Last night we were flicking the telly late because we were just too lazy to go to bed when I stumbled in a repeat of a cop show on Channel 9 called ‘Young Lions’. I particularly don’t like police dramas, but what prick my ear was that a character was called ‘Guido’. It was also interesting that that character wasn’t ‘ethnic’. He was by all intent and purposes Australian as it can be.
Having the name Guido in Australia was a bit of an oddity. It is not a common name like Giuseppe, or Mario that many Italians have here. But it is not that uncommon either. There are plenty of Guido’s in Italy (and indeed in Germany, where Guido is also used).
So I have been thinking of any Guidos that Australians may know. And I came up with this list.
Guido the Killer Pimp
I was alerted to this character by a colleague who jokingly referred me as ‘the killer pimp’ (no problems as I considered her a friend) just five years or so in an email. I had no idea what she was talking about. A quick Google showed that Guido the killer pimp was in the movie Risky Business. A movie that I have never seen, and have no interest whatsoever in seeing. So no wonder I has no idea who he was.
This Guido has a Wikipedia entry. So I’ll let you click on it if you really want to know who he was. I’ll just say that he was a Greek-Australian comic character for a radio show. Why they chose an Italian name for a Greek character beats me. I guess for some ‘all southern Europeans’ will do. I guess this popularised the name Guido quite a bit. As I am tall with green/blue eyes and I don’t fit the stereotype of how an Italian should look like I always get the ‘but you don’t look like an Italian’ type comment. However once a bank teller told me ‘You don’t look like a Guido’. The power of the media.
Guido Orefice from ‘Life is beautiful’
At least this Guido is Italian, played by a real Italian (Roberto Benigni). Again is a movie that I haven’t seen, and I have no predisposition to watch because I feel it is syrupy and schmaltzy. But at least this Guido is not a stereotype from an Anglo culture.
This Guido was part of the German football team that won the 1990 World Cup. He marked Diego Maradona in the final, which was no mean feat. He also has a Wikipedia entry.
That’s what I came up with. Maybe some can thing of others out there.