here’s a question that we get asked a lot because we’re married and we work together and we’re around each other all day long — you work with your brothers.
Frank: Yeah, but they are far away.
Theresa: They’re always far away?
Frank: Yeah, I make it that way. Yeah my brother Terry runs the website, which is frankcaliendo.com — there’s a plug that just happened to sneak in.
Mark: Don’t worry no one is listening.
Theresa: Can you buy merchandise on that website frankcaliendo.com?
Frank: Yeah, yeah. Wow this plug is getting even sneakier than the top of Joe Biden’s head.
Mark: Do you accept cash there?
Frank: Actually I don’t know about that. And then my other brother runs like logistics, which he kind of screwed up today so I only have one brother working for me now. No I’m kidding. But somebody just told me the other day that I’m a frustrated general contractor. That’s what somebody told me the other day because I’m always doing something to the house.
Theresa: So what are you doing now?
Frank: Um right now we’re doing mostly the outside of a 2-1/4 acre place, which we just got, and just doing some simple inside stuff. The big project that we did — a guy who was my contractor, Tim, I live in Arizona and he lives in my area, became a great friend of mine through all the things he screwed up…no, no.
Mark: So you were forced to fire him?
Frank: Fire him and make him my friend. But no we liked that house so we went crazy and really did a lot to that. It sounds crazy, and it is crazy but I had this 70-gallon pool that’s in the front yard. It’s weird because it doesn’t have curb appeal because it’s hidden behind other houses, because it’s a house that’s connected to mine it’s actually behind that so if you’re coming in from the front — this doesn’t make sense and I’m not helping myself.
Mark: No, I have no idea what you’re talking about.
Frank: I don’t either.
Mark: Good, fair enough that makes all of us.
Theresa: Now do you have your own private man cave area at your house?
Frank: Well we have a couple of different things that are kind of like that. They all end up being for the kids though. I start making it for myself and then it eventually becomes something to play Wii on all.
Theresa: Well Mark’s man cave at our house is our roof. He goes up there and he doesn’t get bothered by anybody.
Frank: Yeah, because mom won’t let anybody come up there.
Theresa: No, there’s no way. Mom won’t go up there either.
Frank: I may do that.
Mark: You should think about it. And in Arizona you should probably only need a little bit of sunscreen.
Frank: Yeah, it’s best not to go up there during the summer.
Mark: Whatever, if you can’t sweat it out. If you can’t hang…going on the roof in 180 degrees.
Theresa: Yeah well you know only tough guys do that, like you darling.
Mark: Right, exactly. Now as far as being a comedian and impersonator and entertainer of all sorts…
Frank: A dancer.
Mark: A dancer, I forgot, I forgot. He’s wearing ballet shoes. He told me not to say. How did you even — when did it choose you?
Frank: I went to school for broadcast journalism and then I decided I didn’t want to work for real so I just tried it and went up on stage at a comedy club, and then started doing colleges, and got on TV and never looked back.
Mark: Right on.
Frank: It’s easy.
Theresa: So do you ever take a vacation?
Frank: I’m trying to. My wife is getting to that point where it’s time. I’ve tried here and there, and failed miserably. So that’s why I’ve kind of done my house to be like a resort. So I’m happy to be — because I’m tired of traveling, my job is traveling. I get to go to really great places but I just want to be home so I made my home a resort. It’s so funny because my contractor is like ‘Everybody else does things on their house to improve it, you do it to stay home.’ He’s almost hurting his own business because he’s like ‘I wouldn’t spend this much money fixing up my house. I would go on vacation to get away from my house.’ I’m like I just like being home.
Mark: Nice. Now as far as the NFL goes, are you a true NFL fan?
Frank: Yeah, I’m not as versed to the game as like Jimmy Johnson, I know a lot more than Terry Bradshaw.
Mark: Awesome. Does he even know what’s really going on or does he just talk constantly?
Frank: You know he’s a real estate guy too. I don’t know how much home fixing up but he’s actually a pretty smart business guy, but other than that he has no clue.
Mark: Alright it’s already going to toggle into the ‘Can you stay for another hour.’ Although we only have about 20 seconds.
Theresa: We do unfortunately. And you have to buy all of the merchandise at frankcaliendo.com.
Mark: Yes you want to mail him suitcases and duffle bags full of cash apparently. Credit cards accepted?
Theresa: And we would like a membership to your resort too.
Frank: Yeah why not, come on.
Theresa: So we’ll sign up for that. Can we sign up on your website?
Frank: Yeah I think you can’t.
Theresa: Your wife would love that right?
Mark: Ha ha. I think we should probably just laugh our way out, and we’ll see you next from the International Builders’ Show in the Ford Truck’s booth on MyFixitUpLife.