Celebrity Birthday of the Day – January 1

Don Novello has built his career on one character, and man, what a character it is! Novello began his career as an advertising copywriter in the late 1960s, and it was in 1973 that he found a monsignor’s outfit for $7.50 at a thrift shop. Using this costume, Novello created the character of Father Guido Sarducci and began performing at nightclubs in San Francisco. He also wrote letters to famous people under the name of Lazlo Toth, which would poke fun at their recipients with deliberate misstatements of facts. He later compiled the letters into a book, which caught the eye of Lorne Michaels who promptly hired him as a writer and actor on Saturday Night Live. This launched the career of Novello as Guido Sarducci, a role which he continues to play to this day, having appeared on shows such as Married with Children, Blossom, and The Colbert Report, and in the movie Casper. Outside of the Sarducci character, Novello has appeared in films including The Godfather Part III, Jack, and Atlantis: The Lost Empire. He turns 70 today.

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