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‘Ricky Stanicky’: Who Is Andrew Santino?

IN THE ZANY new comedy Ricky Stanicky, three lifelong friends think they’ve perfected the art of getting away with lying to their wives: whenever they want an impromptu boys’ weekend, they simply claim that their old pal Ricky Stanicky, who doesn’t actually exist, needs their help. When the ruse finally starts to wear thin, they decide to hire a down-on-his-luck rock tribute act to portray their fake friend—but he goes method, throwing their lives into utter chaos.

Ricky Stanicky stars a game-as-ever John Cena as the unhinged central role. The trio of friends consists of confident leader Dean, played by Zac Efron, stoner Wes, played by comedian Jermaine Fowler, and highly strung new dad JT, played by Andrew Santino.

Santino is an actor and comedian known for his work in stand-up, as well as his performances on the TV series I’m Dying Up Here, which followed a group of struggling stand-up comics in the ’70s, and the hit drama This Is Us.

Santino is the producer and host of the podcast Whiskey Ginger, in which he and guests from the entertainment industry drink whiskey while chatting, and for the last three years he has hosted the Bad Friends podcast alongside fellow comedian Bobby Lee.

andrew santino, jermaine fowler, zac efron, ricky stanicky

Amazon Prime

If you’re not familiar with his podcast, then there’s still a chance you’ll recognize him from some of his more recent TV appearances. He was in the main cast of the FXX series DAVE, playing the titular character’s roommate and manager. He also had a recurring role in Netflix’s Beef.

In a recent interview with CBR, Santino spoke about how he channels his experience doing stand-up into the new and unique challenges of screen acting.

“I mean, you do take that fearlessness, that thing you need to have to settle in and really work on something,” he said. “Comedy is whittling down a thought, an idea, and a premise, down to something you think people will receive at a universal scale, to some degree. And that’s what I think this is. It’s like, ‘How do you whittle down this character into something people will want to watch, and why is it important to want to see this person? What are they offering the audience?’ So I think it’s similar in that regard.

Outside of that, I don’t really know — they’re like two different dances,” he continued. “They’re dynamically different. But they share timing and rhythm that is similar. The rhythm of a scene is like the rhythm of a good stand-up act, or a good joke. It’s gotta have this nice pace to it to make it comfortable to watch and fun.”

Headshot of Philip Ellis

Philip Ellis is News Editor at Men’s Health, covering fitness, pop culture, sex and relationships, and LGBTQ+ issues. His work has appeared in GQ, Teen Vogue, Man Repeller and MTV, and he is the author of Love & Other Scams.

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