I think Pope Francis would like this guy

Anyone who caught the Tony Awards last night saw the wonderful acceptance speech of James Monroe Igelhart, who won for his eye-popping, grin-inducing, hyper-caffeinated performance as the Genie in Disney’s “Aladdin.”

Taking the stage after winning, he made a point of thanking God, first and foremost (he was emphatic about it, too) and then concluded with a zippy “praise shout.”

The New York Times caught up with him in the press room later:

 “The praise shout was not planned,” he said. “If it’s planned, it’s not real. I had to give praise because my mama told me to keep God first and blessings would happen.” Also, he added, “The Tonys is the most dignified awards show, and I wanted to undignify it a little.”

Speaking of not too dignified, Mr. Iglehart said he would not be having dinner at a fancy restaurant Sunday night. He and his wife were going to hit McDonald’s because it keeps him humble, he said. Then “we go back to our house, and we kick it with our cats, and this lets us know that this is still real life.”

If you want to see what a winner looks like, check out the performance from the Tonys. It’s hard not to get a big kick out of someone who is having such a great time—and clearly doing what he loves:


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