Those aren’t mouse droppings on your pizza, sir. Those are capers.

 

This goes nowhere as a story, but I think it’s worth sharing with you now while I tidy up something more “windswept and interesting” to offer in a day or two.

Fort Garry was strictly La Gondola turf in 1965, so I don’t know whether Pizza Place was any good, but I do know that they gave Winnipeg the best radio jingle of the decade with this reworked excerpt from the famous Neapolitan song Funiculi – Funicula :

I go to Pizza Place to get the flavour of Italy (and so do we)                                     We know that Manitoba loves the pizza, so join the race, to Pizza Place                 They’re ready with spaghetti and they season it just right                                            So look for the tower and circle every night                                                                      Enjoy a meal at Pizza Place or even in your home                                                          There’s no better eating anywhere from Winnipeg to Rome!!!

Fifty years later, that last line still slays me.  I wish I had audio for you, but the present-day Pizza Place people don’t appear to have an archival copy. If you’ve forgotten the tune, you could do far worse than to listen to Mario Lanza’s recording of the original, but perhaps more definitive is the 1965 performance by Little Italy’s favourite rodent, Topo Gigio, and his family. Stay with it till the end if you wish to see Ed Sullivan in disturbingly affectionate man-mouse mode. Topo was only Ed’s second favourite guest, though: top honours go to our own Wayne & Shuster, with 67 appearances. You all remember what they looked like, but perhaps not so their frequent sidekick, Sylvia Lennick, pictured (thanks, Foolish Earthling) beautifully and affectingly here some years before she appeared with W&S as Julius Caesar’s hilariously hysterical widow Calpurnia. To think all young Canadian women used to look like this!

 




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