John “Cha Cha” Ciarcia, -Funeral details

***Funeral arrangements for John Ciarcia***

The wake will be held on Monday, November 30 and Tuesday, December 1, from 5 to 9 PM each night at the Old St. Patrick’s Basilica Youth Center,  263 Mulberry Street, NYC.

The Burial Mass will be held on Wednesday, December 2 at 10:30 a.m.  at the  Old St . Patrick’s Basilica on Mott Street in NYC.

By Joey Reynolds, SouthFloridaReporter.com, Nov. 23, 2015 – I am writing this with deep sadness. My great friend, John “Cha Cha” Ciarcia, 75,  passed away this past Friday from cancer. You may not readily recognize his name, but when I tell you about him you will realize you know him.

He was an actor and director, known for Goodfellas (1990), Death to Smoochy (2002) and The Funeral (1996). Cha Cha  joined the cast of The Sopranos in the sixth season, starting with the episode of “The Fleshy Part of the Thigh.”

Are you starting to recognize him?

Cha Cha and his wife Karen own and operate the oldest Italian cheese store and factory in the US, Alleva Dairy, on Mulberry Street in Little Italy (NYC)

Cha Cha was the unofficial mayor of the street, and every year produced several events for the legendary San Gennaro feast. As a matter of fact, Cha Cha took a trip to Italy with the Catholic Monsignor this year to visit Naples while the Pope was there to bless the shrine of Saint Gennaro the patron Saint of Naples.

Best man at Cha Cha’s wedding was Danny Devito. Tony Danza was managed by Cha Cha when he was a fighter.  Cha Cha’s wife is Karen King, a singer who most recently wowed them at the Metropolitan Café.

There is a walk of fame in the courtyard of the Church in Little Italy where we would all march and then light the Christmas tree. Some of the names on the sidewalk are: Tony Dana, Gianni Russo, Tony LoBianco, Joe Piscopo, Cousin Brucie Morrow (is he Italian?) and myself.

Cha Cha was one of the best of the best. He was always himself and you could count on a fight about anything depending on his mood. Cha Cha was outspoken on issues like music and politics, film, the shadow of the moon, or how the city crucifies small businesses with health laws.

Here’s some memorable snippets of Cha Cha and I:

Joey Reynolds is the pseudonym of Joey Pinto, host of the U.S. radio program The Joey Reynolds Show via the WOR Radio Network.[1] Reynolds' broadcasting career started on TV- in Buffalo at WGR TV 2 his first radio job was WWOL in Buffalo with Dick Purtan then WKWK,Wheeling,WV after that he continued at several venerable stations, including WKBW in Buffalo, New York, WHTZ and WNBC in New York City, KQV in Pittsburgh, KMPC and KRTH in Los Angeles, WDRC in Hartford, WIXY in Cleveland, and WIBG and WFIL in Philadelphia. He rose to fame as a Top 40 radio personality during the 1960s and 1970s, amassing huge audiences in places such as Hartford, Connecticut, Cleveland, Ohio, Detroit, Michigan, and his hometown of Buffalo, New York. Reynolds is often regarded as the originator of "shock talk radio", whose sometimes outlandish on and off-air stunts garnered widespread publicity. (The Four Seasons even produced a special radio jingle for the introduction of his daily radio show). He was the focus of a two-part series on The Oprah Winfrey Show concerning talk radio personalities, on which more than a dozen of Reynolds' media peers paid tribute to him. Moreover, he has been invited to speak about entertainment media at several radio industry conferences.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Joey, I grew up with Cha Cha on Mulberry Street. I know the IMDB says he was born in 1940, which makes him 75, but that’s impossible. He’s a year or two older than me and I’m 68.

  2. in his later years with the wine,
    did 10 -12 tastings with him in the old Best Market in Holmdel. True gentleman. Real down to earth guy. His wife Karen was good people too

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