Shining a spotlight on celebrities and athletes who love to travel. Created and developed by Stacy Steponate Greenberg. Today, we welcome comedian and impressionist, Frank Caliendo.
From Jon Gruden to Morgan Freeman, Charles Barkley or Bill Clinton, Frank Caliendo has been amazing audiences for decades with his dead-on impressions of famous figures from within and outside of the sports world. Be sure and check out FrankCaliendo.com to see snippets of his impersonations and find out where you can see him live.
THE OVERHEAD COMPARTMENT…….with Frank Caliendo begins NOW:
OC: As a stand-up comedian you’ve been on the road for years touring the country. What is your favorite city to visit and what do you do during the day?
FC: I’ve been traveling doing standup since I graduated from the University Of Wisconsin Milwaukee in 1996 so, what is that, 75 years? Man, a lot has changed, like my ability to do simple math.
I don’t know if I have a favorite place to visit. I grew up in the Midwest, so I really enjoy going back there. People all seem similar to friends and neighbors I had growing up. I’m lucky, though, that I get to travel to places like NYC, Vegas, Chicago, DC, etc. I don’t know if I’d want to live in some of those cities, but they sure are great to visit.
As far as what I do during the day: when I’m not doing press for shows I’m usually trying to get in a nap, or I find a Ping Pong club to play some Table Tennis. (See how I used both terms? No, nobody really cares what you call it.)
Sometimes, I’ll bring my family along with me, and we’ll go visit landmarks and stuff, but when I’m by myself, mostly Pong.
OC: What’s the funniest thing that ever happened to you on an airplane?
FC: I would have to say the funniest thing (that wasn’t funny at the time) would be this: I was traveling back from NYC after doing an appearance on Letterman – I had just landed there earlier in the day, right before the taping – I changed into my suit in the car on the way to the theater, did the show, then I got back in a car and went back to the airport. I was dead tired. I got on the plane and could barely keep my eyes open. I was quite a bit heavier back then, and I snored really loud. The guy in the seat behind me kept hitting me and waking me up because I was ruining his flight. I felt terrible, but there really wasn’t anything I could do. I was trying to stay awake, but I kept feeling my head dip and I could actually hear myself starting to snore as I was dozing off. It was a long 6 hours. I had just had a great set, and now I was a nuisance to passengers on a plane.
OC: Where are you just coming back from?
FC: I just got back from San Jose. It was a direct flight. Those make me happier than connections. I’ve pretty much decided I won’t go places I have to take multiple flights. But I can be bought. Ha.
OC: First thing you do when arriving at a hotel in your room?
FC: I put a “do not disturb” on the door. Then I usually throw my stuff on a chair and put on ESPN or get online.
OC: Biggest pet peeve about hotels?
FC: I know this is typical, but housekeeping drives me nuts. They want to clean my room so badly. However, the biggest reason I don’t like housekeeping is that I don’t like people moving or touching my stuff. And the thing that drives me the craziest: they’ll see the “do not disturb” on the door and then call my room. I like it when they have the courtesy just to send a message, so the phone never rings. I can take a flashing light, but if I hear that phone ring? I go nuts sometimes.
OC: Complete the following sentence: I never leave home without ________.
FC: My ping pong paddle. Sorry, it’s a way of life.
OC: Go to snack on the road?
FC: I’ve been eating a lot healthier in the past couple of years. I take a lot of “OH YEAH” protein bars with me. Sometimes I’ll even pack my own food and get a fridge and microwave in the room, if possible.
OC: Check or carry on?
FC: I only carry on. I will FedEx stuff before I give an airline my luggage. I’ve had too many issues in the past. I don’t like to take chances, and I hate waiting at the baggage carousel for an hour only to find that my luggage is in a different city.
OC: Best part of flying.
FC: Can’t beat the landing part, when the plane has come to a stop. Everything else is just passing time.
OC: Worst part of flying.
FC: The part where I’m waiting to land.
OC: Please put in order, favorite way to travel….Car, Plane or Boat?
FC: I’m going to say car is best. I’m in control of times, stops, etc. I’m on MY schedule. Maybe I have control issues? Second would probably have to be planes, they get me places faster than boats. I just can’t relax while traveling. I like to get somewhere and put that “do not disturb” sign on the door and have someone call me in my room to see if I need towels as fast as possible.
OC: Top three favorite restaurants anywhere in the world.
FC: I’ve never really been outside of the US, but these are tops for me. There are probably others that could be on the list, but I make sure to tell people about these when they’re going to these cities.
1. Cafe Martorano in Ft Lauderdale Florida. Best meatballs ever… and the Philly Cheesesteak is beyond amazing.
2. Mon Ami Gabi at the Paris hotel in Vegas. I LOVE breakfast there. LOVE it.
3. Del Friscos in NYC . Steak… steak… steak.
OC: Travel secret that no one knew until now?
FC: I would say the ping pong paddle. Also, for the longest time I’d just travel in pajama pants — and I don’t even wear pajamas pants to bed. I don’t know what that was about.
Frank Caliendo, please use care upon departure as items may have shifted in The Overhead Compartment during our journey. Thanks for choosing us for your travel tips! Have a wonderful day!
Stacy Steponate Greenberg brings over 15 years of travel and marketing experience to Pursuitist. With her column, The Overhead Compartment, Stacy interviews celebrities and athletes bringing an insight into their lives and travel habits. Stacy spent 11 years at Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide in various capacities, serving stints as Director of Marketing for the St. Regis and Sheraton brands, and Senior Director for Starwood Residences. Prior to Starwood, Stacy worked as Manager of Marketing for Hyatt Hotels. A native of Chicago, Stacy resides New York City with her husband and two kids, who like to “rate” the various hotels on their travels with their mom. Reach Stacy via Twitter twitter.com/StacyGSG.