Archive for the ‘pat cooper’ Category

Seeing Stars, Part I

Friday, July 12th, 2013

“I’ve always been famous, it’s just no one knew it yet.”
~ Lady Gaga

With New Jersey’s governor Chris Christie (or, as Ma called him, “Krispy Kreme”) in the news lately, I began thinking about famous people (for better or worse) I’ve met over the years. Hopefully those Omega 3s I pop daily will keep my noggin sharp down the road, but just in case memory lapses are part of my future, I thought it would be a good idea to jot them down. Plus, I want to hear about YOUR celebrity meet & greets, so away we go!

Chris Christie: I met a much slimmer-than-now Christie at the polls while I was living in Mendham, NJ. Christie was running for the Morris County Board of Chosen Freeholders, which he won in 1994. I shook his hand, and chatted with him about how I was voting. Christie was a very pleasant and personable guy. I say now that if he’s ever elected president, at least I can say I met him!

Stephen Furst: Hubby Andrew & I took the very entertaining (and very slimmed down) Stephen, aka “Flounder” from Animal House out to dinner a few times while he was working on a video and book with the publisher I was working for. He’s a friendly and funny guy, but if you ever invite him over, make sure you have Equal sugar substitute, he’s pretty OCD about his eating habits.


Pat Cooper: I’m still going nuts trying to find my photo with the always off-the-wall Pasquale Caputo. He looked me up and down and said to me with a smirk, “you were never a little girl,” when I told him I grew up listening to his albums. He was ridiculously hilarious as usual. This was at a radio gig back in the 90s with host “get off my phone” Bob Grant from WABC radio. More about Pat and his records in this post: Getting Saucy with Pasquale Caputo

(ITALIAN LESSON: Famous = Famoso is masculine form & famosa is the feminine.)

Jim Gaffigan: Jim was cool. I hooked him up with some books about diabetes for his mom, and he goofed around with me, my hubby and our crew while seeing his show in NYC. He also gave me a big bear hug and a signed CD — LOVE that Jim!

Gladys Knight: A PIP-less Gladys worked on a cookbook with us at my old publishing gig. I think Gladys majored in DIVA, and was quite well at it. For example, she wanted to travel with a whole entourage at the expense of a non-profit, Nice, huh?

Peter Tork: WHOO HOO! I met my favorite MONKEE just a couple years ago at a gig in Philly. He told me he was a “dirty ol’ man”!

peter tork now

Pete Best: One of the original Beatles, Pete was a quiet guy. I think I told him something silly about the britches from Harrods London I was wearing that night. This was after a few cocktails 😉

Jake LaMotta I met the one and only Raging Bull at a golf event with fellow boxers, including Muhammad Ali. When I asked for a pic with him, he was like, “SIT DOWN HERE” and put his arm around me. Here’s a photo, complete with my Jersey Girl hair:

jake lamatta

Howard Stern: Met Howard, Robin and the entire gang of Stern misfits at a Private Parts book signing in NYC. SIDE NOTE: I was also a call in dial-a-date with Howard on FM radio. He had me do a shower scene with him, but I wouldn’t go below his shoulders — it was really funny. Damn, wish I could find that tape!!

Penn & Teller This was a fun one, and a double hit! While living in Alexandria, VA Andrew and I attended their show in DC. Penn asked for an audience member who knew how to shoot a gun, so I raised my hand and told them about my 357 Magnum, and VOILA! So they called me up on stage for their famous Magic Bullet trick, which was a blast! (sorry, I simply couldn’t resist.) After the show Andrew and I chatted with them, and they gave us a few autographed photos as souvenirs.

Chase Utley: Having brunch at Green Eggs Cafe, and this adorable Phillie said he was sorry for parking so close to my curbside table. Ahhh…handsome and great manners!

chase utley

Please share your celeb sightings, meetings or a story about your favorite chance (or not so chance) encounter. I’d also love to hear which celebrity you’d love to meet! Just head on over to the comments section below. GRAZIE!

You Don’t Have to be Italian

Friday, March 1st, 2013

mad pasta

♪♫•*♥ “You Don’t Have To Be Italian” by Pat Cooper (aka Pasquale Caputo)

You Don't Have To Be Italian by Pat Cooper on Grooveshark

is one of my all-time favorite Italian-themed songs. If you’re not yet acquainted with Pasquale you can meet him at Getting Saucy with Pasquale Caputo.

I love it, but whenever I listen I’m sure to have the tissues ready. I tear up, sometimes even blubber a bit, as the song instantly transports me back a few decades. Even though it’s a happy place I end up, it makes me realize how fast life goes by, and how many precious memories I have stored in the vault between my ears.

So here I am, zapped back to our cozy wood-paneled living room at our Lehigh Street duplex in Dover, NJ. Mom and dad are hanging out on a chilly winter’s night listening to a few Pat Cooper comedy albums, and Dad takes Mom’s hand for a little twirl around the braided rug when this tune comes on. Even better, I know it was one of their favorites too.

It’s really about the little things in life, isn’t it?

pat coop

What songs or comedians bring you back? I’d love to hear about them, so don’t be shy, please share!

p.s. If you cannot see the SONG PLAY link above, just click HERE.

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)!