Joey Fatone says “Let’s Make a Deal”- A CT Post interview
Published: Tuesday, November 9, 2010It’s no wonder Joey Fatone‘s voice was straining from a scratchy throat
Tuesday morning. “There’s just a lot of talking, but it’s fine …” he said, referring to his gig as host of “Let’s Make a Deal, Live!” currently at Foxwoods Resort Casino through Saturday, Nov. 13. There’s also a lot of jumping (by audience members and sometimes the host), and prizes flowing — contestants have already won a new car and a Carnival Cruise.
Fatone plays the “big dealer,” offering members of the audience a chance to buy, sell, or trade just about anything for a shot at prizes. The former NSYNC band member is no stranger to hosting a game show or television competition. He served as host of NBC hits “The Singing Bee” and “Celebrity Circus,” and recently produced his first cable television series, “The Singing Office,” for TLC. He was also a contestant on “Dancing with the Stars.”
When not dancing or emceeing, he’s acting up a storm, recently finishing up “Homie Spumoni” with Whoopi Goldberg, and “Inkubus,” a thriller with Robert Englund of “Nightmare on Elm Street” fame. Fatone also has Broadway show credits including “Little Shop of Horrors” and “Rent.”
Q: How have the audiences been so far?
A: They’ve been cool. You never know what you’re going to get. Some are calm, cool and collected, then you have the ones jumping all over the place. You get so many walks of life. They get excited, and jump around a lot. One contestant kept jumping up and down so I joined her. We jumped for like a minute.
Q: You’re not exactly the traditional game show host. You seem to be playing yourself rather than playing it like an old-school host a la Richard Dawson of “Family Feud.”
A: It was cheesy, but they all had charisma. I don’t try to put up a front. What you see is what you get, and I guess that’s why they hired me.
Q: Are you worried about getting pigeonholed as a game show host?
A: No. It’s interesting nowadays — especially with entertainment, that there are so many outlets. Howie Mandel still does stand-up, but also judges “America’s Got Talent” and hosts “Deal or No Deal.” Nobody gets labeled. It’s the same thing with Justin (Timberlake). He’s a singer, and now he’s in a lot of movies.
Q: Yes, it used to be career suicide for film stars to go to television …
A: Yes. Now it’s accepted. Look at Glenn Close … That’s what’s great — there are so many different ways to go in. I’ll just move on to the next project and see where it takes me. So far, the good thing is anything I’ve ever done I haven’t been told “You suck.” That’s a good thing.
Q: Would you go back to Broadway — you had positive experiences there?
A: I’d love to. I actually auditioned for “Elf,” but my buddy Sebastian (Arcelus) got it. I just did “The Producers” in Pittsburgh, and it was a great experience. I’ve never experienced a two-week run. You have one week to learn the show. I was like, “Holy crap!”
Q: I have to ask — do you expect an NSYNC reunion to ever come to fruition?
A: It all depends when we can get together, and if it (fits). We actually met one day in LA — myself, JC (Chasez- fixed by stillnsync), Chris (Kirkpatrick), and Lance (Bass). Justin was shooting a film. We grabbed a couple drinks, and it wasn’t a forced thing, you know? We always keep in touch. We’re still friends, but we lead different lives. I mean I’m the only one of us who’s married with two kids.
Q: What about your music career?
A: I came out with a single that I put up on iTunes. I threw it out there to see where people’s heads were at. People thought it was a cool kind of Smashmouth-type song. It’s nice to know I still have something out there in that market. I’m slowly recording songs, but I’m taking my time. It’s a work in progress.
Fox Theater is at 39 Norwich Westerly Road, Foxwoods Resort Casino, Mashantucket. Thurs-Sat 7 p.m. $25. Guests must be 21 or older to participate; audience is open to all ages. 800-200-2882, www.Foxwoods.com.
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