Those who follow movies or pop culture online probably know that 2022 is the 50th anniversary of The Godfather. Diehard fans and movie buffs may have picked up the new 4K Blu-Ray or seen a restored version of the film on a limited theatrical release.
To be more exact, Thursday (March 24) was the 50th anniversary of the classic film’s release. And to commemorate the occasion, Chris Russo had a special guest on his mad dog unleashed SiriusXM broadcast. As he teased it, many listeners expected one of the film’s big stars to speak to Russo. Al Pacino! Maybe James Caan or Robert Duvall.
As Jimmy Traina pointed out, Russo was very excited about his guest, who turned out to be… Gianni Russo. Russo played Carlo Rizzi, Connie Corleone’s husband.
(If you are unfamiliar with The Godfather – which would make most sports radio hosts shake their heads – Connie, played by Talia Shire, is the daughter of mob boss Don Corleone and the younger sister of Sonny, Michael and Fredo… You know what? Watch the movie if you haven’t seen it.)
Thing is, Carlo Rizzi wasn’t exactly a big role. But if The Godfather was a sci-fi or fantasy movie, Russo could sign autographs and pose for pictures at comic book conventions for the rest of his life.
On Friday, WFAN’s Gregg Giannotti and Jerry Recco had fun with Russo’s disappointment Godfather guest. This gave Gio the opportunity to pull out his pretty solid Russo impersonation.
“Teddy Scarpacci is our guest. He was the keystone Godfather IIIGiannotti joked with appropriate volume and emphasis. “I’ve seen all behind the scenes. Caton Jones, who brought the bowl of spaghetti to Sonny in Godfather I, is with us for the next three hours. You remember this scene.
What was intriguing about the reaction was the number of directions it took. Traina took issue with Russo talking to an obscure actor about The Godfather when all the other sports radio shows were on hot topics, like the NCAA tournament, NFL trades, or even Major League Baseball. Giannotti mocked Russo’s obscure and trivial guest choice, just to talk about The Godfather.
But passion and interests are what make a radio host compelling, right? Otherwise, every show might sound the same. Maybe Russo missed the mark here. But at least we got an entertaining impersonation and jokes out of it.