Writer/Producer Frank Santopadre on “Gilbert Gottfried’s Amazing Colossal Podcast,” Long Island restaurants, and comedy
A writer for various TV and comedy projects for decades, Frank Santopadre’s jokes have been featured in outlets in “talk shows, roasts, award shows, and trading cards,” as his Twitter page notes. His TV credits span all ages and interested, as they include The Joy Behar Show, The Writer’s Guild Of America Awards, The Comedy Central Roast Of Pamela Anderson, The Muppets, and The View. But over the past two years, Frank has been exposed to a lot of new people as the co-host of Gilbert Gottfried’s Amazing Colossal Podcast. The show – which features Gilbert and Frank interviewing a mix of movie stars, comics, singers, and underground icons – was voted Best Podcast last year in the “Best Of NYC” rankings by The Village Voice.
Frank -- who is both a pop culture encyclopedia and one of the nicest people I’ve ever interviewed – is a Long Island native and kindly tackled some Q&A for No Place Like Long Island. For more on Frank, click over to www.comedywise.com.
Congratulations on reaching 100 episodes of Gilbert Gottfried's Amazing Colossal Podcast. Aside from making 100 episodes, do you have an accomplishment you're proudest of since starting the show?
FS: I'm very proud of the fact that we've managed to introduce new generations to people I grew up watching and listening to. Like Larry Storch, Barbara Feldon, Mike Nesmith, Paul Williams and other talents they weren't at all familiar with. I wear it as a badge of honor.
Have you ever been on Long Island in the company of Gilbert Gottfried?
FS: Can't say I have. I wouldn't want to be stranded on a deserted island with him either, by the way.
Where on Long Island did you grow up?
FS: The Roslyn/Albertson area on the North Shore. Roslyn is a charming little town. A lovely place to grow up, actually.
When were you last on the Island?
FS: A few weeks ago. My family is still there.
Do you have a favorite restaurant on Long Island?
FS: Hmm, tough one. I always liked Waterzooi in Garden City -- best mussels around -- and Louie's in Port Washington. For dessert, Hildebrandt's in Williston Park is a MUST; they even make their own ice cream on the premises.
Did you catch a lot of stand-up while living on the Island? What was the best comedy show you ever saw on the Island?
FS: I used to haunt clubs like Governors in Levittown and the now-defunct Chuckles in Mineola. Saw some great acts in those rooms. For years I made monthly pilgrimages to see a raunchy but wildly-clever ventriloquist act called Otto & George at The Brokerage in Bellmore. He -- they? -- was incredibly funny. Otto passed a few years ago, sadly. Not sure what became of the dummy. He might be running the [Ted] Cruz campaign.
You're known for being a writer and a producer, but not necessarily as a stand-up. Did you ever do stand-up on the Island?
FS: Never did. Stand-up requires a whole different set of neuroses than the ones I'm blessed with.
Upcoming podcast episodes aside, what's coming up for you career-wise?
FS: Writing daily comedy for a few hundred radio stations around the country and I'll also be writing a live event in May called The One Show -- Excellence in Advertising Awards, hosted by comic/actor Michael Ian Black. I enjoy writing live events, so I try to keep my hand in it.