Michael Schiavello’s new book Good Night Irene discusses his early career as a bullied fat kid from Melbourne, Australia who lived the American Dream.
It was 9 years go when I first became a fan of ‘The Voice‘ Michael
Schiavello when he was doing commentary on the then HDNet channel with MMA fighter and UFC Hall of Famer, Frank Trigg and hearing him say for the first time, his knock out battle cry, ‘It’s Good Night Irene!‘ Fast forward one year and I met Schiavello at a Muay Thai card that aired on the now AXS TV for the Lion Fight promotion.
Who would have thought that, that one day I would be interviewing a man who I am lucky enough to call my friend. Schiavello grew up in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia and as a teenage began to fulfill his dream of being a sportscaster. Here was this fat, teenager getting interviews for a local public radio station that most big name broadcasting companies couldn’t obtain on in their studios.
That however, didn’t necessarily stop the bullying and the horrible nickname of, ‘Schiavello the Marshmallow.’ My bias leads me to believe it was jealousy as these people in Schiavello’s school would never getting to meet their favorite cricketers or footy players, while this Italian kid was pulling off his dream.
You will find out in this interview how Shiavello ignored every naysayer who told him numerous times that his name was too ethnic, how an Australian announcer wouldn’t make it in the United States when we have several million broadcasters here that could already do the job. You’ll find out where the catchphrase, ‘Good Night Irene’ comes from and why he’ll never say those three words to his wife Irene…spoiler, she’s not the reason for the catchphrase.
Good Night Irene is an incredible page turner and Schiavello knows me well enough that if I thought the book was awful, I would have told him in the interview.