Tall, dark and handsome — and he makes women laugh! Chris D’Elia has it all. He’s well-known as the lead comedic actor in sitcoms including “Whitney” and “Undateable” and for his stand up comedy where he engages the audience with his laid-back and physical style and an uncanny knack for impressions.
You don’t always read about his experience as an Italian American, but it’s something he’s proud of. In fact, his rep responded within a day to our interview request and we were soon on the phone chatting with him about his Italian pride and his upcoming shows at the IMPROV in Hollywood July 28 through 31st.
“My family is Italian American,” he said. “They’re very Italian, from New Jersey and New York. They were very proud to be Italian and I’m very proud. I feel like they shaped me into who I am.”
When asked if his Catholic, Italian American upbringing had anything to do with becoming a comedian, he replied, “There’s definitely a lot of humor in the way my family reacts to things. My parents and cousins would always say it was because we’re Italian.”
D’Elia said that he’d like to see the City of Bari in Italy where his Italian American father’s origins are.
“My grandfather came over from there early on in his life and my father went last year and I was jealous. He got to see where our relatives came from,” he explained.
And what about his memories of the Italian lifestyle during his childhood? “Well, there was always a lot of food around,” he joked. “We ate pasta every night,” he added with the proviso that he stays trim nowadays by not doing that as much. “It’s definitely my favorite thing, but I try not to carbo load.”
When asked if he’s ever dated an Italian gal, he replied, “My first girlfriend was Italian American and she was very passionate beyond her years. Her family was very Italian, so we got along that way.”
And while appearing in a show called “Undateable,” might mark an actor as, well, undateable, D’Elia assured us that, “my girl seems pretty happy.”
His career has run the gamut from television and film to stand-up, but it’s the latter that excites him the most because he writes his own material. He explained, “It’s all mine. I can say whatever I want.”
Not a writer who likes to lock himself in a room and stare at his computer screen when writing his shows, he explained that his best materials arises in a fluid, natural way. He explained, “I usually just come up with things when I’m talking to friends in the diner and then I’ll use that in a upcoming show.”
His upcoming projects include the Netflix film, “XOXO” about six strangers whose lives collide in one frenetic and hopelessly romantic night, and “Flock of Dudes,” where he stars as Adam, a 30-something who decides to break up with his best buds in order to finally grow up.
Growing up, D’Elia said, will also be the theme for his shows at the IMPROV where he’ll be delivering and developing new material.
“I’m working on my next special,” he explained, “so just figuring out all this stuff. It’s not all worked out yet, but it’s about me being an adult.”
He’s enthusiastic to be here, explaining, “I love the Fort Lauderdale area. It’s my favorite spot in Florida because it’s tamer than Miami. I love performing in Hollywood.”
Don’t miss his performances at the IMPROV in Hollywood Thursday, July 28 through Sunday, July 31. Tickets can be purchased at this link.
Watch one of our favorite D’Elia sketches on YouTube, “Literally British.”