NEW YORK (WABC) --Sean Hayes was a star of one of the most popular sitcoms of the previous decade, and now, he is back on Broadway starring in the hit show "An Act of God."
Fame on television means Hayes gets his name above the title on the marquee, where he is spending the summer playing the Holy Father. But even though you know him best as Jack in "Will and Grace," the actor first found a home on stage in junior high school.
And even though playing God is a fool's mission, his role still makes him nervous.
"I think when you don't get nervous, that's when you should be worried," he said. "Because then you take it for granted, and it's not fun anymore."
God has two assistants, but it's essentially a one-man show.
"Every day I come to the theater, it's mind-blowing," he said. "I mean, it's a dream come true that your name is in lights on Broadway, ever since you were a kid, wanting to be an actor like me."
His father left when he was young, never to return.
"I think all of that pain you experienced as a child, you turn into comedy," Hayes said. "It's a defense mechanism, and it's how you coped."
The future star discovered theater could be a refuge.
"I knew I wanted to hang out with these people in theater, because they were the most creative, funniest, most clever people," he said.
Hayes found his calling as a teenager, delivering a single line from a Shakespeare play.
"It got a massive laugh, and I was shocked," he said. "I couldn't believe it, and it was like a five-minute laugh. And I got off-stage, and I was like what just happened? And that's when it clicked for me."
A decade later, Hayes was a household name. "Will and Grace" earned him an Emmy award, and he also earned a Tony nomination five years before "An Act of God" brought him back to Broadway.
"An Act of God" runs an hour and a half without an intermission, but it has more laughs per minute than any other show on Broadway right now. It's a limited engagement, however, and it isn't set to run past this summer.