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Joe Restivo

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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 9, 2006 | Dennis McLellan, Times Staff Writer
Joe Restivo, a onetime stand-up comic and the former longtime co-owner of Vitello's restaurant in Studio City, where actor Robert Blake and his wife dined the night she was killed, has died. He was 54. Restivo died of lung cancer Tuesday at his home in West Hills, his family said. Restivo and his brother Steve had owned Vitello's for nearly a quarter of a century when the 2001 killing of Blake's wife, Bonny Lee Bakley, thrust the popular Italian eatery into the limelight.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 1, 2007 | Valerie J. Nelson, Times Staff Writer
Joe Restivo, a comedian and character actor who performed on the national comedy club circuit for many years with a stand-up routine that reveled in the absurdities of everyday life, has died. He was 60. Restivo, who was a resident of Valley Village, died Monday at Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank after a long battle with cancer, said his wife, Maryanne. His comedy was filled with what has been described as middle-class angst.
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NEWS
November 15, 1990 | DENNIS McLELLAN, Dennis McLellan is a staff writer for The Times Orange County Edition.
A television producer once described comedian Joe Restivo's humor as "middle-class Angst ." "If I had to categorize myself, I guess I'd say that," said the Chicago-born comic, who prefers not to define his own brand of comedy. "I'm asked that question a zillion times. All I can tell you is I do a character study and a lot of the character is me, in an exaggerated form."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 9, 2006 | Dennis McLellan, Times Staff Writer
Joe Restivo, a onetime stand-up comic and the former longtime co-owner of Vitello's restaurant in Studio City, where actor Robert Blake and his wife dined the night she was killed, has died. He was 54. Restivo died of lung cancer Tuesday at his home in West Hills, his family said. Restivo and his brother Steve had owned Vitello's for nearly a quarter of a century when the 2001 killing of Blake's wife, Bonny Lee Bakley, thrust the popular Italian eatery into the limelight.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 1, 2007 | Valerie J. Nelson, Times Staff Writer
Joe Restivo, a comedian and character actor who performed on the national comedy club circuit for many years with a stand-up routine that reveled in the absurdities of everyday life, has died. He was 60. Restivo, who was a resident of Valley Village, died Monday at Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank after a long battle with cancer, said his wife, Maryanne. His comedy was filled with what has been described as middle-class angst.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 14, 1990 | DENNIS McLELLAN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Early in his comedy career, Joe Restivo wrote jokes for Rodney Dangerfield, Freddie Prinze, Joan Rivers and David Frye. But the Chicago-born comedian is not one to buy jokes for his own stand-up act. "Actually, I tried to buy material from other people," he said. "But even if I like a few things, it doesn't feel right. There are guys who buy jokes, but they're joke tellers, and I'm not a joke teller. Most of my stuff comes out of character."
ENTERTAINMENT
October 2, 1996 | KEVIN THOMAS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Starting with its very literal title, "Street Corner Justice" belongs on the tube, not the big screen. It's a solid enough rabble-rouser, stirring up widespread fears and frustrations in regard to crime and punishment, but it lacks the style and impact of the classics of the genre, such as Phil Karlson's "The Phoenix City Story" or "Walking Tall."
ENTERTAINMENT
October 24, 1985 | DUNCAN STRAUSS
It's perhaps fitting that Laff Stop's ninth anniversary show tonightwill feature six comics whose names aren't well known outside comedy circles. After all, the opening-night bill also consisted of several then-unknown performers. Said Laff Stop owner Michael Callie: "When we opened in 1976, people's idea of a comedy club was that Bob Hope would come out. Nobody had heard of any of the guys on that first show. The attitude was 'How can you have a comedy club without name performers?'
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 23, 2004 | Andrew Blankstein and Jean Guccione, Times Staff Writers
A doctor who watched Robert Blake as his wife lay dying said the actor made no effort to help her -- actions he testified Wednesday were uncharacteristic of survivors he has seen facing the imminent death of loved ones. Dr. James Michael McCoy, a healthcare system administrator and physician for 25 years, said Blake's cries for help "didn't seem to have an element of distress."
NEWS
April 19, 2002 | CARLA HALL and MASSIE RITSCH, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
In an effort to flee the unwanted spotlight cast on him for the past year, actor Robert Blake abandoned his longtime cozy Studio City neighborhood and many of his old haunts and habits. His scruffy, dark wood house on Dilling Street was painted and put on the market last fall at $1.098 million, and the title he had bestowed upon the house in painted block letters--Mata Hari Ranch--was excised. He may be gone from the neighborhood but his namesake dish is not.
NEWS
November 15, 1990 | DENNIS McLELLAN, Dennis McLellan is a staff writer for The Times Orange County Edition.
A television producer once described comedian Joe Restivo's humor as "middle-class Angst ." "If I had to categorize myself, I guess I'd say that," said the Chicago-born comic, who prefers not to define his own brand of comedy. "I'm asked that question a zillion times. All I can tell you is I do a character study and a lot of the character is me, in an exaggerated form."
ENTERTAINMENT
November 14, 1990 | DENNIS McLELLAN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Early in his comedy career, Joe Restivo wrote jokes for Rodney Dangerfield, Freddie Prinze, Joan Rivers and David Frye. But the Chicago-born comedian is not one to buy jokes for his own stand-up act. "Actually, I tried to buy material from other people," he said. "But even if I like a few things, it doesn't feel right. There are guys who buy jokes, but they're joke tellers, and I'm not a joke teller. Most of my stuff comes out of character."
NEWS
May 6, 2001 | RICHARD FAUSSET MICHAEL KRIKORIAN and KURT STREETER, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
Robert Blake, best known for his role as a streetwise detective in the 1970s' television series "Baretta," was enmeshed in a real-life police drama Saturday after his wife was fatally shot in the couple's parked car outside a Studio City restaurant Friday night. Blake told police that he left his wife, Bonny Bakley, in their Dodge Stealth after dinner and returned to Vitello's, a popular neighborhood establishment.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 6, 1992 | JOHN JOHNSON, TIMES STAFF WRITER
With a trunk full of liquor samples and a head stuffed with Irish wisdom--"The reason the good Lord made whiskey was to keep the Irish from ruling the world"--Ellen Murphy keeps the night life lively in Ventura Boulevard's trendy bars and restaurants. When the music is loud and the liquor is flowing, you might lift your glass to Murphy, for she keeps it full. A saleswoman for Young's Market Co.
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