21 questions

Kevin Corrigan Once Had a Very Special Subway Moment With Gilbert Gottfried

Photo: Seth Olenick

Name: Kevin Corrigan
Age: 45
Neighborhood: Tribeca
Occupation: Actor. Host, The Corrigan Show. You can catch the next installment on Friday, November 7 at Union Hall with guests including Natasha Lyonne and Vanessa Bayer. See future dates here.

Who’s your favorite New Yorker, living or dead, real or fictional?
John Lennon. James Cagney. Martin Scorsese. Ken Corrigan (my father).

What’s the best meal you’ve eaten in New York?
Beef Sirloin Schnitzel at Blaue Gans (Tribeca), my mother’s fried chicken (Bronx).

In one sentence, what do you actually do all day in your job?
I spend a good deal of the time trying to keep my insecurities in check.

What was your first job in New York?
I’ve never had a job besides acting. That said, my first job was doing extra work in a movie called Heart. I sat in the bleachers of the Ridgewood Groves Arena, choking on the air in that awful place. Years later, Steve Buscemi told me he was there, too, the same day I was, playing one of the boxer’s corner men.

What’s the last thing you saw on Broadway?
The Cripple of Inishmaan.

Do you give money to panhandlers?
Yes. It could be me out there.

What’s your drink?
Pint of Guinness.

How often do you prepare your own meals?
Not often. But I made crab cakes once. They turned out pretty good.

What’s your favorite medication?
Pot. I mean laughter. Ha-ha. You know what I mean.

What is the best thing in or about your apartment?
The best thing about my apartment is the love my wife puts into it. I also like the arched window. I like knowing that someone’s been looking out this window since 1890.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever seen on the subway?
It was on the uptown local. It was departing Times Square at the same time as the 3 express. For a minute, both trains were going uptown, side by side. You could make eye contact with people in the other train. I noticed a man looking right at me from the 3 train. He approached his window. He began banging on it and pointing at me. I swear, it was Gilbert Gottfried! I smiled and waved, which seemed to enrage him. He kept banging the window. I thought he would smash it. Finally, his train pulled ahead of mine, with him banging frantically against the glass.

When was the last time you stayed out past 3 a.m.?
Every night.

Which do you prefer, the old Times Square or the new Times Square?
Old, analogue Times Square. Unpredictable, carnival-like. I remember when Nirvana was an Indian restaurant on the top floor of the ball-drop building. Seeing Penn and Teller performing on the corner of 43rd and Seventh. The guy who walked around in a suit of aluminum cans. The peep shows, the arcades, movie houses, TKTS (when it was a shanty), Howard Johnson’s, Colony Records, Supper Club, Roseland, Manny’s Guitars, the Brill Building. I auditioned for Goodfellas in the Brill Building. Hallowed Ground! Great works of art were produced there. Look what they’ve done to it.

What do you think of Mayor de Blasio?
What has he done to protect small businesses? They keep closing down.

What do you hate most about living in New York?
Corporate-sponsored hypergentrification.

If you could banish one person from New York forever, who would it be?
The landlord that forced Café La Fortuna to close.

When’s the last time you drove a car?
Three weeks ago. My father’s car. He and I (and my brother) take turns using it.

Finish this sentence: The NYPD _____.
Has a difficult job, exacerbated by rogue officers, illegal chokeholds.

Times, Post, or Daily News?
I read the Times. Although I do have an occasional masochistic urge to read the Post. I like to hear all points of view.

Where do you go to be alone?
The Film Forum.

What makes someone a New Yorker?
An open mind, curiosity, courage. Things like that. Flexibility. Sense of humor. You have to have those things. Oh, and money! Lots of it. Actually, these days, if you’ve got the cash, you don’t need the other stuff.

Kevin Corrigan Had a Very Special Subway Moment