This was a real pleasure and honor for me to get a chance to talk with comedian/actor Adam Ferrara. I think everyone has those handful of comedians they enjoy and quote non-stop and for me, Adam is one of them! So I felt especially lucky to talk to Adam with the new season of The History Channel’s “TOP GEAR” premiering January 29th at 9pm est!
Hi Adam, I have to ask right off the bat, were you one of those kids in class that always got in trouble for goofing off?
Yes, I had ADD before anyone knew what that was. Coupled that with making the other kids laugh; I was labeled a disruptive force and spent many days in detention but I never really understood why would you want to keep me in school longer if I was such a pain in the ass?
When I made my father laugh. My father had an infectious laugh that would fill up a room and got other people laughing. Then I made the kids on the school bus laugh doing Richard Pryor & George Carlin bits, but that was more them than me.
Were your family and friends supportive of you wanting to be a comedian?
Yes, I believe they all knew that I really wasn’t qualified to do anything else. So this had to work.
What’s it like for you getting up on stage to perform in front of people?
Best part of my day; because on stage is the only time I’m in the moment. No matter what I’m doing before a gig, part of me is always preoccupied with that night’s set.
Do you have any rituals you go through before a show?
Not anymore. It used to be a little whiskey and a Marlboro Red.
My first exposure to your stand up was when you were on Comedy Central Presents in 2001. Was the special a big deal for you?
They all are. Each special are markers of my life. I’m a confessional comic; I talk about my life. So every special is what I’m thinking and feeling as a comic and a person at that time.
As a comedian I have to guess that your main goal is to either get on TV or into movies. What was it like coming onto a show like Rescue Me? Was it difficult at all since you mainly started in the third season?
As a comedian, my main goal has always been to connect with the audience. Stand up comedy can take you other places and I’ve been very fortunate to be able to do TV & movies but I’ve always considered stand up to be its own art form. Regarding “Rescue Me,” it was real easy because I knew everybody from another show we did on ABC called “The Job,” so it was just great to be back with my pals.
Did you go through any fire-fighting training for the role?
Yeah I was lucky enough to do some ride alongs with real NYC firefighters. They taught me a lot, which I’m very grateful for.
You also did another stand up special titled Funny As Hell. At one point in the show, you get a little more serious in tone as you talk a lot about your parents and their health. Does your comedy help you deal with hard situations like that?
Yes, it helps me out a lot. Once I get it out there in front of an audience I can examine the thought and determine what I’m really feeling. And once it’s out there, people seem to respond and react to it. I’ve gotten a lot of nice emails from people dealing with similar issues. It’s nice to know we are not alone.
Top Gear has a worldwide presence on television, both with the original UK show as well as countries producing their own versions. How did you get involved with the show? Had you seen any of the UK version before?
I did a pilot for History called the “United States of Cars.” That show didn’t go, but History asked me to be a part of Top Gear. I am a big fan of the UK Top Gear, (the Mothership), so my initial reaction was ‘Hells to the Yes,’ then my next thought was, ‘I better not fuck this up!’
The challenges and trips you, Tanner and Rutledge take have sent you all over the country in all sorts of cars, trucks and even big rigs. Is there a moment from the show or a specific car so far that stands out in your mind?
Still have to go back to season 1; the Moonshine episode where I jumped the Coupe de Ville. That was the dumbest, most exciting and coolest thing I’ve ever done.
How long does it generally take to shoot an episode?
Longer than you might think. There’s a lot that goes into pre-production, finding cars, location and such. The producers and crew definitely work harder then us.
Through your twitter page @AdamFerrara, you have a great interaction with your fans. How important is it to you to be able to interact with your fans like that?
It real important and a lot of fun, especially when something cool happens that I can share with everyone. We are all in this together.
A special thank you again to Adam for taking time out of his busy schedule to talk to me and make a dream come true! Make sure you guys check out the premiere of TOP GEAR Tuesday January 29th at 9pm EST!
For more on TOP GEAR USA visit History.com!