Archive for the ‘family affair’ Category

Getting Saucy with Pasquale Caputo

Sunday, December 16th, 2012

“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)!

Sebastian Cabot and Other Swear Words

Saturday, January 28th, 2012

“Insanity is hereditary: You can get it from your children” ~ Sam Levinson

Those of you over 40 probably remember the late 60s/early 70s TV comedy Family Affair. The show was about a well-paid hip bachelor with a to die for Manhattan apartment who, after his brother and sister-in-law die in an accident (wow what a fun premise for a comedy!), “inherits” three of his brother’s children. The trio included 6 year old red-headed twins Buffy and Jody – who totally annoyed me – and their 15 year old sister, Cissy.

ITALIAN LESSON: To swear = bestemmiare

In my four-year old mind, the real star of the show was the house butler, Mr. French. Mr. French was a proper English gentleman, and he seemed so likable to me. Looking back, I actually think I was more intrigued with his real name than his character on the show or that signature black umbrella he toted around New York. You see, the actor’s name was Sebastian Cabot, but I thought it was Sir Bastard Cabinet.

I think Mom and I called him Sir Bastard Cabinet for years, even once I knew what his name really was (and I think Mom just got a kick out of it). Plus, it was burned into my brain cells, just like freckles (see Freckles post).

Next up, a post about how my four syllable first name became the one syllable name it is today. Wow, how lucky I am to have so many sweet memories, thanks to hours upon hours of chats with my Mom. Kudos to Mom, and thank you to Sir Bastard.

Please share in the comments spot: Do you remember this show and/or what were YOUR funny names for people from your childhood?