It was a question that came in the form of an email leading up to my chat with Josh Groban, the celebrated multi-hyphenate who’s fast becoming just as known for his acting roles as his lush singing career. “I know you might not be thrilled about this,” my editor wrote me. “But since we’re Playboy, I think we should ask him something about the rumors that he’s well-endowed, just as a fun thing to see what he says, since people like Jon Hamm have addressed similar rumors about themselves in the past.” How does one bring up the size of one’s, uh, package to a singer who, by all accounts, exudes class and whose fans consist of, well, moms? Like any noble writer, the fact it was my editor who was wondering provided a worthy scapegoat.
The Good Cop’s story lines are easy to follow, yet edgy enough for the adult viewers in Groban’s demo: i.e., older. That target audience is one Groban has cultivated since legendary producer David Foster plucked him from youthful obscurity and turned him into a rare modern-day crooner. “I was thrown into this huge, very heady world as a teenager,” Groban explains of his big break, a now-legendary story when a young Groban filled in for Andrea Bocelli during a Grammy rehearsal and delivered a performance that would essentially launch his career. “I found myself really kind of a different type of audience than who I was at that time,” he says, reflecting back on the origin of his career. “I was a 17-year-old kid, but definitely singing for an older audience. It wasn’t a bad thing, but it added the pressure, because I didn’t get to goof up, be stupid or make mistakes. I had to maintain a certain level because I had an audience who was more intelligent and got used to a certain sound from me.”
In a scenario like a party or date, I’m quite nervous. Singing is a very vulnerable thing for me. I’ve never showed off with it.
That’s not to say Groban is living a stress-free life today. Despite having an impressive weapon in the form of his distinctive voice, has he ever sung to a date? “Absolutely not. I can think of nothing more embarrassing.” What about being the life of a party and getting behind the piano? “It makes me want to crawl into a hole. I get more nervous about rhythmic clapping to go play a piano in the corner than I do playing Madison Square Garden.” It’s an aversion Groban credits to “major social anxiety. When I’m on stage, I can control what’s happening up there. I’m ready to go, I’ve invited people into my world and we’re going to put on a kickass show. In a scenario like a party or date, I’m quite nervous. Singing is a very vulnerable thing for me. I’ve never showed off with it.”
Fortunately for Groban, with The Good Cop available to binge, and Bridges out into the world, he’ll have the opportunity for that very audience interaction while on a nationwide tour with Idina Menzel—an invitation to which he’s kindly extended to my editor. “I’ll wear some tight pants, and he can answer his own question.“