Friday, September 10, 2010

Daily Show fights discrimination on Staten Island

There must be a casting agent that doles out guidos every time a television show wants to film on Staten Island.

In last night's Daily Show 'Staten Island Supreme Court' piece, the crew scoured the Island to find a veritable cast of candidates for the Supreme Court - but, predictably, they found a bunch of guidos, some with a history of reality show appearances. (Was the Tea Party not available?)

Matthew Titone also makes an appearance, but the real meat of the piece follows the Jersey Shore model: throw a bunch of Italians in a room and wait for them to say funny shit. The same method we used at our weekly Sunday dinners growing up.

In case you missed it, watch and learn:


  1. There totally IS such a casting agent. His name is Vinnie Potestivo and YES, he is from Staten Island.

  2. It makes me sad that the Daily Show did this. Usually, Jon Stewart et all are exposing the shallowness and dumbing-down of TV news. Sometimes, they travel to a specific community to--admittedly--poke fun at a particular politico, activist or community that is being intolerant/ridiculous/ignorant on a certain issue.

    Despite the fact that these 'guidos' declare gay marriage OK and Prop 8 unconstitutional, making a 'liberal activist' ruling, the piece in general panders to exactly the kinds of lowest-common-denominator coverage they usually lampoon.

    You'd hope that a program like the Daily Show would have some individuality in the way that they look at Staten, considering the place is roundly ridiculed by other outlets. And your hopes would be dashed, apparently. I'm a huge fan of The Daily show, because I believe the show traditionally fights for the underdog. On this segment, they fucked the underdog.

  3. Ben, I see your point about the Daily Show's handling of this piece. But being the premise itself is ridiculous (Staten Island needs a Supreme Court Justice) they are not obligated to treat it with the seriousness of, say, the Murfreesboro mosque controversy.

    What bothers me is, as dice points out, there is a cottage industry of casting agents, bookers, and "talent" trying to capitalize on the 'Jersey Shore' craze (the most popular show on TV) and doing this relies upon, among other things, the perception that young Italians from SI are naive, shallow, materialistic goons.

    And the fact that these same characters keep cropping up, I'd point the blame at them and the agencies exploiting them - and us - with the hopes of producing mini-Situations, or whatever.

    It's a multi-million dollar industry at this point, and everyone wants to cash in. They'll be selling out Staten Island in the process.

  4. I've known of Vinnie Potestivo for several years. What a toxic douchebag.

  5. For the record, Vinnie Potestivo (www.vinniepcom) has never cast a guido or an Italian-American who was portrayed negatively in any show. He has nothing to do with Jersey Shore, Bridge & Tunnel or any of the True Life episodes.