Welcome to our website devoted to the life and work of Ric Menello.  We hope that it will grow into a boisterous, entertaining, informative and deeply felt celebration that mirrors Ric’s own infectious energy and love of life. Feel free to send us your comments, photographs and/or written contributions that you would like added to our site.

The site was funded by financial contributions from Gregory Giordano, Patrick and Julia Giordano.

Special Ric Third Anniversary Memorial Video

In 2015, our cousin Ron Menello found a series of boxes that contained some of the comic books that Ric had collected as a boy. The boxes were stored in old wooden file cabinets in our Grandmother’s garage. Ric had outgrown his comic-book phase a long time ago, and his collection was all but forgotten. In time, they would show that his enthusiasm for all forms of media – from toys to comic books to movies and literature – was developed and fine-tuned long before his adulthood.

On this third anniversary of his passing, we take a small glimpse back on these weathered comics that maintain his wild, inventive spirit within them.

Remembering Ric on the Second Anniversary of His Passing

Menello_5We honor Ric on this second anniversary of his death with a special update to the website. Mel Neuhaus has shared some of the video he shot on his cellphone on Christmas at a get-together in Brooklyn. We have also added a rebuttal to Richard Brody, an updated biography, and a new piece in the Recollections of Ric stories.

Menello Archives: Volume Four

On Christmas 2012, Ric, at a casual get-together with a group of friends in Brooklyn, was coaxed into singing a few songs. Mel pulled out his cellphone and recorded two of them. They remained on his phone until he was able to recently transfer them.

Ric chose to sing “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance,” a song sung by Gene Pitney that was based upon the eponymous movie’s plotline but not used in the film. The John Ford film was one of Ric’s favorite movies.

It was the last Christmases Ric would spend with his family and friends before his death in March of the following year.

Make the Wiseguys Weep

One of Ric’s final screenwriting assignments before his untimely death was an adaptation of the book Making the Wiseguys Weep: The Jimmy Roselli Story by David Evanier. Producer Neil Jesuele is currently putting together financing for the project. It is an excellent screenplay and we look forward to the film coming to fruition. In the meantime follow the links for updates:

Making the Wiseguys Weep website.

IMDB Making the Wiseguys Weep

The life of Jimmy Roselli: Read about the Life of Jimmy Roselli

David Evanier’s book: View David Evanier’s Book

The Menello Archives: Volume Three

In 1997, the late entrepreneur Scott Chinery asked me to make a home video companion piece to his recently released Mr. Smoke talking cigar doll. The absurdity of the whole enterprise wasn’t lost on me; it felt like a replay of Rick Rubin’s “Tougher Than Leather” debacle. But Scott had his own level of genius at play, so I was game. He had bought the original cigar doll at auction. It was said that the late Winston Churchill – who, like Scott, was an avid cigar aficionado – conceived and created the prototype doll in 1938.

I immediately asked Ric to appear in the video to anchor the madness, since Scott was mostly casting his friends who never acted before. This made it more of a personal home movie and inside joke of Scott’s than a professional home video. Still, he was financing it, so it was his ground to play on.

Ric had no problem with the insanity of the whole thing and dove right in. Scott immediately gravitated to Ric, and at the end of the shoot paid him double because he was so happy he’d agreed to participate in the project.

Ric had fun and was always fun to be around. It didn’t matter what the project was. He liked to be the center of attention and hold court as he did on the set that day.

Mr. Smoke failed to catch on and disappeared quickly. Scott Chinery died three years later, in 2000. He was only 40 years old.

Menello Archives: Volume Three

The Menello Archives: Volume One

Mel Neuhaus contributes the first classic clip from his archives circa 1980. The hilarious Orson Welles Jeans sketch features a game Menello doing his best Orson Welles impersonation in a parody of the popular jeans commercials of the time. This sketch was one of several that formed the pilot of Mel’s proposed Cable TV extravaganza The Mel Show.

Watch the 1980 clip: The Menello Archives: Volume One.