Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Tribute to "Uncle Floyd"

In my last post, there was a passing link to a legendary entertainer who I thought was awesome as a little kid.

"Uncle Floyd", New Jersey's own Floyd Vivino, had a nutty show in the early 80's that was totally off-the-wall.

After he randomly popped in my head, I found the video above. I figured I'd take his advice & "don't talk about him when he's gone"...

Watching The Uncle Floyd Show is one of my earliest childhood memories. His free & funny style and general wackiness definitely inspired me to enjoy the ridiculous aspects of life - even to this day.

People used to send in pictures they drew & he'd hang them up on his wall. I remember sending him at least one crayon drawing of his puppet, Oogie. Although I never spotted them on the wall, they might have ended up there at some point.

Before starting elementary school, I was a free spirit & used to roam around my parents' house in various states of undress.

Most of all, I hated wearing underwear when I was a little kid!

So.... my Mom, who is a very creative problem solver, gave me a little pair of plaid shorts. She called them my 'Uncle Floyd underwear', based on his crazy plaid jackets. Since Uncle Floyd was so great to me, I enthusiastically started wearing my 'Uncle Floyd shorts'... all the time.

Uncle Floyd is therefore responsible for the fact that I'm not freeballin' it everywhere! Thanks, I guess.

For that, plus encouraging my young creative spirit & sense of humor, Uncle Floyd is a personality I'll always consider an early influence.

I just remembered.... in the 90's, years after his variety show, he had a cable show "Uncle Floyd's New Jersey" that my whole family would watch, too. Basically he would walk around towns in North Jersey. He'd randomly pop into businesses and talk to the employees and the customers. It was totally low-budget, but entertaining because it was so simple & real.

Uncle Floyd endears pretty much everyone, so he would always get free food & friendly chatter. It was reality TV - before everyone else was doing it! That's why he's a pure genius.

Now, thanks to the power of the 'Youtubes' & the 'Internets', the Genius of Uncle Floyd is preserved for future generations...

Floyd Vivino apparently still plays the piano at Colucci's Ristorante in N. Jersey & at other venues. He also has a radio show of Italian-American music. In his Wikipedia article, he claims to have the largest collection of Italian records in the world. I would love to meet him one day... he's probably a real trip.

Uncle Floyd Vivino
Comedian • Entertainer • Piano Player

"The Last of the
Old-style Kiddie Shows"

Uncle Floyd
Floyd Vivino

After I posted this, I saw this article- where I'm glad to see that at least he seems to be getting work doing a few hundred shows a year...

"For Uncle Floyd, Performing is All Relative"

Woah! Now I saw he's on Sirius Satellite's "The WiseGuy Show" -w- Big Pussy & Little Steven!?! Never heard of it, but I've got to listen now...

Uncle Floyd lives on in the Digital Age!!!!

Uncle Floyd Photos at

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