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NUNN ON ONE The return of Joey McIntyre
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Jerry Nunn, Windy City Times

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Joseph "Joey" McIntyre will always be remembered as a member of New Kids on the Block. After the madness died down a bit, he went on to sell over a million records as a solo artist. The New Kids new EP launches May 12.

He began acting on off-Broadway in The Fantastics, the musical Wicked and in Jonathan Larson's Tick, Tick … BOOM!

On television he appeared on Boston Public, Psych, Dancing with the Stars and, most recently, Netflix's Fuller House. His latest comedy series is called Return of the Mac. It mixes real life with a plot of him becoming a late night talk show host. It is executive-produced by the man himself, along with friends Donnie Wahlberg and Jenny McCarthy, among others. The show debuted on Pop Television April 12.

This brought him to STUDIO XFINITY in Lincoln Park, where he talked about projects on the red carpet.

Windy City Times: What name do you go by? Joe? Joey?

Joey McIntyre: I confuse people. I never say, "Hi, I'm Joey;" it is always "Joey McIntyre." I will introduce myself as Joe. Call me whatever you want!

WCT: Did you originally replace Mark Wahlberg in the New Kids on the Block?

JM: No. It was Donnie and Mark for about three months, so then Mark was just done with it. Donnie was alone, so he got his friends from school. Jordan and Jon Knight had sang in the choir. With Danny he had entertained and did break dancing with. They needed another little guy and that was me.

WCT: Has anyone ever stolen your shopping cart in Target, similar to the viral video?

JM: No, but similar stuff has happened. Not in Target, but they got the right tone.

WCT: What is the craziest thing a fan has done?

JM: I was in Korea once and came back from the gym. I got undressed and was going into the shower. I went into the bathroom and had closed the door. There were two Korean schoolgirls hiding behind the door. Now that sounds like every teenage boy's fantasy—until it happens. I screamed like a banshee running down the hallway!

WCT: Whose idea was it to make Return of the Mac?

JM: It was my idea. I took it to Donnie and Jenny. They introduced me to my co-creator, Paul Greenberg. We took it from there.

I'm happy with it. It is very challenging. I am never done and always want to do more. Overall, I feel comfortable with it and I think people will enjoy it.

WCT: How did they get you to wear tights on the first episode?

JM: I had to leave my ego at the door. Even though I am playing myself it is a scripted show. If I am worried about my ego or how I look it is not going to be funny. We did that to personify or exemplify the situation that I was in.

That first scene was Celebrity Circus, which I don't want to be doing. I would rather be doing good acting gigs, but instead I keep getting crazy offers that I can't say no to.

WCT: Joey Lawrence was featured in the first story arc.

JM: I get by with a little help from friends like Joey Lawrence, Joey Fatone and January Jones—a lot of great people.

WCT: You have real family in the sitcom?

JM: My wife plays my wife. She did a great job. She really stepped up. It worked out. It was stressful for awhile, but it went great.

WCT: Do you have a favorite talk show host, playing one in the show?

JM: I am going to be on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, so I should say him.

WCT: The New Kids tour begins this summer. Have you known Paula Abdul, who is also playing, for a long time?

JM: Yes. We have known her since back in the day. She hasn't toured in like 25 years. It is a hot ticket.

WCT: When did you know you had a gay member in the New Kids group?

JM: We didn't know, because it wasn't a big deal for us. We were like brothers and family. It wasn't a thing back then. It became a thing when we were about to break up. He was really ready to own it at that point. He wanted to come out in whatever way he wanted to. That was way back in 1994.

WCT: Are there any songs you don't want to perform on the New Kids tour?

JM: Not really. When you get to sing your songs for ten thousand people it is pretty cool.

WCT: Was there a piece of merchandise that went too far?

JM: What piece didn't go too far? The slippers were a bit much, and the marbles. The marbles had our heads in them!

WCT: Any plans for more solo albums?

JM: I hope so. I am thinking about it, but after the tour.

We will see what happens if we do more of this TV show.

WCT: Would you do another musical?

JM: I would love to. I am itching for it. My wife is from New York, so we might make a change.

I wouldn't like to be the 10th actor in the musical Chicago though. I like to start a project and be in it. I was early in Wicked and in my Off-Broadway show I was the second guy in. I like to be in on the early stages of things, so we will see what happens. I love the theater.

WCT: How about a revival of Happy Days that you were in where you played Fonzie?

JM: I know!

WCT: Tick Tick … BOOM! was an important show that you performed in also.

JM: That was the best, and what a role that was. I still think I can play 30, but I don't know.

WCT: How do you keep the baby face?

JM: I guess it is genes, and I run a lot. You have to sweat. The crows' feet are there, believe me!

Grab the Total Package Tour on June 15-16 at the Allstate Arena, 6920 Mannheim Road, Rosemont.

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