“Love and understand the Italians, for the people are more marvellous than the land.” ~ E. M. Forster
I love to laugh! Fortunately my parents did as well, and I remember listening in while they were relaxing at home enjoying their collection of Pat Cooper comedy records. Pat Cooper (born Pasquale Caputo) is a comedian every Italian should be familiar with. Cooper was born in Brooklyn, New York, and found his fame working the comedy clubs from Atlantic City to Vegas back in the 1960s. He found a whole new fan base with a number of erratic yet hysterical appearances on the Howard Stern radio show, and Cooper still performs at a few venues around the U.S. today.
I must have been about six years old when Mom and Dad were having their comedy hour, so I didn’t get all the jokes, but I found the album covers fascinatingly funny, and I loved singing along to the Italian songs.
“YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE ITALIAN” is still one of my favorite bits to play on vinyl. I was thrilled to find all of these albums again on Ebay, restoring the lost-over-the-years family collection. When I have a listen now, I feel transported back to those good old days of being a six year old, laughing and singing with Mom and Dad.
(ITALIAN LESSON: Thanks for the memories = Grazie per i ricordi)
In my twenties I met Pat Cooper, and I remember telling him how I loved listening to his records as a girl. He looked me up and down, winked and said with a sly smile “Come on, you were never a little girl”. It was a cute way from a guy I admired (who happened to be the same age as my Dad) to give me a little flirt. Good times, good times.
Who makes you laugh? Let me know in the comments section!
BONUS for all Cooper fans! Here’s a string of his tunes from back in the day. Just click HERE to listen. Buon divertimento (enjoy yourself)!