The journey of Wayne Brady, star of his own variety show and last month's Disney Channel flick Going To The Mat, began at Disney World in Orlando. "I was 15, and it was like, 'Okay, you're six feet tall? You'll fit in the Goofy outfit,' " he tells me, immediately demystifying Disney's selection process. "It's not because I went, 'Hey, look at me, I'm Goofy!' It was, 'You fit in the Goofy outfit.'" Once in costume, however, Brady performed, and that's the secret to his fast track to fame. From there, he moved to the Universal Studios theme-park stage, working on The Ghostbusters Show, then singing doo-wop in the Earthquake attraction, and, finally, playing Dracula five shows a day in the Beetlejuice Rock and Roll Show. Then it was on to local dinner and community theater before making his way to L.A., where he made a name for himself starring with Drew Carey in the improv sensation Whose Line is It Anyway?, followed by a short-lived nighttime TV variety series and then his own Emmy-winning daytime talk show, which ends next month. But it was Brady's Orlando training that gave him the keys to the kingdom, the secret to show business success. "Working as an entertainer for Disney, it's all about making the guests happy," he says. "The audience comes first. I had that instilled in me. Even if you're having a horrible day, once you go on stage, once you're in front of your audience, they need to be entertained." Here, Brady entertains us with a tour of the sunny city that gave him his start.
When did you first visit the Magic Kingdom?