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Comedian/actor Billy Gardell has been interested in humor since he was a child and fascinated by the antics of Jackie Gleason.

Other comedians he admired while growing up were Richard Pryor and George Carlin. Gardell, who was a hit on the CBS-TV show "Mike and Molly," which ran from 2010 to 2016 and also starred Melissa McCarthy, said he's sure that series could have gone on for 10 years.

The actor/comedian said he's now enjoying bringing his stand-up comedy routine to fans across the nation.

"I usually do shows about three or four times a month," said Gardell, during a recent phone interview. "I love it and I like making people laugh," he said.

Gardell said he feels "blessed" that he's able to be of service to people by encouraging and bringing on the laughter.

The entertainer will perform at 9 p.m. Eastern May 25 at Silver Creek Event Center at Four Winds Casino in New Buffalo, Michigan.

Gardell's sense of humor can best be described as down-to-earth, with nothing pretentious and a good amount of material culled from his own life where people can find "common ground."

During a past interview, Gardell said "I try to make people laugh by looking at the human condition."

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Working on "Mike and Molly" was a rewarding experience for Gardell.

"It was life-changing," he said, adding it now lives on in reruns. "I couldn't ask for a better group of people to work with," he said about the show. Currently, Gardell is enjoying a recurring role on the series "Young Sheldon."

Gardell, who is the father of a 14-year-old son, said his son has a flair for the entertainment field. "He has a real love for the theater," he said, adding he'll encourage him in what he's interested in. 

The comedian said his fans mean a lot to him.

"I really love my fans. They're a nice mix of people." The age range for audience members at many of his shows are from about 35 to 60 but he said he's also noticing that "younger kids are bringing their parents" to his shows.

Gardell has never felt like his career was "work."

"I think if you love (what you do) you never work a day in your life."

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Entertainment Editor/Features Reporter

Eloise is A&E Editor and a food, entertainment and features writer for The Times, subjects she has covered for over two decades in and around the Region. She was the youngest of eight in a Chicago household filled with fantastic cooks and artists.