Fringe debut for big talent who opened for Sinatra and appeared in Seinfeld
This article is from 2008.
A heavyweight performer in every sense, John Pinette never imagined he’d be playing ‘a place where I have the best cholesterol in the country’. The 44-year-old Bostonian has been a stand-up comedian half his life and a muffin devotee far longer, earning acclaim for US comedy specials like Show Me the Buffet, I’m Starvin’! and I Say, Nay Nay, an updated version of which he’ll be performing in Edinburgh. Recently recovered from a hernia operation that required the insertion of surgical mesh (‘so I guess I’m part trampoline now’), this finicky eater issues a blanket nay nay to British breakfasts and will only be sampling haggis ‘if I can get ten minutes of original material out of it, which I figure is impossible. A deep-fried Mars Bar though, I might go for that. Once.’
In a singular career, Pinette was in the final episode of Seinfeld, proving integral to Jerry and co being jailed, while as a young comic he opened for Frank Sinatra: ‘I always get a good seat in some of the better Italian restaurants in Chicago.’
Blessed with a fine singing voice, from 2005 for two years and eight times a week, Pinette pirouetted and crooned in a fat suit as Edna Turnblad in the musical Hairspray, ensuring that ‘as a heavy, older woman, I was in the best shape of my life, even if I did look like Eddie Izzard: The Fat Years. Now that they’re making Shrek: The Musical I’m wondering why I never got the call. Me playing Edna on Broadway and John Travolta being her in the film isn’t that weird because we actually read for a lot of the same stuff. We acted in The Punisher together but I won’t be embracing Scientology because whenever he mentions fasting, I leave the room.’
Udderbelly’s Pasture, 0844 545 8252, 2–25 Aug (not 11), 9.15pm, £10–£12.50 (£9–£11.50). Previews 31 Jul & 1 Aug, £7.