Emmy Award winning actor Kevin James is back for season two of his latest project Kevin Can Wait tonight at 9 PM EST, only on CBS. Kevin Can Wait stars James as a retired Nassau County police officer on Long Island, New York. This season promises to deliver new characters and major changes for several of the show’s returning cast members.
CBS Local’s Matt Weiss spoke to James about Kevin Can Wait‘s sophomore season, his return to stand-up and the best place to get a hamburger.
MW- Hey Kevin, how’s it going?
KJ- Good Matt, how are you?
MW- Doing great! Now as a Long Islander myself the fact that Kevin Can Wait takes place right in Massapequa, 15 minutes from my house is pretty neat.
KJ- Long Island is the best right? I love it.
MW- Absolutely, me too. As someone who actually lives where the show takes place I love how authentic everything is from the characters to the locations. Are there specific people from your life you base the plotlines and characters on?
KJ- It was all plotted that way to come back to Long Island and to really make it as authentic as possible from the pizza places to All American Burger to all these hot spots that I loved growing up and got to experience. Also Long Island comedians, Chris Roach and Jim Breuer coming back out is awesome. These local guys make it so much more fun and being able to use them lends an authenticity to the show. These guys are from here they speak this way and we eat at these restaurants, we go to these places.
MW- When you said All American my stomach growled, there’s nothing like it.
KJ- Isn’t that place the best? You’re speaking the truth.
MW- Kevin Can Wait isn’t your first project with CBS of course, you had a long and successful run with The King Of Queens and now your former castmate Leah Remini is joining you once again as a series regular. What’s it been like to work with her again?
KJ- It’s great, she’s family so there’s a comfort level. She did a couple of episodes last season and it just puts you at ease, you just have fun. It makes going to work really, really enjoyable.
MW- How does Leah’s character change the dynamic of the show in season two?
KJ- I go back into the work force and her character becomes my boss, then eventually we become partners. It really gives a well needed drive to the show that it felt like it needed. It gives a real boost. We’ve shot so many funny episodes already, we’ve shot about five episodes so far so it’s really great.
MW- Seems like your character, Kevin Gable, has some personal changes on the horizon as well in addition to going back to work, including a wedding for his daughter in episode one…
KJ- Yea there’s a lot of big changes you’ll see this year.
MW- Switching gears a bit, you also have a number of live comedy shows coming up in the next month or so, what’s the difference between writing for stand-up versus writing for a sitcom?
KJ- You know, a lot of it goes hand in hand. It’s just about finding these situations in life, whether it’s through my kids, family or friends, whatever it is. I’ve always been more of an observational comedian so I try to find the funny little nuances and little things in life that make me laugh that people can relate to. When we notice something we write it down and we bring it up and people say, ‘yea I do that too,’ that’s how we make that connection.
MW- Your special, Sweat The Small Stuff, is one of my favorite stand-up routines of all time.
KJ- Oh man, thank you, thank you. I haven’t done one since then and that was like 2001. I’m doing a new special on October 28th and 29th at the Beacon Theater in New York and I haven’t done it in awhile so I’m excited about this one.
MW- One last question before I let you go, Kevin Can Wait, season two – can you describe this season in three words?
KJ- Big. Edible. Energy. Big, edible, energy – that’s what I would say.
MW- Sounds like audiences are going to eat it up. It was great to talk to you and good luck with the new season!
KJ- Great to talk to you too pal, take care!
Kevin Can Wait season two premieres September 25th at 9 PM EST on CBS. Check your local listings for more information.