Ep. 293 | Steve Schirripa
Award-Winning Actor & Best Selling Author Steve Schirripa (Blue Bloods, The Sopranos...) joins us on The Matthew Aaron Show this Friday (4/24) as we broadcast from Chicago.
Steve is with us to discuss his role on the hit CBS series BLUE BLOODS, which just wrapped up its 10th season, as well as his new Podcast TALKING SOPRANOS in which he teams up with his fellow Sopranos co-star Michael Imperioli to offer commentary on every episode of the hit HBO mob series THE SOPRANOS.
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STEVE SCHIRRIPA is an American actor, producer, author, and voice artist. He is best known for portraying Bobby Baccalieri on The Sopranos and Detective Anthony Abetemarco on Blue Bloods. Schirripa is a producer and host of two Investigation Discovery series: Karma's A B*tch! and Nothing Personal. He was a regular cast member of The Secret Life of the American Teenager and the voice of Roberto in the Open Season franchise. Schirripa has also done commercials for Lamisil, Dick's Sporting Goods, and McDonald's.
Schirripa was born on September 3, 1957, in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. His father, Ralph Schirripa, was Italian American. His grandparents, Ilario Schirripa and Maria Capacci were from Riace, Italy. His mother, Lorraine Schirripa (née Bernstein), was of Jewish descent. Schirripa grew up in a low-income household with four siblings and graduated from Brooklyn College.
Schirripa got his first taste of show business in his job as entertainment director of the Riviera Hotel and Casino. In the biography page of his website, Schirripa says that he had cameo appearances in comedy specials by Drew Carey and Kevin Pollak, among other comedians. That led to a role as an uncredited extra in Martin Scorsese's Casino. In the film, he portrayed a customer at the bar in the scene when Joe Pesci's character angrily stabs a man with a pen. After this, Schirripa decided that he wanted to become an actor. He had several minor roles in movies, including The Runner (1999) and Joe Dirt. His breakthrough role was in The Sopranos (2000), playing Tony Soprano's mobster brother-in-law Bobby Baccalieri for five seasons. For his first two seasons on the show, he wore a fat suit to fit the role.
His many television appearances include Angel, Casino Cinema, Columbo, Star Trek: Enterprise, Hollywood Squares, Joey, Law & Order, Law & Order SVU, My Wife and Kids, Ed, Jeopardy!, George Lopez, Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! and The King of Queens. In 2008, Schirripa appeared on CBS's primetime game show Million Dollar Password, and in 2019, Schirripa appeared on the game show Pyramid alongside Jamie-Lynn Sigler. He also made an uncredited appearance along with fellow Soprano star Vincent Pastore on the 6th Season episode of Aqua Teen Hunger Force entitled "She-Creature".
Schirripa was a frequent guest on the Don Imus radio program. In February 2007, he began to make appearances for Total Nonstop Action Wrestling, on Spike TV, siding with Team 3D as their cousin in their ongoing battle against The Latin American Xchange. On October 30, 2007, he appeared on, The Podge and Rodge Show. He also did spots as "Steve the Judgmental Bastard" on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and taped several episodes of The Gong Show with Dave Attell, as one of the celebrity judges.
From 2008 to 2012, Schirripa had a recurring role in the ABC Family show, The Secret Life of the American Teenager, as Leo Boykewich, Ben's dad.
In 2009, he made a cameo appearance alongside fellow Sopranos actor Frank Vincent in Stargate Atlantis episode "Vegas". He was also in 2009's My Fake Fiancé with Melissa Joan Hart and Joey Lawrence as the Monkey.
He has appeared on the Tonight Show more than 40 times as a guest and as a correspondent. Schirripa hosted NBC's poker game show, Face the Ace, with the premiere episode airing on August 1, 2009. In the fall of 2010, Schirripa had a guest star role in the digital comedy short film, Lil DPC, from writer/director Michael Ratner, which also features rapper Fat Joe and Blink 182's, Mark Hoppus.
In 2011 and 2012, Schirripa hosted and narrated the television true-crime series Nothing Personal, which premiered in the US on Investigation Discovery and in the UK on History. The series featured an often humorous take on true stories and reenactments of murders-for-hire. In addition to hosting the hour-long programs, Schirripa was one of the program's executive producers. The programs were filmed on location around the United States and in Ontario, Canada. Subsequently, Schirripa hosted Karma's a B*tch!, also for Investigation Discovery. This show dramatizes stories of people who seek revenge on someone they believe did them wrong. Recently,[when?] Schirripa has provided the voice for the lemon in McDonald's McCafe Strawberry Lemonade commercials. He has also guest-starred in the American version of Top Gear.
Schirripa played Sonny Rosselli in A Poet Long Ago, a short film written by Pete Hamill and directed by Bob Giraldi, which gained entry into a number of film festivals in 2013.
In 2014, Schirripa played Joey on the ABC series Black Box, did voice acting in an episode of American Dad! entitled "Stan Goes on the Pill", and played Vito in the silver screen adaptation Jersey Boys, directed by Clint Eastwood. He will play Father Ed in Chasing Yesterday, a film by writer/director Joseph Pernice, as well as be in the film Houses, by writer/director Jenner Furst, alongside Sopranos co-stars Michael Imperioli and John Ventimiglia.
Starting in 2015, Schirripa played Det. Anthony Abetemarco, an investigator who works with assistant district attorney Erin Reagan on the CBS series Blue Bloods.
In July 2017, Schirrpa appeared in a segment on John Oliver's satirical news show Last Week Tonight satirizing Boris Epshteyn and the right-wing tone of mandatory segments given to member stations by the Sinclair Broadcast Group.
Schirripa began hosting a podcast alongside Michael Imperioli called Talking Sopranos, which began on April 6, 2020, where the two provide inside info as they follow The Sopranos series episode by episode.
Schirripa's acting roles often portrayed "goombas," slang for stereotypical Italian-American tough guys and often denoting connections to the Mafia. He carried that persona over into real life but with a comedic twist, especially in appearances on talk and game shows. He expanded on that persona when he wrote a series of books starting with A Goomba's Guide to Life in 2002. He followed up with The Goomba's Book of Love, co-authored with Charles Fleming in 2003. The series continued with The Goomba Diet: Large and Loving It in 2006, and in 2013 Big Daddy's Rules: Raising Daughters Is Tougher Than I Look, co-authored by Philip Lerman.
Schirripa and Fleming also collaborated on two books about Nicky Deuce, a suburban teenager who is sent to visit his grandparents in Brooklyn. Nicky Deuce: Welcome to the Family was followed by Nicky Deuce: Home for the Holidays, which was the basis for the 2013 Nickelodeon film Nicky Deuce starring Noah Munck. Nicky Deuce also featured supporting roles filled by James Gandolfini, Michael Imperioli, Tony Sirico, and Vincent Curatola of The Sopranos fame.
On April 3, 2014, Steve Schirripa gave a theatrical performance in a special production of Guys and Dolls alongside Nathan Lane, Patrick Wilson, and Megan Mullally at Carnegie Hall.