Home Television Comedy Flatbush

Flatbush

1 9 7 9 (USA)
6 x 30 minute episodes

Presto, Socks, Turtle, Joey and Figgy were just-out-of-high-school teenagers living in the mostly Italian neighbourhood of Flatbush, Brooklyn who called themselves ‘the Fungos’ and got about in their cherished ‘Fungomobile’.

Joseph Cali, who appeared with John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever (1977), portrayed Presto Prestopopolos, the unofficial leader of the group. As a typical Brooklyn taxi driver, Presto knew the ways and byways of his borough and was a stabilising influence on his buddies.

Socks Palermo (Adrian Zmed) was the fashion plate of the Fungos, and the fact that he worked in a men’s apparel store made him the fashion arbiter of the group.

Figgy Figueroa (Sandy Helberg) earned his keep delivering groceries and pedalled his bike around the neighbourhood he had known all his life. He loved the neighbourhood, and the neighbours all loved Figgy.

Joey Dee (Randy Stumpf) was the serious member of the group, studying law at night while working as an apprentice plumber during the day. He was also the incurable romantic of the gang and, for two years, had been unofficially engaged to a neighbourhood girl.

Rounding out the quintet was Turtle Romero (Vincent Bufano) who worked in his family restaurant. Turtle was the brawniest Fungo but his loyalty was as large and encompassing as his spectacular physical build.

Also starring in the series was Anthony Ponzini as Esposito, the local pool hall owner whose bark was more formidable than his bite. Mrs Fortunato (Helen Verbit) was the nosy neighbourhood gossip.

The short-lived series – six episodes were filmed but only three aired – chronicled their misadventures at work, on the streets, with members of the opposite sex and with (and against) the sometimes eccentric members of their neighbourhood.

Presto Prestopopolos
Joseph Cali
Socks Palermo
Adrian Zmed
Turtle Romero
Vincent Bufano
Joey Dee
Randy Stumpf
Figgy Figueroa
Sandy Helberg
Esposito
Anthony Ponzini
Mrs Fortunato
Helen Verbit