A car guy with a great sense of humor, stand up comedian Adam Ferrara has been entertaining comedy and television audiences since the early 90s. One of the stars of the U.S. version of Top Gear on the History channel, Ferrara also shares the screen with Edie Falco in the hit series Nurse Jackie on Showtime.
Previously, Ferrara starred with Denis Leary in the Emmy nominated FX drama Rescue Me.
An internationally touring comedian, Ferrara has three Comedy Central specials and is a two-time nominee as best-male stand up by the American Comedy Awards.
Ferrara will be playing six shows at the Helium Comedy Club in Philadelphia from Thursday, Feb. 19 to Sunday, Feb. 22. You can purchase tickets here.
Despite being a die-hard Mets fan, Ferrara decided to waste his time and talk to us about his upcoming projects, sports fandom and his love of cars. For more information on Ferrara and upcoming show dates, visit his website here.
The CT : So obviously, as a host of the American version of “Top Gear” on the History Channel, you have to be interested in cars and automobile culture. Growing up in New York, did you foster a love for cars and know anything about putting them together? How did the interest come about?
Adam Ferrara: At a very young age I developed an emotional attachment to cars. My dad was my hero and I would be right by his side in the garage as he worked on cars. We quickly figured out my mechanical ability, so my job was to hold the light. I cannot wrench, but he taught me how cars work and their importance. He impressed upon me that a car is freedom and a form of escape. To this day when I need to think I take my 1970 deuce and quarter and drive up the coast.
The CT : You’ve driven/retrofitted a ton of odd cars on Top Gear. What was the car you had the best success with? Was the aquatic car in season four one of the biggest disasters you’ve had on the show?
Adam Ferrara: Define disaster? Yes, it was an amphibious car that sank. However, it did fine on land, so I’m batting .500. The first success that comes to mind was a ’69 Lincoln Mark III that I made into a Pope mobile. I picked up Cloris Leachman in it and drove her to the Emmys. We almost made it. The car did fine, I got lost and ran over spikes that popped my tires, Cloris called me an asshole and walked away but the car did fine.
The CT : What does it say about me that the previous two cars I’ve owned have been a 2006 Toyota Scion XA and a 1987 Volkswagen Jetta (a stick shift my friends called “The Bitch”).
Adam Ferrara: That you’re very thrifty.
The CT : Obviously you’re a sports guy and I love asking this question. This site was created in honor of an irrelevant Philadelphia Phillies pitcher that appeared in like 23 games for the Phillies in the early 2000s, David Coggin. Are there any irrelevant athletes that you grew up watching that you still find yourself thinking about every now again? That you were a fan of despite of their ineptitude?
Adam Ferrara: Hardly irrelevant and certainly not inept, but I do think about a little known defensive tackle for the New York Jets, #77 Carl Barzilauskas. He played from 1974 to 1977 for the Jets and was then traded to Green Bay in 78-79. When I was a kid my dad gave me a NY Jets football uniform and the jersey was #77. From that day on Carl was my guy.
The CT : You’re a New York guy, Dennis Leary is a Boston guy. I’m assuming you both fought each other numerous times in 2008 on the set of Rescue Me prior, during and after Super Bowl XLIII. Who talked the most shit?
Adam Ferrara: Both of us. No more than usual.
The CT : You’re playing at the Helium Comedy club from Thursday, Feb. 19 to Sunday, Feb. 22. You’ve played Philly before, how do the crowds treat you here? Any interesting stage stories during a performance here?
Adam Ferrara: Nothing from onstage but when you play Philly you always have to bring your A-game. Don’t take any chances, you guys threw snowballs at Santa Claus.
The CT : Last question, because this is a Philadelphia sports blog, what was more painful, the recent 76ers/Knicks game (which was an affront to all that is holy) or the Mets collapse in 2007?
Adam Ferrara: The Mets. I’m a Mets fan, Mets and Jets because why should my life be easy.