“The strength of irony”
by Alessio Conforti.
A long artistic career in the entertainment world, with important roles in cinema, television, theater and publishing. Dario Vergassola has just returned from the recent publication, with Moni Ovadia, of the book “If you want to tell me something, shut up. Dialogue between a Jew and a Ligurian on humor”: a text that thanks to its irony accompanies the reader towards deep reflections on the themes of actuality. But not only.
- Dario Vergassola, why this book?
Right now, to earn money (laughs, ed), not just for philanthropy. Having said that, the text is a project born by chance with Moni, during a show.
- How does it develop?
There is a meeting, a sort of interview, between a Jew and a Ligurian: the first is Moni Ovadia and the other is me. With humor and even cynicism, different themes are touched, in a fun and deep way.
- The text came out almost concurrently with the arrival of the virus …
It was like that, just in those days. I saw the cover in the shop window and it stayed there for two months. They didn’t charge us extra for the visibility!
- How is it working with Moni Ovadia?
I have great respect for him. It is an honour to be able to collaborate with him, because he is a pure intellectual.
- What are the messages you are trying to get across?
We try to reflect on the characteristics of life and also on how humour can try to defeat forms of violence and prejudice. There is no weapon more powerful than making people laugh to achieve this goal. We’ve tried to do this.
- To what extent can irony be functional in this sense?
Irony arises from the ability to think intelligently. Those who distance themselves from things with thought help to make thought itself recognized as a great value. What is lacking in this world is the ability to think.
- A long career in show business: where is comedy going?
There have been many changes over the years. Today the comedian has become a “stand-up comic” (ie an artist who performs standing, a new form of entertainment ed). It’s a bit like photographs: before there was the self-timer, today there is the selfie. But the substance remains the same.
- What is the most effective tool to bring out the comedy?
I am so handsome that women only look at my beauty. Seriously, today the great comedian is the one who knows how to be deeply serious, because culture and theater are serious.
- What will Dario Vergassola do when he grows up?
I have grandchildren at home, I’m busy! I make my wife’s motto mine: “Until they realize it, you go!”.
WHO IS DARIO VERGASSOLA
Ligurian from La Spezia, 63, Dario Vergassola is one of the best known artists on the comedian front in Italy. Artist and songwriter, he took part in numerous television programs for the main broadcasters of the ‘Bel Paese’. These include the Maurizio Costanzo Show, Carabinieri, Zelig, Dio Vede e Provvede, Le Iene, Parlami con Serena Dandini. Vergassola has also worked on cinema films and theatrical performances. He approached the world of entertainment as a young man, participating in “Professione Comico”, an event directed by Giorgio Gaber: he was awarded both the public and the critics’ awards. He also has published several books.