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Review: Maurice Benard puts Long Island into his ‘State of Mind’

On April 21, actor Maurice Benard (“General Hospital”) appeared at Governor’s Comedy Club in Levittown, New York.

Maurice Benard
Maurice Benard. Photo Courtesy of ABC, Christine Bartolucci
Maurice Benard. Photo Courtesy of ABC, Christine Bartolucci

On April 21, actor Maurice Benard (“General Hospital”) appeared at Governor’s Comedy Club in Levittown, New York. This Long Island show was a tour stop on his “You’re Stronger Than You Know” Tour.

A three-time Emmy award-winning actor, Benard plays the role of Sonny Corinthos on “General Hospital” for well over three decades, who is known as the “Godfather of Port Charles.” The ABC daytime drama has been on the air for 61 years (it first aired on April 1, 1963).

“How is everybody doing?” he asked, and the sold-out venue erupted in applause. It was part stand-up comedy, and a Question and Answer (Q &A) session with the audience.

Benard foreshadowed that he filmed some interesting scenes this week on the show, and he hopes that everybody enjoys them (these will air in the near future).

Overcoming anxiety and depression

During this tour, he shared that he has taken nine planes without any anxiety incidents (unlike past years). “Anxiety can get you,” he said. “It creeps up on you.”

At this stage of his life, Benard acknowledged that he is at peace with his bipolar disorder. “Bipolar is cool with me, and the same with depression,” he admitted.

“I’ve been embarking on a spiritual journey and getting closer to God. You need a higher power,” he explained.

The lessons learned from his ‘State of Mind’ podcast

Benard is the host of his weekly “State of Mind” podcast on mental health. “I love talking about deep things,” he noted.

On the greatest lesson that his “State of Mind” podcast has taught him about himself, Benard said with a sweet laugh, “I didn’t know I was going to be some interview dude.”

“I just believed in it when I was doing it in the car, and I was promoting my book and I knew that something special was going on,” he acknowledged. “It taught me that we need to speak about these things pertaining to mental health. You just can’t hold these things in. If you don’t let it out, and you keep things in, later it will be way worse.”

This in-person fan event was a firm reminder that “you are stronger than you know” and that “your tears are your strength.”

Steve Burton back as Jason Morgan

Benard had great words about Steve Burton being back on the show as Jason Morgan. “Steve is a good guy,” he said, prior to noting that they are “like brothers.”

Working with Max Gail on the Alzheimer’s storyline

Benard also recalled working with veteran actor Max Gail on the Alzheimer’s storyline on the show. “The Alzheimer’s story was amazing,” he exclaimed. “When I started the story with Max, who is a great actor, my father got Alzheimer’s around the same time and then, the pandemic hit.”

“After the pandemic, I had to return to this storyline and I was very fragile, and I just said ‘I’m just going to say the lines, I’m not going to act.’ From that came what you guys saw, and Max Gail and I won a total of four Emmys amongst the both of us for it, two Emmys each. It was probably the most important storyline that I have ever been involved in, along with the AIDS storyline.”

“Also, some of the bi-polar storylines have been pretty special too,” he added.

Jackie Zeman

He also remembered the late Jackie Zeman, and he stated that he got to know her better after she did his “State of Mind” podcast. “I got to know Jackie as a beautiful person,” he recalled.

Fun and lighthearted questions

Some fun and lighthearted questions that he answered from the crowd included his favorite group being Earth, Wind & Fire, and his favorite singer is the late Elvis Presley.

His travel destination of choice would be Puerto Rico, especially since he enjoys the “water there.”

Benard also enjoys doing boxing for fun, as well as spending time with his granddaughter, goats (including “Buddy the Goat”), and parrots. “I used to box for 25 years,” Benard said, prior to underscoring the importance of staying active.

Joshua Benard

He revealed that his son Joshua “JJ” Benard is self-taught in piano, guitar, and singing. Joshua is in the process of making an album.

Benard also fondly remembered the late Tyler Christopher, who originated the role of Nikolas Cassadine on the show.

Maurice Benard thanks the fans

For his dedicated “General Hospital” fans, Benard said, “This crowd has been incredible. It is always incredible to come out. It involves laughing but it is also deep. It is a whole experience. I would love to someday do a one-man show about my life.”

“The ‘General Hospital’ fans are just incredible, and I love you all,” Benard concluded.

To learn more about Maurice Benard, follow him on Instagram.

For more information on State of Mind, check out the podcast on YouTube.

Markos Papadatos
Written By

Markos Papadatos is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for Music News. Papadatos is a Greek-American journalist and educator that has authored over 21,000 original articles over the past 18 years. He has interviewed some of the biggest names in music, entertainment, lifestyle, magic, and sports. He is a 16-time "Best of Long Island" winner, where for three consecutive years (2020, 2021, and 2022), he was honored as the "Best Long Island Personality" in Arts & Entertainment, an honor that has gone to Billy Joel six times.

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