…is that I’ve not been eligible for NY Press’ “50 Most Loathesome New Yorkers” for several years. Unlike transplants Alex Rodriguez and Pedro Martinez, both pilloried in the 2005 edition alongside a chat show host so ill-qualified, he makes Magic Johnson and Alan Thicke look like Charlie Rose, Tony Danza.
Why did the American Italian Defense Association sue the producers of The Sopranos, saying it denigrates their Italian American culture, whilst not voicing a peep against this monosyllabic, spaghetti-stained perpetrator of more noxious paisan stereotypes than Martin Scorsese? From his “That’s a spicy meat-a-ball” delivery to his Italia-centric guest list (anyone who’s ever shown their face on The Sopranos, ever), Tony Danza makes us wish our Italian grandmother was Lithuanian. If his last name were McDanza, he’d be doing his show dressed like Lucky the Charm. Black Tony Danza would gobble watermelon; Jewish Tony Danza would spend the hour popping matzoh balls while counting gold coins. Tonester constantly reminds us that the eye-talians are a people known for their love of good food. So it makes sense that eating figures large each “Extrava-Danza.” Recovering boozer/homo-hound Liza Minnelli proudly presented her good pal (they watch 24 together religiously) with a pastry billed as the World’s Largest Cannoli. Yet in a city clogged with Italian restaurants, who does Danza pick to sponsor his food segments? The Olive Garden. Was Papa Gino’s too busy? For that alone, Danza’s kneecaps should be introduced to a 34-oz. Louisville Slugger.