Don Novello


Don Novello : biography

January 1, 1943 –

In 1990, Novello portrayed "Dominic Abbandando" in the film, Godfather: Part III. Abbandando appears with speaking lines in the first scene as public relations and media coordinator for Don Michael Corleone. Most notable is when he slaps down a news reporter with the challenge: "You think you know better than the Pope?" Novello appears in many other scenes as well shadowing George Hamilton and is included in the climactic scene on the steps of the Palermo Opera House.

In 2001, he lent his voice to the character Vincenzo "Vinny" Santorini in the Disney animated film Atlantis: The Lost Empire, and subsequently in the direct to video sequel Atlantis: Milo’s Return. In 2003, he filed papers to enter the 2003 California recall election, but failed to collect enough valid signatures to qualify for the ballot.

In 2005, after the death of Pope John Paul II, Novello, as Father Guido Sarducci, reprised his former SNL role as "Special Vatican Reporter" for Air America Radio host (and fellow Saturday Night Live alumnus) Al Franken. He continued this role until the election of Pope Benedict XVI. In 2006, he portrayed the role of Galileo on the podcast "The Radio Adventures of Dr. Floyd".

He portrayed Pope Pius XII in the 2009 short film, All in the Bunker.

On June 23, 2010, he appeared on The Colbert Report portraying Father Guido Sarducci.

On October 30, 2010, he gave the benediction at the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear hosted by Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert.

Personal life

Novello resides in San Anselmo, California. Brother to Joe Novello. His sister-in-law, Antonia Novello, was Surgeon General of the United States from 1990 to 1993.


  • Father Guido Sarducci Live at St. Douglas Convent (1980)
  • Breakfast in Heaven (1986)
  • Everybody’s Free to Wear Camouflage (2000) (CD Single) written by; Cat McLean, Don Novello and Narada Michael Walden, which was a top 20 hit in the UK.
  • One Hundred Bulbs on the Christmas Tree Party (2006)

Appeared on the compilations "Holidays in Dementia" (1995) and "A Classic Rock Christmas" (2002). He made guest appearances on the Handsome Boy Modelling School albums So… How’s Your Girl? (1999) and White People (2004).

Early life

Novello was born in Ashtabula, Ohio. His father was a physician. He is of Italian and Irish descent. In 1961, he graduated from Lorain High School in Lorain, Ohio. He graduated from the University of Dayton. In 1965, he graduated from the Thunderbird School of Global Management in Glendale, Arizona.

Writing credits

  • The Smothers Brothers Show (1975) (TV)
  • Van Dyke and Company (1976) (TV)
  • Saturday Night Live (1978-1986) (TV)
  • Things We Did Last Summer (1978) (TV)
  • Gilda Live (with Gilda Radner, Anne Beatts, Lorne Michaels, Michael O’Donoghue, Rosie Shuster, Marilyn Suzanne Miller, Paul Shaffer and Alan Zweibel) (1980)
  • SCTV (1982) (TV)
  • Noble Rot (with John Belushi) (1982) (unproduced)
  • Blondes vs. Brunettes (with Lisa Medway) (1984) (TV)
  • Father Guido Sarducci Goes To College (1985) (VHS)
  • Our Planet Tonight (1987) (TV)

Selected acting credits

  • Saturday Night Live (1978-1980) (TV) (as Father Guido Sarducci)
  • Gilda Live (1980) (as Father Guido Sarducci)
  • Square Pegs (1982) (TV) (as Father Guido Sarducci)
  • Head Office (1985)
  • Tucker: The Man and his Dream (1988)
  • New York Stories (1989)
  • The Spirit of ’76 (1990)
  • The Godfather Part III (1990) as Dominic Abbandando
  • Blossom (1993) (as Father Guido Sarducci)
  • Casper (1995) (as Father Guido Sarducci)
  • Married… with Children (1995) (TV) (as Father Guido Sarducci)
  • Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001)
  • Atlantis: Milo’s Return (2003)
  • Factory Girl (2006)
  • The Colbert Report (2010) (TV) (as Father Guido Sarducci)