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Kevin James talks Billy Joel friendship, recounting how they met

LI TV and movie star Kevin James discusses his longtime friendship with Billy Joel on the edition of the daytime talk show "Harry," airing Nov. 8. (Credit: NBC Universal)

Comedian Kevin James, born in Mineola and raised in Stony Brook, talks Tuesday on “Harry” about his friendship with fellow Long Islander Billy Joel. (The Harry Connick Jr. talk show airs at 4 p.m. on WNYW/5.)

“I grew up with him, man, I grew up loving him,” James, 51 — whose new CBS sitcom “Kevin Can Wait” is both shot and set on Long Island — told host Connick. “And then I went, about seven years ago or something, I saw him in a concert in Florida and I . . . asked if I could go backstage and just say hello. And I went back and I met him and . . . we just talked Long Island right away and just hit it off immediately and we’ve been friends ever since.”

“So who’s a better piano player?” famed musician and bandleader Connick, 49, teased.

“Ahhh, you mean you or him? Or me and . . .” James trailed off as the audience roared in anticipation. After a pause he continued, “So anyway, I mean, I’m friends with . . .”

Joel reportedly will make a guest appearance later this season on “Kevin Can Wait.”

James also spoke on the show about having been a fitness trainer “a long time ago.” He conceded, “ I wasn’t very motivational. I would be the guy that was like, ‘You know what? Five is more than enough reps. Just the fact that you tried shows me something. Let’s get a chocolate energy bar.’ ”

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