Fool for love
Frank ‘the Entertainer’ returns to VH1 for ‘A Basement Affair’
By Michael Marotta
Sunday, January 3, 2010 - Added 2d 3h ago
Before MTV’s “Jersey Shore,” there was one obnoxious Italian from New York who dominated cable’s celeb-reality circuit.
Now he finally has his own show.
Frank “the Entertainer” Maresca, 31, a staple of VH1’s dating shows and known for still living in his parents’ basement, returns to the cable channel tonight at 8 in “Frank the Entertainer . . . in a Basement Affair.”
None of the 15 girls competing for his heart better mention “Jersey Shore.”
“That’s giving Italians a bad name,” Maresca said. ‘I don’t know how the hell these guys got their own show. They’re not people I’d ever hang out with.”
Maresca, viewers will recall, made his debut in “I Love New York 2” (2007) and failed at two attempts at riches in both “I Love Money” and its sequel. He’s come a long way from sucking on Tiffany “New York” Pollard’s toes in a Jacuzzi on “I Love New York 2.”
After years as the “Entertainer,” Maresca is now the entertained.
But VH1 didn’t put up Maresca in a mansion to frolic carefree among the bosoms, as was the formula for previous shows. Instead, the network sent the girls to him, enlisting his brash, opinionated parents as the show’s gatekeepers and forcing the bunch to shack up in an enlarged replica of his Rockland County home just north of New York City.
“I still live at home,” Maresca said. “There’s no reason to move out until I find a woman. This is where my family is, this is where I should be. They brought the show to me. This is real.”
“A Basement Affair” is the first relaunch spinning off someone from the channel’s dating shows since “Megan Wants a Millionaire” was canceled in August after just three episodes. Early in that season, contestant Ryan Jenkins was implicated in the murder of his model wife Jasmine Fiore and found dead in a Canadian hotel room a few days later.
While not addressing the “Millionaire” scandal, Maresca said he feels no pressure to make the love-seeking elimination reality show a ratings magnet for VH1. “I’m not here to please other people,” he said.
Except for the ladies in the house, who shack up everywhere from couches to “grandma’s spare bedroom.”
Renee Taylor of Taunton is the lone contestant with local ties. Maresca didn’t have much to say when asked if Taylor left a lasting impression.
“I like all the girls,” he said diplomatically. “I gave every girl a fair chance and tried talking to everyone. I’m looking to settle down.”
And as for the toe-sucking incident on “New York 2,” Maresca makes no apologies.
“I’ve never sucked on a woman’s toes until that night,” he said. “Her feet were clean; they smelled like roses. I did it. I love women and do whatever I can to make them happy.”