Basile will perform live tonight in Valparaiso, IN. “A Pinch of Basile” will benefit St. Iakovos Greek Orthodox Church. Guest contributor Helen Lucaitis sat down with Basile for a Q&A.
By: Helen Lucaitis
Q&A with Comedian Basile
Q: Where did you grow up?
A: I was raised on Long Island, NY. About ten miles west of Riverhead, NY. My family’s church was Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in Port Jefferson Station. I get a lot of my church material from the old days from when I was an altar boy. Young crazy, Greek kids with open flamed candles, sharp cutting knives, bread, wine AND unsupervised… What could go wrong?
Q: Were you funny as a kid?
A: Yes! But I did have a serious side when it came to athletics (football and wrestling). My coaches would always get me to cut up a bit to relax the other players.
Q: What kinds of jokes would you make?
A: I would imitate my teachers, my parents, grandparents, coaches…basically anyone whom I admired. I would study them, speech patterns, dialects, physical aspects, etc…and just cut up on them!
Q: What does your family think of your humor?
A: They all think I’m nuts! I’ve always looked at things differently than others. It’s all about the interpretation of what’s in front of you. I never liked doing things the easy way, I always looked at the abstract aspect of everything. I guess I always will.
Q: Who is your biggest source for your humor?
A: Typically, those whom I admired, men, women, those who I saw on TV… You name it!
Q: What impact did the movie, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, have on your career, and are you looking forward to the second one coming out this month?
A: I admire Nia! The franchise, if anything, brought light to ethnic humor and made it easier for me to attract concert goers to my show. But even before MBFGW first came out, I already had my first Greek Comedy Special “Growing Up Greek In America – Comedy Greek Style” out and was selling throughout North America. Then it went to the United Kingdom, Germany, Cyprus, Australia and South Africa. It became something special. I now tour all of those countries and have worldwide distribution with my DVD’ & CD’s and in total we have sold over 1.25 million (legal) copies. Yea, we get ripped off a lot… The stories I could tell you! LOL
Q: Why did you decide to travel all the way to Valparaiso, IN for a performance?
A: I heard that they had a stockpile of rubber cement and paste! LOL I love the St. Iakovos community! Fr. Jim Greanias and I are great friends, and he embodies what it truly means to be an Orthodox Christian in a fun, but spiritual way. He’s got a great community and we have sold out many of the Greek shows that I’ve done there in the past. Now he wanted to share my General Audience show, “A Pinch Of Basile – Dysfunctionally Yours” with the general public and I think you’ll love it!
Q: Why do your jokes resonate far beyond the Greek-American community?
A: I think that it’s my attitude and the abstract interpretation of what I like to act out and talk about, and thank God my fans enjoy the crazy way I do things.
Q: We’ve heard you recently sold out shows in Las Vegas are signing a one-year deal to perform there. What’s happening with your career?
A: I just started my own production company, SpiceRack Entertainment, and I am developing five new shows to bring to TV, one entitled “Basile.” I’m also in the midst of negotiating a one-year deal in Las Vegas and watching my food company grow.
Oh yea, one more thing! Putting on one hell of a show on Friday Night in Valpo!! See you all there! Yiasou Baby!
A Pinch of Basile Comedy Show, to benefit St. Iakovos Church in Valparaiso, tonight, March 11 at 7:30 pm*, at Memorial Opera House, 104 Indiana Ave., Valparaiso, IN. 7:30 pm. 219.462.405
Helen Lucaitis is the Director of Communications at the Chicago law firm of Corboy & Demetrio, and is a former Court TV reporter.
*Updated: This event has already taken place.