Glenn Scarpelli

Growing up on Staten Island I loved to watch sitcoms. Long before the first reality show ever aired, shows like Alice, Good Times, The Jeffersons, All in the Family and my favorite, One Day at a Time, starring Bonnie Franklin, Valerie Bertinelli and Mackenzie Phillips, ruled the major networks. These thirty minute shows were like comedy nuggets filled with social commentary and coated in high jinks and sexual innuendo.

Of course I only cared about how Florence talked back to Mr. Jefferson or how Archie stood shocked when Sammy Davis Junior planted a kiss on his cheek.

All sitcoms subscribed to the same basic formula: conflict arising from a misunderstanding, which ultimately gets resolved in the end. Invariably, there was always a moment toward the end of each episode when the lead gave a monologue about how times were tough but as long as family and friends stuck together than anything was possible. Trite as that may seem now, I would give anything to watch an episode of Maude over Two and a Half Men any day.

I was in grammar school in the 80’s and attended St. Sylvester’s Elementary School for eight years. One day, Doreen Cirillo came in and bragged to everyone that her “good friend” Glenn Scarpelli had just been cast in One Day at a Time. Playing Alex Handris, he joined the cast in 1980 and immediately became Schneider’s little side kick and the thorn in Ann Romano’s side. Back then, as child actors grew out of their cuteness or left the show due to drug addiction, writers often added a young whippersnapper to cast in order to mix things up a bit. Sometimes it didn’t work out so well. Case in point, Oliver on the Brady Bunch, but Glenn was different. Right from the start he was animated, quick talking and funny. Eventually, he became a heart-throb, and I think he even graced the cover of Tiger Beat.

I immediately hated him. Why wasn’t it me who was chosen to be on my favorite show? Glenn and I are both Italians from Staten Island. So what he could sing, act and dance. Minor details. Of course, I had to concede defeat and watched the show anyway.

By some cosmic coincidence, thirty years later, I received a friend request on Facebook by none other than… yes, you guessed it: Glenn Scarpelli. It was surreal, like the time I met Mario Cantone on the street. I immediately accepted his invitation and included a little note. I wrote, “We’re both from Staten Island, and I went to school with Doreen Cirillo.”

Glenn wrote back and informed me that his partner and he started a line of lube called Green Love and Bite Me. Crazy huh? Imagine what Bonnie Franklin would say.

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I invited Glenn to be a guest on Out Q’s Morning Jolt with Larry Flick next time he’s in New York. He agreed. Two weeks later I received a package from the West Coast with several bottles of Glenn Scarpelli’s love elixir. Along with the package was a note. I held it in my hand,thinking back to the days when I watched sitcoms and bit my nails in jealousy over Glenn Scarpelli and now here I was, friends with him on Facebook and a box of his lube in my hands.



  1. Posted July 9, 2010 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

    I had such a crush on Schneider when I was a kid!

  2. spinellimd
    Posted July 9, 2010 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

    Who didn’t.

  3. Glenn Scarpelli
    Posted July 10, 2010 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    OMG! That’s friggin hysterical. I had no idea you hated me… LOL….LOL…and “Glenn’s love elixir”… i love that… can I steal it?… LOL… LOL…
    Seriously, thank you so much for the shout out, Frank. You’re awesome!!!

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