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Tony Shalhoub
Tony Shalhoub | Yafei, DeviantArt Photo

You might know Tony Shalhoub best for playing the Emmy-winning title role on the series “Monk,” or as Italian cab driver Antonio Scarpacci on the hit television series “Wings.”

Well, he’s back, and he’s playing a role unlike his other most famous TV characters: he’s starring as Frank, a four-time divorced guy leading his new friends into the single life, on the CBS comedy “We Are Men.”

We caught up with him for 3 Questions. Read more over at Parade.com.

1. If you could work with anybody in the comedy field, living or dead, who would it be and why?

“I would have to say Peter Sellers. Well, it would be [in] a film since he was such an icon in the comedy film world.”

2. Because Shalhoub does both comedy and drama, we asked: Who most inspired you to get into acting?

“I wish I could say that it was just one thing. There are so many different times in your life where just another new spark is going to ignite it. I think it was a time when I was maybe in high school, and I saw a movie on television. This is when movies only came around once every two or three years.

“Interestingly enough, it had been a Broadway play that they decided to make into a movie. It was written by Herb Gardner, an amazing playwright, who died just a few years ago. It was a movie, based on this play called, “A Thousand Clowns.” It was with Jason Robards. It is a really, really great piece of writing and acting. I just couldn’t get it out of my head.

“It was about this guy living in New York who is single who had his nephew who was living with him because his sister dropped off her son when he was very little, and the sister never came back. Here is this kind of bachelor guy raising this young boy in a New York apartment. He is kind of a swinging single guy, but he has got this kid with him. It is about nonconformity and all of that. This was in the early sixties before nonconformity became kind of like the hip thing.

“I would have to say that piece and that performance by Jason Robards was I think kind of a pivotal moment for me.”

3. What is one of the most fun jobs you have ever done?    

“Oh boy, I have been so fortunate in having so many great opportunities. I would have to say I did a play on Broadway, “The Heidi Chronicles,” where I met my wife. She was in the production while I was doing it. She replaced someone … Working with my wife is a real thrill. That was a great moment.

“I have to say, and I am not just saying this to plug the show, this piece we are working on, and we have only been working on it for six weeks now, I am having more fun doing “We Are Men” than I think I have had in a very, very long time. That is saying a lot because I have had some great experiences.

“The chemistry is great between the guys. We are all mad about the material. I don’t know — there is sort of buoyancy to it. It is like we are on this fantastic cruise where the weather is perfect, and the food is great. We just laugh a lot.

“It is a really inventive kind of environment. Everyone brings so much to the table. Oftentimes in this business — because it is a collaborative endeavor — you will work with people who are, you know, they are somewhat jaded maybe or they feel like they are in the wrong place or they should be doing something else, some other kind of material.

“This is a situation where everyone just feels like it is the right thing for them at the right time. There is a certain sense of gratitude and appreciation and humility. That makes for a tremendously fun work environment.”

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