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|Born||October 14, 1942
Pieve di Teco, Liguria
|Died||January 4, 2009
|Known for||Internet celebrity|
Mario Magnotta (October 14, 1942 – January 4, 2009) was an Italian janitor of a commercial school in L'Aquila. He became very known in Italy after several prank calls by some former students of the institute were circulated on the Internet.
Mario Magnotta was already famous when there was no internet, by word of mouth and through the duplication and the sharing of cassette tapes. Years later, his fame (thanks to the Internet) has increased even more. Some years after the pranks took place (in 1986–1987), the pranksters digitized the recordings and shared them on the Internet. In time Mario Magnotta's fame spread all over Italy. The success on the website was principally due to the rage and the use of blasphemies by Mr. Magnotta, and to his "Aquilano dialect", the most important variant of Sabino dialect, considered the standard form of it and which sounds very amusing to internauts. The phone jokes had three topics:
- Two fake calls from Telefono Azzurro (an Italian association for the protection of children) regarding his daughter and his (made-up) homosexual relationship with one of his co-workers.
- Some calls from Mr. Bruno, who pretended to be the new partner of his former wife, asking him money to maintain her.
- The most famous prank was about a washing machine Mario Magnotta actually bought in 1981. A fake accountant, Mr. Bontempi, asked him, 6 years after the sale, to pay an installment of
ITL480,000. This and other calls from other subjects (one impersonating a manager of the San Giorgio Company of Milan, an Italian electric appliances manufacturer) gave him the sensation of being framed in a fraud to the company made by Mr. Bontempi. In the last of his calls, Magnotta, in a burst of rage, tells Bontempi his most well-known (and unintentionally funny) quote: «Mi iscrivo ai terroristi!» («I'll sign up to the terrorists!»).
After the fame on the Web (with the url www.magnotta.it), he was twice invited to some talk-shows on Italian television RAI, and suddenly invited to some local events dedicated to him. During a concert of Antonello Venditti in L'Aquila, Magnotta was invited on the scene by the singer, who was curious to know him. The Italian singer Simone Cristicchi, winner of the 2007 edition of Festival di Sanremo, dedicated to him a verse of his song "L'Italia di Piero" (The Italy of Piero): «Piero non rinuncerebbe mai alla lotta, e si iscrive ai terroristi come fa il Magnotta» («Piero would never give up combat, and he "signs up to the terrorists" like Magnotta did»)
- (Italian) Official site of Mario Magnotta (with audios of jokes)
- (Italian) An interview to Mario Magnotta on YouTube