Colucci, Catenacci…

“If all the idiots could fly, it would be dark outsideMichel Colucci “Coluche”


Dean and Dan Caten recently spent what seems to have been a very sweet time in the village of their ancestors (father’s side), namely Casalvieri, in the Province of Frosinone, itself in the Lazio region. 

The ancestral home
 We checked and there are even some Catenacci left in Casalvieri. They run a funeral home. So the next best thing to being buried in a D2 coffin is probably to give them a call.

On July the 14th Dean and Dan were made honorary citizens at a ceremony presided over by the town’s mayor and they were awarded the first edition of the “Le Coluche” award. 


But do you know what this award refers to?

Well, it seems that Casalvieri is fertile ground for talent, as the Caten/Catenacci brothers are not the only celebrities that the small Lazio village can claim as one of their own. 

One of the most respected French humorist – and humanist –  in the 1980’s, Michel Colucci, better known as Coluche, might have been born in Paris, but to a father who hailed from Casalvieri. The French connection might explain why the award ceremony takes place on Bastille day, even though this might be just to fit the Caten’s busy schedule.

Probably unknow outside of France – and of Casalvieri – the character of Coluche was rather interesting. Standup comedian, actor, musician with a social conscience, he bordered on vulgarity at times, even if he said himself he was rude, never vulgar. 


He was the founder of the “Restos du coeur”, a voluntary group which provides free meals to the most marginalised in France since 1985. He even ran for presidency as a joke, but pulled put of the race when he realised that people were prepare to vote for him (credited with 16% in the polls). 

His masterful and emotional performance in the 1984 Claude Berry film Tchao Pantin (slang for “Good bye Paris”) took everyone by surprise, and to this day many a comic actor talks of one day getting his own “Tchao Pantin”.

Coluche in Tchao Pantin (Claude Berry), 1984

Sadly Coluche was to die in 1986 when his motorbike crashed into of a lorry. France mourned him and to this day he remains a towering figure in the panorama of French celebrities of the 20th century.

So with their award, the Canadian twins danced the night away, and this time we’re not talking Mykonos villas, bare chested Adonises, drag acts and international DJs. We’re talking family, country village square, small local band and round dances…Yes, Dean and Dan Catenacci!


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