Lorain Public Library System - Local Author Biography
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Don Novello was born in Ashtabula, Ohio in 1943, but grew up in Lorain and graduated from Lorain High School in 1961. Most people recognize him as a "stand-up" comedian who often plays the character known as "Father Guido Sarducci", a character that he developed in the early 1970's. He appeared as this character for NBC's "Saturday Night Live" program over a five year period. In an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle, Novello explained the origin of his character, Father Guido Sarducci. "I got the idea during a year that I spent in graduate school in Rome. I became very interested in the politics of the Vatican, and had some thoughts on it. I did the priest thing because I didn't want to be another guy up on stage talking about his high school friends. The priest character had authority, so people sort of paid attention and I could talk about politics from a unique point of view."
Novello also worked as a writer for "Saturday Night Live". He has performed in a number of motion pictures both as a live actor and as a voice talent for animated films. His comedic talents have also been displayed in the books, and children's musical, that he has written.
He published his first collection The Lazlo Letters in 1977. The "Lazlo Letters" are copies of actual (tongue-in-cheek) correspondence sent to political and corporate officials. Novello shares with his readers the serious response letters that he received in response to that correspondence. He published more collections of these letters in 1992 and 2003.
His 1984 book, The Blade, is a parody of a yearbook about a fictitious Shellville High School. The photographs in the book have sheep playing the roles of faculty and students. In 1992 fifty-five children from the Glen Park Elementary School in San Francisco helped illustrate a "comic book" version of Novello's musical play, Full Moon Over Tutti. The following year the musical was performed by a cast of 600 San Francisco schoolchildren under the sponsorship of the San Francisco Art Education Foundation.