This is going to be a tough episode to keep track of. The show keeps cutting from house to house to house every minute and a half. I think the editor was loaded on Mountain Dew and Skittles. We begin at Teresa’s house. Many of you commented that I missed Teresa last week commenting on Melissa’s inappropriate outfit. I most certainly did not. I simply thought that saying I saw the bottom half of Teresa’s ass hanging out of her mini skirt was enough. I apologize for not being as thorough as you would have liked. WHAT WAS TERESA THINKING CRITICIZING MELISSA’S OUTFIT? Everyone happy? Good. Moving on.
Teresa is begging Joey to stay at her house and doesn’t want him to leave to go to Kathy’s. Joey Gorga is being oddly calm and rational. Maybe it’s because Melissa isn’t around to say crazy things to him. Teresa must have been getting ready for this party all night, because she looks tired in this episode. Really tired. Like Samsonite luggage under the eyes tired. I feel for her. She went through all the trouble to make a Christmas paradise for everyone. She made sure it was very shiny to attract Joey and Melissa. All the kids are having a great time and now her brother is ducking out early like it’s a Coldplay concert.The Manzos are serving food and HOLY SMOKES there are a lot of Manzos. They’re like the Italian Gosselins. Every one was there. I saw Cookie and Frannie and Albie and Chris and Chris and Blitzen and Donner and Latoya and Randy and even Uncle Lou. Uncle Lou Manzo gets up to give a toast. He gives one of the most heartfelt and touching toasts I’ve seen. It’s unfortunate that Ashley and Chris spent that time texting in their votes to So You Think You Can Dance instead of listening to good old Uncle Lou.
While Uncle Lou is toasting his love and pride for his family, Teresa is guilt tripping hers. She is really laying it on thick with Joey. She keeps telling her brother how sad Antonia is and how the kids can’t take him and Melissa leaving. In her interview, Teresa incredibly drops the “My parents aren’t going to be alive much longer” card. Teresa is coming undone. She is back to the Baby Jane Teresa that was so fun to watch when she was writing Joey’s note a few weeks ago. As the Gorgas are making their way to the exit, Joe Giudice is sitting with his father and Duma and they are doing shots of red wine. Maybe those weren’t shots. Maybe those were regular sized glasses and all three men have super enormous hands. Maybe I need more sleep.
Back at Casa De Manzo, Albert comes home from work (there are now two Christophers and two Alberts, Randy and Blitzen left). Even after the Manzo party, there is enough food on the table to feed the cast of Precious. It must have been a blow out of a party because some little kid is passed out drunk on the couch.
Lil’ Chris is outside trying to play Santa for the kids. It’s a Manzo family tradition that someone goes outside and makes Santa noises. This year Lil’ Chris has the honor and the eggnog must have made him a step slow, because C.J. isn’t fooled at all. I was afraid that Jacqueline and Albert and Chris were going to turn poor C.J. into a crazy person. They keep telling him, “Hey! WE can hear Santa’s bells outside!” C.J. suddenly turns into a tiny Columbo and says, “NO, there is a person laying on the grass under the deck ringing bells.” When the family tells him that he is wrong and that it is Santa he is hearing, C.J. walks to the window and says, “No, RIGHT THERE…I SEE HIM!” We cut to Chris laying on the ground next to the deck covered in grass and dog crap ringing sleigh bells like he’s in a shake weight commercial. You can’t trick C.J.
Meanwhile I think Ashley is inside sticking her head up the chimney waiting for conditioner to drop from the heavens (I know I said I would lay off Ashley, but I still have to take the open shot and that one was too easy. I’m still livid over what she said to Chris last week).
We cut to the Gorga crew in the car on their way to Kathy’s house. Joey “I’m gonna drink a lot tonight” Gorga is behind the wheel and seems completely sober. Maybe he meant he was going to drink a lot of Coke Zeros and a few Frescas.
Get ready to use your rewind button. At the very beginning of when Joey and Melissa are at Kathy’s house, I swear I saw a woman in a black negligee walk by and kiss Joey on the cheek. Who the hell was that?! Are the Wakiles throwing a key party? It happens right when Richie is showing Joey that disgusting baked fish out on the table. That fish was too big and had lips and completely freaked me out. If I am going to eat fish, I don’t want to eat one the size of a freaking Doberman.
Kathy’s party is also off the hook. Little Joey is in the living room on the floor looking for his keys. The Bravo cameraman shows a close up of the Doberman fish’s lips and I almost puke a little inside my mouth.
The snow is falling on a perfect New Jersey Christmas morning. For the first time since I moved to Santa Monica, I am officially homesick. Jacqueline is rocking some seriously fierce Farrah Fawcett hair in her interview. She explains that she is a little disappointed that Ashley hasn’t given her a Christmas or a Mother’s day present in years. I will interject here with some personal wisdom and advice. Jacqueline: In this lifetime most of us give and take. As we bob along in this rushing river of time, sometimes if we pause we can see that some people here on Earth are just takers. Once you identify someone as a “taker” you can’t be disappointed by their lack of empathy and care towards you, because they can’t even help it. They’re takers. You just have to keep giving. Never stop giving.
Melissa’s living room on Christmas morning looks like a cross between a Macy’s show room and an Old Navy commercial. Look closely and you will see a shot of tiny Joey where he looks EXACTLY like Joey Gorga’s father. It’s beautiful. The presents are everywhere. If you’re a child in New jersey, you definitely want to be a Gorga come Christmas time. Clothing is everywhere, Louis Vuitton luggage, gold Rolex watches, popcorn machines, and drum kits! I want to be a Gorga, but I already took my blood oath for the Manzos. Damn! This always happens to me. It’s like when I got jumped in to the Grape Street Crips and the next day the Crenshaw Mafia came through and said all new members will get free extra foam at all Magic Johnson Starbucks. When will I learn? Melissa tells us in her interview that since it’s Jesus’s birthday (his 90th), she doesn’t mind spending a ton of money. Yes, Melissa, good call. Jesus loved money. In the book of John, Jesus kicks over the money tables at the temple because they wouldn’t break his hundred, right? I digress. I’ll tell you as long as he’s breaking off gold Rolexes and Louis Vuitton rollers, I will gladly marry Joey Gorga. It’s legal now too! Joey, call me!
Christmas at Teresa’s is starting off very slowly. It seems T and the girls are having a difficult time waking Joe up from his red wine hibernation. When they finally manage to tilt the bed and roll daddy down the stairs, the present party gets underway. The girls tear through their presents very, very happily. I get happy watching them being happy. Suddenly I see a drum set and I get an impending sense of doom. How long before Melissa and Teresa have a huge cat fight over who stole the drum set idea from whom? Hopefully they will joining forces and tour with Melissa after her single drops. Both families will be in the band, and there will be two drum sets on stage playing harmoniously together like they did in The Grateful Dead. After she opens her present from Joe and tries it on, Teresa dangerously asks about diamonds. It’s Christmas morning, so don’t go breaking his chops about a diamond!
At Kathy’s house, Joseph opens one of his gifts, which I think is a snow vest from the planet Hoth in ‘The Empire Strikes Back.’ He says “sick” but I think he means, “A vest? You guys make me sick.” Kathy has given Richie a wedding band. Richie apparently has “lost” his wedding band several times. Maybe the bands keep coming off since his fingers are shaped like Lombard Street. Did you guys catch that? Richie’s fingers are all gnarled and broken and squiggly. Instead of a wedding band, Kathy should have gotten him a splint. Joseph and Victoria have pooled their money together and have gotten Kathy a laptop to help her with her new catering business. Richie and Kathy begin to cry when Victoria reads Kathy her card. It is with her moist eyes that I think Kathy looks the most like an Italian Susan Sarandon.
Albert and Caroline are driving through the suburbs of Jersey when suddenly Al pulls the car over to the side of the road under a Route 80 over pass. I freaked out because I thought, “CAROLINE’S GETTING WACKED!” Instead of a gangland murder, something very beautiful happens. Albert goes to the other side of the car, gets down on one knee and proposes to Caroline. This all happens at the same spot he did it the first time thirty years ago. If you put that into Melissa math, they got married when Jesus was thirty. Albert hands Caroline Michael Strahan’s Super Bowl ring and somehow makes an under pass in Clifton look like the most romantic place on earth. I hope that in thirty years I can do the same for my wife. A very touching scene and a very real scene. A special Manzo Mazel! Back at the Gorga’s, somehow Joey has given Melissa a completed recording studio as her big gift. Let’s face it. Isn’t this a gift for all of us? I’d like to think so. Joey Gorga is a magical man. How did he sneak an entire recording studio into the basement without Melissa knowing? He probably pulled a hat over her eyes and yelled, “Who turned out the lights?”
At Teresa’s house, G to the ia is sick as a dog and the poor girl is puking her guts out. For some strange, strange reason, Teresa insists on taking her photo moments after she vomits. Gia even says, “Right after I puked?” and Teresa says yes and the flash goes off. Gia flashes a huge smile and quickly goes back to being miserable, which makes me believe she has a big show business career ahead of her.
That night the Manzos all pile into a limo and head into Manhattan to see Alexa Rae Joel in concert at The Oak Room. I didn’t even know there was such a thing as an Alexa Rae Joel concert, but I stand very, very corrected. She is amazing. In her promotional poster she looks like Whitney Port. This is a good thing, because she used to have her father’s looks and her mother’s talent. Now the tables have turned and she is an amazingly talented singer. Albie is head over heels in love with Alexa and when he is near her he loses the ability to speak. At one point in the evening when Alexa is sitting with the family shortly before she goes on stage, Albie tells Alexa that he should order her a glass of milk because she is older than him. It’s a classic RHONJ moment when the entire family looks over at him as if to say, “What the hell is wrong with you?” Alexa Rae Joel hits the stage and sings ‘All I Know How to Do is Love.’ I spent the next hour or so looking for her stuff on YouTube because of how great she was. I wrote a similar song this year called, ‘All I Know How to Do is Love Joey Gorga.’ It seems like a pretty successful night for everyone except for mumble mouthed Albie. Christie Brinkley is there. Billy Joel is not there. Maybe he was busy getting his car out of someone’s living room.
Thanks to all of you that subscribed to my free podcast. Sorry about the commercials. Fast forward through them, they stink. If you haven’t listened to my podcast, you can download it for free HERE. I will be at Gotham Comedy Club October 9th. I hope many of you can make it out to see a live show. Follow me on Twitter @jaymohr37.