Actor-Comedian Alonzo Bodden won the grand prize in the third season of “Last Comic Standing,” and came back as the talent judge in season five, and recently made an appearance on the television series “Fresh Off The Boat” as Mr. Carlson. The Queens, New York native will bring his comedic talents to Live! Casino & Resort May 31stas the host of “Family Feud Live: Celebrity Edition.” I spoke with Alonzo and asked him about upcoming appearance and what he expects to see at the show.
Is this your first time coming to Maryland?
No, I’ve been to Baltimore a few times for comedy clubs. I’m trying to remember the big jazz festival. I should remember it because I hosted it. (laughs) Capital Jazz, I’ve been there for Capital Jazz Festival. This is just my first time hosting a game show in Maryland.
As the host of “Family Feud Live: Celebrity Edition,” what do you expect to see during the show?
It’s going to be pretty cool, I think. The big difference between us doing it live and Steve Harvey doing the show on TV is we’re going to have contestants from the audience. It won’t be a family, it will be four—well, eight people. Two teams of four picked from the audience. So obviously, audience members get to win money and compete, but I think that’s what’s going to be the big difference, and it’s really funny because it’s one thing when you’re working on answers with your family and you know them and you have some idea of what they’re going to say; it’s a whole ‘nother thing when you’re talking with just four random people. Who knows what the answer’s going to be?
I think we’ve all seen how interesting and risqué the answers can be, so I’m curious, do you expect that too?
Being live, we won’t get to edit out most of the stuff that they edit out on TV. (laughs)
So, I guess that means they have to be careful what they say when they’re onstage?
Oh, I hope not!
I don’t want them to be careful. Go for it! Go for it. Win the money, make us laugh.
We’re here to have fun. We’re going to have a great time.
That’s the best part is that they can be themselves and say what’s on their mind, right?
Yeah, yeah! Hopefully, they’re not too nervous. You want them somewhere between not too nervous and not too drunk. Get them somewhere between the two, and you’ve got a great show. (Both Lauren and Alonzo laugh)
What was it about “Family Feud Live: Celebrity Edition” that appealed to you?
I like hosting things. I’ve hosted numerous things on air and off the air, and “Family Feud” is iconic, right? Everyone knows what it is. I’m old enough to remember Richard Dawson doing it, and don’t worry. I won’t be kissing every female contestant, because we’re kind of beyond that.
The funny thing is, from him and Steve Harvey, you never know what the contestants are going to say. So as a comedian, to me, it was almost like ‘I’m doing crowd work 101.’ (Both Lauren and Alonzo laugh)
Well, that makes sense.
Yeah. So it’s going to be fun, and I’ll tell you another bonus. We’ve got three great guest captains. We’ve got Grocery Store Joe; we have Brian from “The Office;” and we have Cathy Rigby, and I’m actually very excited to meet Cathy Rigby.
I read she was Peter Pan. Isn’t that right?
That’s right! I think she was our first super gymnast that everybody knew, so yeah, it’ll be fun. When else would I get to meet Cathy Rigby?
(Editor’s Note: Cathy will not be at this show, she will be joining FFL: CE on June 5th!)
That’s true! And it sounds like you’re going to have some fun too, which is the important part, right?
Oh yeah, because the questions always change, so it’s not going to be like it’s over-rehearsed; we already know the answers or what’s on the board. No. Every show is different. The questions are different; the surveys are different; and even as the host, I wouldn’t know an answer until I see it on the board. That part is as much as fun as wondering what the contestants are going to say. It’s also fun to find out what the survey says.
That sounds like fun!
Yeah, and that’s the one phrase I could improve, I could have fun. But the one thing I have to say correctly: Survey says! So, I learned my lines. (laughs)
That sounds like fun. I grew up watching “Family Feud” with my parents and grandmother, so I’m very familiar with, “Survey Says!”
Yeah, it’s a super popular show. I think people are going to enjoy seeing it live.
Since you’re going to host “Family Feud Live: Celebrity Edition,” could you see yourself hosting a game show of your own?
Oh, I would love to; believe me. If Steve Harvey ever decides to pass the torch, I’m going to be in that line. (laughs)
That would be wonderful. I hope you’re the next host.
Thank you, thank you! From your mouth to God’s ears, as they say.
You never know.
Yeah, maybe Steve will retire.
And you could be the next host.
This might be my audition. I may not know it yet. In this business, you never know when one thing leads to another, so who knows. Hey, I can grow a moustache.
As far as hosting the show, what are you most excited about?
I think the funniest thing is seeing what answers they give when we’re doing the show. I think that’s going to be the funniest things because that is the big unknown. So, I’m looking forward to that.
Whenever I watch the show with my parents, I’ve noticed the answers are really interesting.
I don’t know who writes the questions, but they are like ordinary things, but they are things you don’t think about. I saw some of the test questions, and one of them was “we surveyed 100 women. Name something a wife would brag that their husband did.” And it’s one of those things, and yeah, they never thought of that. Believe me, that was wide open. (laughs)
That sounds like a series of double entendres waiting to happen.
That’s what makes it to so much fun.
It’ll be great.
If fans want to follow you on social media, how can they find you?
Very simply, I use my name @alonzobodden and on Instagram I’m @zofunny.
Check out Alonzo Bodden as he hosts “Family Feud Live: Celebrity Edition” on May 31stat Live! Casino & Resort. Get your tickets at www.familyfeudlive.com and www.ticketfly.com. Show up early if you want to be chosen from the audience.