1 9 7 5 (USA)
8 (13) x 30 minute episodes
This short-lived NBC Thursday night sitcom premiered on 4 September 1975 and revolved around stern but lovable patriarch Tony Montefusco (Joseph Sirola) and his large Italian-American family, which included several adult sons and a grown-up daughter.
Oldest son Frank (Ron Carey) was a dentist with a perennially pregnant wife, Theresa (Phoebe Dorin), second son Joey (John Aprea) was a Catholic priest, and youngest son, Nunzio (Sal Viscuso) was an aspiring actor, Casanova and comedian.
Tony’s daughter Angela (Linda Dano) had committed the unpardonable sin of marrying a man who was neither Italian nor Catholic. Her husband, Jim Cooney (William Cort) was, in fact, Episcopalian – which scandalised Tony who addressed his son-in-law as ‘Cooney’ and referred to him contemptuously as “my Episcopalian son-in-law”.
The Connecticut Montefusco clan were duty-bound to gather every week for Sunday dinner at their parents’ home, giving ample opportunity to trot out racial stereotype after racial stereotype.
The show was as Italian as bottled spaghetti sauce and terrible in every sense of the word.
It was cancelled after only three weeks on the air and the final episode aired on 23 October 1975. Of the 13 episodes which were videotaped, only eight were aired.
Joseph ‘Joey’ Montefusco
Angela Montefusco Cooney
Behind Papa’s Back | My Son the Actor | Nunzie’s Girl | The Last of the Red Hot Dinners | Do You Take This Montefusco? | Too Many Cooks | Here Comes the Priest | Filomena’s Visit