Continental, The

The showbiz nickname of the suave, debonair, Italian born Renzo Cesana who was the focus of the romantic program simply called THE CONTINENTAL/CBS/ABC/1952-53.

The Continental was a video gigolo whose job was to “woo” bored housewives with 15-minutes of intriguing conversation (one-sided as it was).

Looking into the camera lens, this eager to please well-mannered Italian lover talked in a husky voice to his female viewers and offered them cigarettes, cocktails, or a comfortable chair. And when it was over the Continental hopefully left them wanting for more.

Note: This series inspired 1950s comedian, Ernie Kovac to do a parody called “The County-Nental” about a country-bumpkin gigolo who wore overalls, and poured moonshine from a jug. Whereas Renzo Cesana would say, “Don’t be afraid, darling, you’re in a man’s apartment,” The County-Nental would look into the camera lens and with whisky-soaked breath say, “Don’t be feared, this is only a man’s silo.”

Both comedian Billy Crystal and later actor Christopher Walken revived this romantic character on a skits written for NBC’s SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE in the 1980s & 1990s.

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About

Born in Philadelphia, Jerome Alphonse Holst worked 30 years as a librarian. He has since retired and lives in Greensboro, North Carolina. Mr. Holst is also the author of the children’s books “Norman the Troll,” "Norman the Troll and the Haunted House," and "Gretchen and the Gremlins." In addition, he penned the fantasy novel “The Adventures of Glinda Gale,” a retelling of “The Wizard of Oz" and the reference text “The Encyclopedia of Movie and TV Insults.” .

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Posted in Romance, Showbiz Nicknames, Uncategorized

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