Wise Guys, Cartoons & Comedy Shorts. December 2005

Hi Guys,

Well by now most of your holiday shopping is done..Yeah, right! Okay well most of your cards are sent out? Think again. Okay, well at least the fruit cake is being used as a door stop. Either way, no matter where you are I hope you are going to take time to enjoy the holiday …knowing at least you will have a few days off of work.

Soooo, on the Capo end, here’s whats been happening:

When Last I left you, I had just gotten back from my Polar Bear expedition in Churchill, Canada. Climbing in unoccupied mother baby dens, watching the bears from tundra vechicles and watching the tranquilzed prison immates being flown out to the wilderness.

As soon as we got back from our little outing with the bears I did a bunch of radio shows, including one today for WNYC radio where I read, Twas the Night before Christmas really fast. Also did some international shows…two in Dublin, Ireland (no I did not go there, I was here comfy in my home) a few more in Canada, and two in studio shows:

THE WISE GUY RADIO SHOW (Sirus Radio – Wed. Nights)

Don’t know if you know it but a bunch of guys from the Sopranos have their own radio show on Sirius radio. It’s hosted by “Big (kitty cat)”- Vince Pastore, (I’m not using the P word so that this thing doesn’t get sent to your spam folder.) It’s basically 5 soprano guys (including Little Steven Van Zandt and Uncle Floyed) sitting around shooting the breeze, giving movies ratings in terms of how many meatballs, a little banter and a whole lot of macho.

Anyway, I got invited on to talk about my book, “Almost a Wise Guy”. The show is very informal. I knew I’d fit right in when the first thing that happened was I said, “I’m from Howard Beach, you know John Gotti country.” One old guy turns around and says, “You know the deli on the corner?” I say, “What deli are you talking about?” He says “You know the deli?” I say, “There are lots of delis which one do you mean?” He says “You gotta ask me that, then You aint’ from Howard Beach.” I was just about to answer and “Big P” chimes in, “Is that a way to treat our guest by calling her a liar.” So I chimed back to the guy, “Listen don’t make me smack you. My last is Capo, and that name hasn’t been shortened or changed.” Then another guy known as the Mayor of Little Italy goes, “Capo di tutti Boss of the bosses…as in head of the mob.” Then Big P, says, “Sorry if he offended you.” Then the old guy chimes in, “Did I offend you?” Now I’m not sure who to offend…so I say “What can I say, I’m from Howard Beach, and I don’t know about the freakin deli.” The old guy shrugs and offers me a canoli. Then Big P switches it and starts talking about my book, and how its a true comic crime novel about my dad. I was supposed to be on for 15 minutes, I stayed the whole hour. It was great. Got invited to do a booksigning in a restaurant in Little Italy, ate some meatballs and cannolis, Spencer got to go on and do some of his stand up and I walked away feeling like I had been to a family reunion.


Then as a complete switch, a friend of mine this guy Jim Kwick (yup that’s his real last name…he does speed reading and memory training…great guy) tells his friend Art Zukerman about me. Art has a weekly radio show with his wife in New Rochelle. He invites me and Spencer on to co-host the show for a 1/2 hour. So in the process we start talking…turns out he also does walking tours of New York and he has my New York book. (I might do some with him..)

Anyway, One thing leads to another and we find out we have a lot of common business friends, interests etc. So before you know it, not only are Spencer and my self coming to the show, but my fiance Steve (for computers), his daughter Jamie (to talk about how many times she read my Almost a WIse Guy book and her step-dad Stephan, who I call “Joe” (to talk about his personal training stuff.) So the 5 of us walk into the studio. Art can’t get over the fact that its’ the step father and father all as one big happy family.

He sets up chairs in the studio for all of us. Steve who has swore he would never go on camera or on radio stays outside the studio…thinking that he is safe.

So naturally we start the show and I introduce everyone that is in the studio and then I say,

“And of course there is my fiance, Steve who is standing outside the studio thinking he is safe because he doesn’t have to talk…Little does he know of course that now I can say anything I want about him and he has no defense.”

At this point I’m getting a fist held up on the other side of the glass studio wall. So we all start nudging Steve. He refuses to come in.

Art turns to me and winks, how bout you tell me a real good “Steve story”.

So I tell about the time that we ran the marathon, how I finished ahead of Steve wondered where he was, felt a tap on my shoulder and turned and said, “No way in hell you ran faster and beat me.”

To which he replies, “No I ran half way and took the bus.”

Art temps steve…you gonna let her tell the story that way. Steve comes in the studio tells his side (which is that he will run the other half next year) etc.

Then Art asks, “So Steve what do you think of this adventurous woman you are with?” All eyes are on him – the man that doesn’t talk.

He leans into the mike….and did what any man would do in his position….”Well Art she always says I don’t talk enough, so Fran here it is. You are the most beautiful, wonderful, loving woman in the world. I’m so lucky to have met you..” it goes on and on. It’s getting deep in the studio, but I still turn red, am speechless, he exists laughing. After the show he says, “Well that’s it, its on tape for the whole world to hear, now you can never say I never say anything nice again…I have witnesses.”

We all were shocked he said that much. I’m going to sell the tape to his family.


People have always said, “Capo you’re a real character”…so I guess it’s on ly fitting that I’ve been made into a cartoon not once, but twice! Turns out a few years ago Ripley’s Believe it or Not ran a cartoon on me about me being the fastest talker. John Graziano, the official Ripley’s artist (and the one who did the cartoon drawings of the Titanic for me on the certificates) told me about it and sent me a copy of the old one. I sent them to people in their Christmas/Chanukah/ holiday cards (Is that politically correct enough?) Anyway, John, has me in the cartoon column today, Dec. 22nd. )

If you check out www.comics.com then go to “Ripley’s Believe it or Not” on the left hand side, you will see the NEW cartoon they did on me with regards to my latest records of Kilimanjaro and the Titanic. Click here… Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Its cool seeing myself as a cartoon, hell maybe I’ll do an ongoing cartoon of me as “Adventure Woman!”


On Sunday, November 6th…Me, Spencer (my son) and some friends went to watch the monthly comedy film festival that Chicago City Limits (The famous improv troupe) puts on. At the end of each festival since it’s an improv troupe, they have the audience yell out the name of a movie title they’d like to see. Spencer yelled out, “How to Spot a truly Vicious person in Church.” They liked the title and took it. Then they pick a name out of hat (that is filled with audience members names) and announce who is going to star in the above named film. Well by pure luck they picked Spencer’s name. They assign you a director from a previous movie to work with you. In one month you come back and the film is shown at the Pioneer theater in Manhattan.

Sounds easy enough…yeah if you have a wide open schedule. So to make a long story short after a series of emails, Spencer and the director Matt Timms meet. They work out some scene ideas.

Because of time conflicts Matt turns it over to Spencer to write the movie. The key is he has to star in it…so we decide it should be like Eddie Murphy movie and he plays most of the characters.

The only day Matt has available to shoot is Saturday, Dec. 3rd. The day before it is to be shown at the Pioneer theater in Manhattan. Talk about pressure.

In addition a journalist student from St. Johns wants to do a story on me and spencer. I tell her she can do the story if she agrees to be an extra in the movie…hey you gotta get talent whatever way you can. We also recruit my mom, my sister, and my niece to play churchgoers.

We turn the Howard Beach Capo basement into a makeshift Church. By a $9.99 priest outfit for Spence, a Rabbi outfit for me and take it from there. We had Spencer do the voiceovers of how to spot these vicious people in church. The end scene was funny in that we are having everyone put something “bad” in the church money basket. My niece puts in a dirty tissue, my sister a pack of cigarettes and we figured it would be good for my mom (Spencers GRANDMOTHER) to put a condom in. Of course this was a last minute decision and none of us had condoms on us (at least no one owned up to it.)

So we have Spencer and the journalist (nicole go to the Howard Beach DELI—yup the deli the wise guy was talking about) and purchase a box of condoms…Just as he did an old friend of Spencers’ walks up to him…”Hey Spencer haven’t seen you in a while, what you been up to man.” Spencer pulls the box of condoms out of the paper bag and smiles. The kid is dumbfounded. Nicole goes, “Yup I’m his babe.” The kid just walks away.

So now Spencer and Nicole come back and we are ready to shoot the scene. My mom is just suppposed to stick it in the condom. At the last minute she adds an acting touch, and decides to kiss the packet before putting it in…it was priceless. Way to go Grandma!

As a side note Spencer is handing this in as an acting project at school, all I can say is the teacher is going to say, “Spence you have quite a family.”

(BTW….if you guys want to see some independent comedy films….the next event is January 1st at 7 PM.)


Did a 1 hour TALK ON THE TITANIC- (Bryant Library)

Well it was supposed to be an hour…but the people kept asking me to stay longer, so I did. The highlight of the event came when one woman after my speaking said, “I think I would have shot that Japanese woman after an hour in the sub with her!”

Anyway, my talk was followed by a 1/2 video showing the dive to the wreck…it went well, and I already got an offer to come back again. (BTW, if you know of any corporation or group that would want me to speak on this subject (or any of my adventures….email me and I’d be happy to do it…(and if you set it up I’ll give you a 10% agent fee…share the wealth.)

As a side note: I am putting together a 1 HOUR DVD OF TITANIC- “Voyage to the Titanic.” It’s for those who don’t come to the lectures and want the inside scoop of what it was like. Along with neat footage and one of a kind interviews with the professionals that were there when it was discovered.

So that’s about it…kind of a short Capo update. Outside of going crazy with the whole college application process and interviews with my son, Christmas shopping, and doing the normal Capo run around…the year is finally winding down.

I did see a cool exhibit at the South Street Seaport Exhibition Center in Manhattan called, BODIES EXHIBIT – (888-507-6909) (bodiestickets.com) It’s real Human cadavers…every raw inch of them in all kinds of positions…showing the nervous system, your artieries, brain etc…Up close and personal…it is facinating…it almost looks like beef jerky, not real bodies, but its the real deal. If you are not squemish and are facinated by what makes us tick, you’ll like it.


And finally my plans are once again to do the midnight run in central park. The 4k run that starts at midnight on New Years eve…where 5000 crazy runners jog through the park (some in costumes, some normally, and some really sick ones in just shorts) with fireworks lighting the background and a band playing… it’s fun…you gotta try it once…okay you don’t have to … but it’s a different way to start out the new year and it’s only $35 bucks.

Well that’s a wrap.

Wishing you all a very happy, healthy, safe holiday…whatever you are celebrating.

May your 2006 be filled with Adventure and love and remember…YOU are in charge of your life…so

Create a great year!

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