Pop culture is king for Chris Franjola. The veteran comic will crack wise Friday and Saturday at the Spokane Comedy Club about what’s happening in the world of entertainment.
“I’m fascinated by ‘The Masked Singer,’ ” Franjola said while calling from his Los Angeles home. “It’s such a bizarre concept, but people love it. Donny Osmond was just unmasked. It’s crazy.”
Why do celebrities agree to be part of such a show?
“I think it has everything to do with money,” Franjola said. “I hear that celebrities get $100,000 just for agreeing to do the show and they get more money the longer they stay on the show. ‘The Masked Singer’ surprises you. They had Sarah Palin on.”
Britney Spears, who Franjola is fascinated with, has yet to appear on “The Masked Singer.”
“But things aren’t going Britney’s way,” Franjola said. “We all thought it was going to get better after she was given independence, but it looks like things are worse. So I’ll talk about Britney, ‘The Masked Singer’ and whatever else is interesting.”
Franjola, 55, will also riff about what it’s like to be a father of a 3-year old.
“Having a child for the first time at my age is tiring, but it keeps you young,” Franjola said. “But I just couldn’t have a child at an earlier point since I was having so many wild times in my 30s and 40s.”
Franjola’s career received a huge boost after he turned 40. His pal Chelsea Handler gave Franjola plenty of screen time on her hit chat show, “Chelsea Lately.”
“Appearing on Chelsea’s show has been huge for my career,” Franjola said.
Franjola, who created a number of amusing characters on “Chelsea Lately,” including “the gay caveman” and “Bieber Man,” has heard that there might be a “Chelsea Lately” reunion.
“I hear that’s a possibility and if it happens, it’ll be so much fun. I owe Chelsea so much since her show was a great launching pad. Chelsea was incredibly generous as a host. She would always shine a light on the comics. I would love it if there was another show like ‘Chelsea Lately.’ We need a show that doesn’t pull punches. What was great about ‘Chelsea Lately’ is that comics were allowed to do what they did, which isn’t easy on television. Normally, you have to go through a number of gatekeepers to deliver your comedy on television shows. We could just be us on ‘Chelsea Lately.’ So many comics went on to bigger things after appearing on the show because we were all around for a while. We honed our material and were ready for the next step.”
When Franjola returns to the Spokane Comedy Club, he’ll know where Gonzaga is based. The last time he was in town was the weekend before Mark Few’s team played Baylor for the NCAA championship in April 2021.
“I’m now well aware where Gonzaga is from,” Franjola said. “I should have known that as a sports fan, but I know Gonzaga is from Spokane and I know that those from Spokane and those from Idaho are really into comedy.
“It’s always fun playing the club in Spokane because the audience is always very into it.”