Monday, April 5, 2010

Joe Kirk: Who's Almost Who In KV History

It's a stretch. I'm pretty sure Joe had relatives living in the 6th Ward at 79 Baxter Street going back to 1910. Possibly Joe lived there as well. The family name was Curcuruto. Apologies for skit's political incorrectness.
About Joe Kirk
Joe Kirk (b. Ignacio "Nat" Curcuruto in New York, New York, October 1, 1903 - d. Los Angeles, California, April 16, 1975) was a U.S. radio, film, and television actor who was best known for playing the role of Mr. Bacciagalupe on The Abbott and Costello Show. Kirk was a regular voice actor on Abbott and Costello's radio show during the World War Two and post-war era of the 1940s. In addition to his ongoing—and best-known role—as Mr. Bacciagalupe, the highly excitable Italian neighbor, Kirk played many other bit parts on the show as well.
As Mr. Bacciagalupe, Kirk spoke with a thick Sicilian-American accent; his surname was pronounced in the Sicilian manner, ("Bach-galoop"), not in "proper" Italian, as ("Bachia-galoop-eh"). When excited, Mr. Bacciagalupe frequently made improvised asides in Sicilian dialect, which were obviously appreciated by many in the audience. Lou Costello, who was Sicilian American himself, also understood these side-remarks, and sometimes could not stay in character, but laughed along as well.He also took small roles in television shows such as Adventures of Superman, Sheriff of Cochise and U.S. Marshal, before retiring from show business in 1958.
To his family, Joe Kirk was known by his birth name, Ignacio Curcuruto or Nat Curcuruto. He was one of four children -- Letitia, Philip (1902 - 1995), Nat (1903 - 1975), and Josephine -- born in New York City to the Sicilian immigrants Giuseppe ("Joe") Curcuruto and Elvira Puglisi Curcuruto (1882–1977).
He was married to Marie Katherine Cristillo (1912–1988), who was the sister of Lou Costello and daughter of the producer Sebastian Cristillo. After their marriage Marie was known interchangeably as both Marie Curcuruto and Marie Kirk. The couple had two sons.


DanLauffer said...

The legend that I heard was that Mr. Bacciagalupe referred to the funeral parlour of that name which had been located on Mulberry Street. It was the first one that accepted Italian immigrants who were discriminated against as were the Irish before them. When one died unexpectedly, the neighbors would say, "he's gone to Bacciagalupe's!"

Dan Lauffer - GD11/LC12

Sol Bellel said...

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Anonymous said...

Loved this guy. It's not for me politically incorrect I grew up with so many in my N.Y. neighborhood like him including my family. He was such a great and real character. Thanks for the laughs and great memories Joe.