Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Good Catholic Fun

Here's a joke I heard Saturday night:

"What do you call a sleepwalking nun?

A roamin' Catholic." Yuk yuk.

This is the sort of humor you can expect at the Viviano Variety show. The Vivianos are this Italian-American Catholic family and every year they put on this * show. *
Jerry Viviano is the main one running the thing. But his brothers Tony, Frank and Joe help out. Each of the brothers do their own schtick. Tony comes out and sings like Tony Bennett. Frank imitates schlockmeisters like Tony Orlando. Joe is always "the chairman of the board" - Frank Sinatra. And Jerry, the host, does Dean Martin. Every year he opens the show by coming out with a gigantic wine glass and he staggers across the stage and slurs into the microphone. Even my kids know the routine. It has become a pre-Thanksgiving tradition for us. Why, it wouldn't feel like the holidays if we didn't see Jerry Viviano pretending to be snockered and singing like Dino.

We go to this show every year because Roger plays in the band and gets us tickets. Besides the Viviano yuk-yuks, there is usually a ballroom dancing duo, a baton twirler (world class though, winner of international awards and really good), a juggler and fire-eater, a comedian, a troupe of swing-style dancers, a wise-cracking female barbershop quartet, an African-American guy doing Motown numbers and painfully lame comedy bits in-between numbers. Like two guys wheeling a dolly out onstage and then commencing to sing, "Hello Dolly."

Thank goodness it's all for charity and the show manages to raise a lot of money every year. They alternate where the proceeds go. To the Don Bosco Center one year, to Catholic Charities the next, and back and forth. This was a Catholic Charities year.

My favorite bit this year was a young guy who dressed, sang and danced like Michael Jackson in his "Billie Jean" days. He did the most amazing moonwalk across the stage.


  1. oh, that sounds like SO much fun! good variety shows are hard to come by these props to the catholic bros. for their faithful production! and a great tradition for your family to boot.

  2. I agree with suzanne and your writing is nicely arranged. Good Show Shimmy!