Q&A with Tony Danza

updated 12/27/2004 at 01:00 AM EST

originally published 12/27/2004 01:00AM

In a tough year for new talk shows, The Tony Danza Show has emerged as the surprise favorite. Danza talked to PEOPLE correspondent Mark Dagostino about making his mark in a competitive environment.

How's it going?
It's a little bit of a battle, but I don't think it should be easy. We've done more than 60 hours of shows already. Who's the Boss? was 196 episodes over eight years. That's 98 hours. I'm starting to feel more comfortable with the interviews.

Tell us about one of your favorite moments so far.
When Tony Bennett sang, I was standing there thinking, "Can you imagine what my mother would say if she saw Tony Bennett on my show?"

What's the hardest thing about a live, daily show?
You have to be totally dedicated to it. You finish, you walk off, and you get to your office, where somebody's going, "So, tomorrow..." You get no time to think. If I'm out walking around, I write down notes so I don't forget anything.

How tough is it to do your show in New York while your family lives in L.A.?
It's hard on all of us, but they're rooting for me. I finish Friday, get on a plane and come back Sunday.

What's a sign that you've made it?
They imitated me on Saturday Night Live at the "Trainwreck Awards." Tony Danza comes out in a suit with the open shirt. It was great!

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