IT'S ALWAYS SOMETHING A evening of song, dance and comedy to benefit Gilda's Club, hosted by comedian Russell Peters and featuring performances by Nelly Furtado, Anne Murray, Great Big Sea, Craig Lauzon and Eric McCormack. Monday (November 26), 7:30 pm. $150-$250. Elgin Theatre, 189 Yonge. 416-872-5555, www.gildasclubtoronto.org. Rating: NNNNN
You have a strong affection for Gilda Radner
I've always had this strange obsession with her. She was a genius. I was in Godspell in high school in Scarborough, and my family used to go every week to Old Ed's Restaurant. He had pictures of performers on the walls, and downstairs by the men's room was a cast photo from the original Godspell, with Gilda and Eugene Levy and Marty Short and Andrea Martin and Victor Garber as Jesus. I got to sing the Jesus-Judas song from Godpsell with Victor at one of the Gilda's events. Such a treat.
What will you be performing this year?
I always do a couple of songs and a little patter. I usually sing a Burton Cummings song, which is my little piece of Canadiana. Last year I did a Tom Jones song in a wig and leather pants. This year I'm doing a goofy song from Hair and an Elton John song that I love.
Any plans to return to TV?
I like the routine of TV, the chance to play a character for a long period of time and get inside his skin, but I'll never repeat the experience of Will & Grace. We had a magical existence for eight years. Just as I'm sure Henry Winkler found it hard not to be seen as the Fonz, I think it's important for me to reinvent myself. I just did a pilot for a TV series called Truth In Advertising with Tom Cavanagh. We're developing a show set inside the music industry that we're hoping VH1 likes, and my wife and I just sold a show to CBC called Crutch, which is sort of a Todd Bertuzzi-meets-Tim Horton story about a hockey player whose career goes off the rails and who ends up in a small town. It's written by my old college roommate Michael Healey.
You are best known for Will & Grace, but Free Enterprise has a huge cult following among Star Trek fans.
I get recognized for that a lot. I was getting groceries at Loblaws or Safeway, and the bag boy, who was in his 30s, said that movie changed his life, and I'm thinking, "What was it like before?" There are rumours of a sequel. I ran into William Shatner at the Oscars once, and he grabbed me and said, "When are we. Going to. Do another Free Enterprise?" I hated to tell him I think that ship has sailed.