Needham, Mass., native Joey McIntyre is best known for being part of Boston's favorite boy band, New Kids on the Block, but now you can catch him in "The McCarthys," a new TV comedy all about a sports-crazed family from the area. While in town to promote the show, he made a special trip to Foxborough to sing the national anthem at the Patriots-Jets game on Thursday night. We sat down with Joey just before kickoff to ask him about performing at Gillette Stadium, his new acting gig and which Patriots player he hopes will guest star on "The McCarthys."
1. It's not your first time singing the national anthem at Gillette Stadium. How does it feel to be back for Thursday Night Football?
It's great. It's an honor to sing the anthem, especially at Gillette. It's a lot of fun and it's a good way to get field access. My son is thrilled to take it all in.
2. So even though you live in L.A. now, you still follow your hometown teams and are passing that onto your kids?
Oh yeah. I didn't push him either. He just picked it up and loves all the big Boston teams. We watch all the time and are right there along with all the ups and downs.
3. Speaking of supporting the local teams, your new TV show, "The McCarthys," is about a Boston family that's obsessed with sports. Why are you so excited about this project?
Obviously, the Boston connection. The writer and creator [Brian Gallivan] is from Dedham, Mass., and I think he hits the nail on the head with that Boston attitude – the working-class, underdog mentality. Once I read it, I knew these characters, and it's nice that I can draw from a lifetime of experience with these kinds of people – including myself. It's fun. I think Bostonians and New Englanders will feel the authenticity, but it's going to appeal to a wider audience too.
4. Will people in other parts of the country get the sense of humor?
Yeah. We don't hit it over the head. But I think the cool thing is, the more specific you get, the more people can relate to it even if it's not really them. It's authentic and that's what's important. It's a great show and a great cast. We're having a blast.
5. Tell us about your character, Gerard.
He's pretty loud, actually. One of his quips is "volume and repetition." He's a coach, he's hungry and he feels like people don't listen to him enough. He's got a chip on his shoulder. He's very opinionated and that gets him into trouble.
6. What makes Boston fans like the McCarthy family so great?
You know, there's something about going through all the ups and downs that we had the last century and then to soak it in and enjoy all the success that we've had now. It's quite a cocktail. We're very opinionated and we just think it's black and white; there's a right way to do things and a wrong way to do things, and we think we know better.
7. Can we expect to see some love for the local teams on the show?
There's a former Celtics player who makes a cameo, but I can't tell you who. We're always giving little shout-outs to the teams and little things here and there, working it in. I look forward to doing more of that too.
8. Any Patriots?
I hope so! They're a little busy now, so maybe we've got to wait until the spring when we're hopefully still shooting and we can get them in.
9. If you could choose a player to guest star, who would it be?
Well, I know who every girl would be hoping for – it's Tom Brady. I guess every guy too. He's such a bro crush.
10. What else should people know about "The McCarthys?"
It's really funny and I think it's a good mix between an old-school traditional sitcom but it's still progressive and we're talking about stuff. We take politically incorrect stuff and we talk about it and we make mistakes about it in a safe environment. It's cool to do that in a sensitive way. When we're together in a safe environment as people and friends, we can joke about our differences and whatnot. It's nice to be on a show where we're ready to open up the dialogue a little bit.
"The McCarthys" premieres on Thursday, Oct. 30 at 9:30 p.m. on CBS.