On the set of
at the Los Angeles Silhouette
Club at the Angeles shooting range,
Michael Bane, producer for
and fellow Outdoor Channel friend and
personality, recently sat down with
host Joe Mantegna.
Michael: Season 3 – we are doing
pretty good, aren’t we?
Joe: Three is the charm Michael. It’s
great to be doing another season of
the show and I’m just glad to be doing
it with you, Tim, Dan and all the gang.
Here we are.
Michael: A critical question: Which
was more exciting, getting your star
on the Hollywood Walk of Fame or
getting your Golden Moose Award?
Joe: Wow. You know, it’s all great.
There’s a saying that goes – the three
greatest professions in the world are
probably to be a professional athlete,
a rock and roll star, or an actor. But
an actor is best because he can play
the other two. In a way that’s been
what my life has been like. I’ve had
a long, over-40-year career – from
playing Dean Martin to David Rossi on
Criminal Minds” to Fat Tony on “The
Simpsons” to hosting “Gun Stories” to
Godfather III.” So, to me those kind of
awards – whether it’s a Tony Award or
Golden Moose Award – I value them all
equally. I feel very blessed.
Michael: One of the guns we’re using
this season is your own personal gun,
a gift from David Mamet. Tell me a
little bit about that.
Joe: We did a play called “Speed-the-
Plow” back in 1988, Ron Silver, myself,
and Madonna, a three character
play. David Mamet, my dear friend,
presented me with this gun as my
opening night present. I guess a lot of
actors on Broadway get flowers. It was
unlikely that it would be like a 1908 Colt
automatic. But, it is a beautiful gun, and
it’s got a personal engraving on it – my
name on one side. On the other side it
says, “Never forget Chicago,” which as
Dave and I are both from that city, it’s
very apropos. So it’s one firearm that I
Michael: What kind of response do you
get from people from “Gun Stories”?
Joe: So often, especially in my profession,
people forget about what I call the middle
of America, and when I say “middle,” I
mean everything between Los Angeles
and New York, which is a lot. There’s this
whole chunk of this country that are
just your regular, hard working, normal
human beings. They’re just out there,
workaday people trying to make a
living, and a lot of them are certainly
believers of the Second Amendment
and shoot firearms for recreation or
hunting or whatever it may be. So
it’s nice as I get the emails from all of
those people who basically say, “Wow,
it’s really great to see someone in your
profession doing a show like this.” I
jokingly tell you that I think of it as the
thinking man’s gun show, but I really
Michael: That is a great definition.
Joe: I think so. I think we do that with
this show, and I am pleased to get
those kinds of email, because what
I’m trying to show is that Hollywood
isn’t anti-gun in every possible way.
We’d be hypocrites if at least a faction
of us didn’t stand up and say to our
constituents – we like the shooting
sports. So to be part of the show for
me it’s like mixing what I often do for
In the news
I’m an actor. I shoot guns. I eat Chicago food in my own
restaurant. Life’s pretty good.” –