Checco Zalone
AGF s.r.l./REX/Shutterstock


Actor, screenwriter, and singer Checco Zalone toplines comedies that systematically break Italian box office records. His most recent, 2016’s “Quo Vado,” took in $70 million at the Italian box office. 

Born in the Southern port city of Bari, Zalone cut his teeth as a standup comic in local clubs before being recruited to appear on the national variety show “Zelig,” on Mediaset’s flagship Canale 5 station. 

He has made the vernacular of the Italian South his trademark. In his first movie, 2009’s “Cado dalle Nubi” (Falling from the Clouds), he played an aspiring singer who moves from the Apulia region to Milan, hoping to break out. The film, which he co-wrote with regular collaborator Gennaro Nunziante, who has directed all of Zalone’s movies, made more than $14.5 million, a record for a first film. 

He followed that in 2011 with “Che Bella Giornata” (What a Beautiful Day), a politically incorrect comedy in which Zalone plays a Milan security guard with the hots for a sexy Arab who’s an aspiring terrorist. It pulled in a whopping $57 million. 2013’s “Sole a Catinelle” grossed about the same. 

Then came “Quo Vado,” about a Southern Italian slacker hell-bent on holding onto his government job even when he is transferred to the North Pole. The film, producer Pietro Valsecchi told Variety, succeeded “beyond anyone’s imagination,” becoming the second-highest grossing movie ever in Italy (after “Avatar”).




  • University of Bari Aldo Moro (Italy)

Variety Honors

  • 2017 Variety500 Honoree
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News from Variety

Record-Breaking Italian Comedy 'Quo Vado' Set for French Remake (EXCLUSIVE)

Record-Breaking Italian Comedy 'Quo Vado' Set for French Remake (EXCLUSIVE)

ROME - “Quo Vado,” the Italian comedy about job security that became the country's all-time highest grosser, is getting a French remake.French comedy specialist Fabien Onteniente, known for the hit "Camping" franchise, is set to direct the redo of the movie about an Italian slacker - played in the original by comic sensation Checco Zalone - who is hell-bent on holding on to his parasitic government job. The screenplay is being written by Guy Laurent ("Qu'est-ce qu'on a fait au Bon Dieu ?"). French distributor...


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