IRVINE, CA - OCTOBER 01:Alonzo Bodden performs on stage at the NUVOtv and Levity Entertainment October 1st "Stand Up & Deliver Cabo Relief" event benefitting Hurricane-Devastated Cabo San Lucas held at the Irvine Improv on October 1, 2014 in Irvine, California. A television broadcast of the event will air on NUVOtv and FUSE at a later date. (Photo by Rochelle Brodin/Getty Images for NUVOtv)
Photo: Rochelle Brodin
Photo: Rochelle Brodin

Alonzo Bodden comes to Atlanta for a live ‘Family Feud: Celebrity Edition’ at Center Stage June 10

Originally posted Friday, June 7, 2019 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

In March, a “Price is Right Live” stage show came to the Fox Theatre. Now you can experience “Family Feud” live at Center Stage on Monday, June 10. (Buy $25 to $50 tickets here.)

But Steve Harvey won’t be on there as host. Instead, the stage show hired “Last Comic Standing” winner and veteran stand-up comic Alonzo Bodden to do the honors for the live tour.

And unlike the real “Family Feud,” which involves two families squaring off, the stage show plucks folks from the audience for a chance to win up to $500 with a (very slight shot) at winning $5,000. 

So it really isn’t quite “family.” 

And this particular tour has a “celebrity” element: former gymnastic star Cathy Rigby and “Bachelor in Paradise” and “Dancing With the Stars” star Joe Amabile helm each team. 

Bodden, who grew up watching original host Richard Dawson kiss female contestants with 1970s abandon, noted that he would be “fired and the show sued” if he tried to pull off even 10% of what Dawson did with no consequences four decades ago. 

But “Family Feud remains an enduring game-show classic. “It’s really a fun show,” Bodden said in an interview. “For a stand-up like me, the live show is like doing crowd work. I never know what answers the panelists are going to give. They’re always hilarious.”

For instance, while in Baltimore, the question was what would 100 married women surveyed do if they found out their husband was cheating on them. An elderly woman in a wheelchair told him bluntly: “I’d beat his ass.” 

Here are some other bits I got from Bodden during our interview:

-- He hung out with Harvey many years ago: “I worked with Steve once in the 1990s while Steve was hosting the syndicated ‘Live at the Apollo.’ It was very cool. I was performing. Steve and I hit it off and I was in the middle of my set when they stopped me. A feed went out and I had to start over. Steve and I joked about what a low-budget production it was. They told me to do the same jokes. No way I’m going to do the same jokes with the Apollo audience. I changed my set.”

-- The legacy of “Last Comic Standing”: “They know who I am. I’m still working. The rent’s still getting paid.”

-- On his seven years on “Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me” [he is a panelist about once a month]: “This has been a great surprise in my career. They’re a great crowd but it took awhile for them to accept me. The first year, I felt like a guest. Now I get recognized as much for my voice as I do as anyone who has seen me on TV.”

-- On working with Paula Poundstone on “Wait Wait”: “When you do a Paula Poundstone episode, you are a guest in the world of Paula. Make no mistake. We always tell people who come to the live show to see the hour that’s edited out thanks to Paula. She’s a fantastic singles hitter. She swings at every pitch. I’m always waiting, looking for that pitch to hit the home run. That’s why it works great when we work together. We have two different styles of comedy. I also enjoy Mo Rocca. He has such a circular way of thing.” 

<<RELATED: My interview with Paula Poundstone earlier this year. 

His Amazon comedy special coming out in August: “Amazing is just starting to do comedy specials. Netflix does a ton of them. The nice thing about Amazon is I’ll get more publicity being new. 

- Why he called the special “Heavyweight Lightweight.” “I love doing topical comedy but I don’t want to pound people over the head. It’s harder to be funnier than reality. I do talk about Kanye and his love of Trump. I do some stuff on racism and health care. I don’t want people to leave feeling depressed. I do a little bit about Siri vs. Alexa, Kale vs. Taco Bell. It’s heavyweight and lightweight!” 

PREVIEW

“Family Feud Live: Celebrity Edition,” 8 p.m. Monday, June 10, 2019, $25-$50, Center Stage, 374 West Peachtree Street Northwest, Atlanta, Ticketmaster.com

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About the Author

Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho covers radio and television for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
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