Frank Caliendo

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March 18 at 8 p.m. 
Paramount Theatre
23 E. Galena Blvd., Aurora 
Tickets $52–$62

Putting in the work
“If you haven’t seen me do someone, it’s probably because I can’t. It’s easier to do really short snippets and just get a couple of words out—which I do from time to time—but it’s much harder to do a longer-form thing. You really have to work at it. Because when you try to speak in longer phrases or try to have a conversation, now you have to have an actual take on the person. What’s the point of view? Where are they coming from in your head? It’s fun trying to get there, but it isn’t always easy.”

Impressions in the internet age
“The internet has really gone backwards in terms of comedy—it’s almost vaudevillian these days. People will do stuff on YouTube and TikTok like, ‘What would it be like if Jeff Goldblum worked at McDonald’s?’ Really? That’s like a hacky premise from the 1960s that no standup comedian would think of doing in an act, but it will get millions and millions of views and likes if you do it pretty well. On the internet you can just do the voice and be done, and people think it’s great, but if you try that in standup, people are like, ‘Great, but where’s the joke?’So there are more jokes in my act these days—it’s faster now, going topic to topic. When I first started out it was a lot of just doing the voices, but now I’m trying to find reasons for those voices to be there in the first place—I put a lot more thought into the comedy.”

Hitting the right notes
“I’ll do political figures just to get things rolling because everyone knows the people, but I prefer nonpolitical takes. My comedy is not mean-spirited—it’s about getting people away from things, as opposed to trying to make political points or things like that. I’d rather give people a break from all of that and just be silly for a couple of hours. The idea is to lift people up with my impressions, not try to take anyone down.” 

Photo courtesy Paramount Theatre