Ever been watching a cartoon, and a character comes on and you think: “HEY! He looks a little like my neighbor Dave!”
Well, get Dave on the phone asap–because apparently that resemblance could be worth a quarter of a BILLION dollars.
At least, that’s what Frank Sivero–the actor who played Frankie Carbone in Martin Scorsese‘s Goodfellas–believes. It seems he thinks Frankie Carbone’s most likely coincidental resemblance to a third-string Simpsons character (we’re talking like a level or two below Bumblebee Man) means Twentieth Century Fox owes him $250 million. More on this delusionary insanity after the jump:
Deadline broke the story yesterday, and you can read about it in detail here. Sivero is making the claim that the character of “Louie”, one of Springfield mob boss Fat Tony’s lieutenants is based on his character from Goodfellas: Frankie Carbone, best remembered for ending up hanging from a meathook.
Frankie Carbone and Louie are both Italian mobsters, and they both have afros, see…..and Sivero is convinced this is worth a quarter billion smackers.
The lawsuit goes on to claim that Simpsons producer James L. Brooks knew very well who Sivero was, knew he played Frankie Carbone, and deliberately based Louie off of Sivero’s performance–but never received permission to do so or offered compensation. In an interesting twist, at the time he was making Goodfellas, Sivero lived next door to the creators of The Simpsons–who were simultaneously working on the show’s first episodes. Sivero also claims that Brooks promised they would work together some time in the future.
Furthermore, this is not the first time Sivero has tried to litigate a few bucks out of Frankie Carbone: He once sued a California deli for naming a sandwich after him.
Apparently, what sane people call “Homage”, Sivero calls “Copyright Infringement”.
Does Sivero even OWN the rights to Frankie Carbone? Wouldn’t those belong either to the writer of the script, or to the studio that made Goodfellas? Most actors don’t own the characters they portray.
Of course, nothing will come of this except an enormous waste of time and money, and endless opportunities for journalists like me to make fun of Frank Sivero–a man I’d never even heard of until today.
They say there’s no such thing as bad press….we’ll see about that.
I gotta go, Joe Pesci is suing me for my godawful impression of his “How am I funny?” speech.