“Guido,” a term that’s derogatory to many was thrust into the spotlight by MTV’s realty show, “The Jersey Shore.”
To playwright Mario Fratti it represents the sophistication of the main character in Federico Fellini’s film “8 ½,” which he adapted for the Broadway musical and movie “Nine.” “That’s why I kept the name,” Fratti said.
The G-word — which got the academic treatment by the John D. Calandra Italian American Institute on Thursday — wasn’t pejorative when Staten Island state Sen. Diane Savino was growing up. She wore the name proudly after seeing “Saturday Night Fever”: “For the first time I could let my hair be as curly as I wanted, as big as I wanted.”
Caterer and writer Johnny DeCarlo, 29, traced his lineage from Travolta’s blowout to his Jersey gelled hair. Being a Guido is about “the food, wine, cigars, Cadillacs and a certain way of speaking, the Gamba dialect.”
Joseph Sciame, president of the Italian Heritage and Culture Committee, worried about the elevation of the word and MTV’s Guido fest: “That is what non-Italians think we’re like. The damage is done.”