“Sex and the City” star Mario Cantone is opening up about being canceled in the 1980’s due to his sexual identity.
The actor, who plays Charlotte York’s gay best friend, Anthony Marentino, opened up about his horrifying experience with the late-night talk show.
While appearing on Allison Kugel’s podcast, “Allison Interviews,” Cantone recalled being booked on “The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson” in 1986.
“I was booked on [‘The Tonight Show’ with] Johnny Carson in October of 1986 by the show’s talent coordinator,” the comedian explained. “When he saw me, he said, ‘Oh my God, you’re amazing! We are going to shape six minutes for you.’”
Mario Was Literally Canceled From TV For Being Gay
However, upon reviewing the footage again, the talent coordinator called Cantone back to say, “You know what? Your comedy has a gay edge to it and I think it’s going to make Johnny nervous, so I’m going to cancel you.”
The 1980s was a difficult time for the LGBTQ+ community. The 80s saw the outbreak of HIV/AIDS which was not fully understood by government, media and in turn misinformation was spread to the masses.
In addition to talking about him literally being canceled from ‘The Tonight Show,’ Cantone opened up about his late co-star, Willie Garson.
Garson played Stanford Blatch on ‘SATC’ and the reboot, “And Just Like That…”
Mario Cantone Opened Up About Willie Garson
Stanford was Carrie Bradshaw’s gay best friend on the series. In the show, Stanford and Anthony despised one another; however, their hatred turned into love and marriage in the second film, “Sex and the City 2.”
Garson passed away last September after a secret battle with pancreatic cancer.
Cantone was one of the very few people who knew about his cancer battle. Garson’s other ‘AJLT’ co-star also were aware of his battle.
“I didn’t know he was sick until a month in, when he told me and told everyone. Sarah Jessica Parker said that she knew and she kept it kind of under wraps, but he told me like a month in,” Cantone recalled.
He Wishes Stanford & Anthony’s Love Story Would’ve Unfolded
He continued, “Garson was great until he just wasn’t there anymore, until he just couldn’t come in, but you would never have known. His energy, his stories; he was hilarious and brilliant.”
The comedian wished Garson had more time here on this earth, so their on-screen love story could flourish.
Unfortunately, the audience never got to see what our marriage was going to be, which was going to be very interesting and funny,” the Broadway actor said. “It was basically two people that argue, fight, and have a very turbulent relationship, yet they can’t live without each other.”
Cantone noted that he’s proud he and Garson were an integral part of “gay history on TV.”