How Chris Distefano's Father Had Right Intentions Despite His Wrong Moves? — Tony Distefano's Recent Happenings
Chris Distefano, born as Christopher Anthony Paul Distefano, to an Italian father and an Irish mother, is an American physical therapist-turned-comedian. He has worked with Comedy Central, MTV, and CBS, producing and creating comedy shows and stand-ups such as Guy Code, The Half Hour, and The Challenge.
A very charming humorist, Chris likes making people laugh, especially when they're sad. He derives most of his jokes from real-life experiences, which makes his acts quite enjoyable.
One of the noticeable factors in his stand-up routines is the crazy stories from his childhood, especially the ones including his dad Anthony "Tony" Distefano. Tony, who was into illegal doings when Chris was a kid, has had his share of wild experiences — and Chris shares them amongst his audience, but in a very lighthearted way.
History of Mafia Connection in the Distefano Family
Chris' father, Tony, was one of those old-school Brooklyn-Bronx Italians. Speaking to Comedy Hype in 2014, Chris recalled how he had no idea what his father did for a living, but he remembered attending family barbecues with Tony, where men in black suits would also be present.
"Growing up my dad was like this larger-than-life, shady kind of character that I didn’t know what he did for living. I was always meeting guys with black suits and chains on, with their hair slick back," Chris said.
He added, "Just these guys I would see at my father’s barbecues and you would open up the newspaper and they would be in the paper for mob related stuff."
Tony's close friends were as wild as him. They'd be in and out of jail like it was a normal thing to do.
Similarly, in one of his stand-up routines, Chris also shared that his grandfather was quite an adamant man for reasons beyond comprehension. Grandpa Distefano, according to Chris, was a part of the mafia ring in New York; however, he later fought for the country in World War II.
Chris, who is married to his wife Jazzy Distefano, even joked about how his grandfather might have said "No" to the general's orders in a very gangster way or that he could have turned up at battlefields with no uniform and a baseball bat instead of a gun. The idea of being a criminal yet fighting for the country did not sit well with Chris.
Being said that, he thought that his grandfather might've influenced his father Tony to get into the world of the mafia.
A Father With the Right Intentions But the Wrong Moves
Chris describes his father as someone who always had the right intention yet the wrong moves.
During one of his shows with The Dad Club, Chris shared an incident when his dad beat up his friend's father, who also happened to be someone his mother dated after divorcing Chris' father.
What happened is, one day when Tony arrived at her (Chris's mother) place to pick Chris up for baseball practice, he saw that his ex-wife was crying over a guy she dated. Young Chris explained to his dad what had happened, and this caused Tony to go across the street, ring the doorbell of that woman's house, drag the guy out, and beat him up.
The guy who got the beating, apparently, did not have a long-lasting relationship with Chris' mother and right away started dating another woman who lived right across the street from where Chris's mother lived.
Tony Distefano Almost Beat Up a Priest to Keep His Son in School
In another incident, where his father tried to do the right thing in the wrong way, Chris explained how his dad made his school headteacher revert Chris's expulsion from school. He shared this instance during a Comedy Central show in January 2019.
The incident took place back on September 11, 2001, when the 9/11 attack had just taken place. That time, Chris was in his class at Archbishop Molloy High School when he heard about the tragic incident. His mom used to work in the World Trade Center, so thinking something might have happened to her, he started to cry in class.
Another student made fun of him for crying, which caused Chris to break a chair in his head.
Following the incident, Chris's father was called to the school as it was a severe case. Tony arrived soon after, and the father-son duo was summoned to the principal's office. The headteacher, Brother Rob, initially said that he would have to expel Chris.
However, Tony threatened Brother Rob and said he'd break his kneecaps if Chris gets expelled. The threat worked, and Chris was allowed to continue studying. But he was kicked out of the basketball team and served detention for the rest of that year.
These incidents somehow show that Tony always wanted to do the right thing, but he used the wrong means to get things done.
Tony Distefano Had a Change of Heart
Tony Distefano was a person who was rolling around with the wrong people. He used to have gambling debts, beat up people, get beaten up, and serve jail sentences.
But with time, he managed to leave all of this behind and is currently leading an everyday life. Chris shared that his father changed because of his wife, and he is now the person his wife made him become.
However, it seems like he has not entirely changed. Chris jokes that if anyone wants to see the vintage Tony Distefano of the late 1980s, they should go to a Yankees game with him and experience his rage when the Yankees are losing.
Moreover, Chris disclosed in October 2020 during a Your Mom's House show that his father was about 73-74 years old and had a diabetic heart condition. He added Tony lived in New York for a long time and recently moved to Tampa, Florida, with his wife [Chris’ step-mother].