Darrel Fusaro and Edward Biagiotti live in LA, where they have created "Funniest Thing! with Darrell and Ed" a successful podcast that has gained fans in 170 countries. "The Funniest Thing! is an inspiring way to learn how being positive and live the joy of life simply changing the everyday point of view, making a step out boldly. The very best of their production is now on-air on i-Italy Radio, the brand new webRadio "made in i-Italy" (visit http://radio.iitaly.org).
Darrell, Ed - Your surnames sound unmistakably Italian... Where do your families originate from in Italy and when did they come here?
Darrell: Yes, Fusaro is indeed Italian. I believe both of my grandparents came from somewhere in Campania. My grandmother's last name is D'Bello. The rumors are that her family is from Naples. My grandfather is from the southern part of the region. Probably somewhere close to Lake Fusaro.
Ed: You guessed it, Biagiotti is also Italian. My grandfather, on my father's side came from Coreno Ausonio, in the Province of Frosinone. He came to the United States at 18 years old with his brothers. My other set of great grandparents came from somewhere in Sicily.
How can you describe your podcast show... I know that it turned to more than 220k downloading...
Ed: Each week we enjoy sharing stories about how stepping out boldly always leads to better than expected outcomes.
Darrell: By stepping out boldly we mean trusting our hunches, intuition, and inspiration, rather than giving into fear, doubt, and worries.
Ed: Yes, and we aim to inspire our listeners to the same.
Your podcast's main message is "live in a positive way". Is being Italian-American of any help to live in a positive way?
Darrell: What could be more positive than being an Italian-American? When you think of Italians, you think of people who are generous, creative and friendly. When you think of Americans, you think of people who are optimistic and industrious. That's a winning combo.
Ed: Yes, and when you throw in the spicy sense of humor and deep rooted spiritual traditions of our Italian heritage, it all makes sense.
Darrell, today for most Americans being Italian is cool and Italy means fashion, great films, gorgeous food and wonderful vacations... but it wasn't like this in the 70s as you told in your play "The Basement". What was it about?
Darrell: I think you mean gorgeous women!
To be honest, I have always loved being Italian. The intention of the play, in spite of focusing on my grandfather's murder, actually highlights the fact that I appreciate being Italian. Thanks to Italy's goodwill ambassador, which is food, whenever anyone discovers that I'm Italian, they say, "You're Italian? I love Italian food!" We become instant friends.
On a lighter topic... How would you describe in few words today's Italian scene in LA?
Ed: There are great things happening. You just have to know where to find them. One of the best places to start is the Italian Cultural Institute in Westwood. By the way, good Italian food can also be found in Los Angeles. Again, you just have to know where to look.
You are collaborating with the distribution of i-Italy Magazine in LA. Just to be a little self-referential... how is it going?
Darrell: Great! Everywhere we go, people are impressed with the magazine. They are more than happy to make the magazine available for customers and have been amazed at how quickly they need to restock their supply.
Ed: Yes. We love it because everywhere we have delivered the magazine, the owners treat us like family. We are often rewarded with a delicious Italian treat of some sort. They are grateful that we introduced them to I-Italy Magazine.