When Archie and the Gang Met the Iconic...Glenn Scarpelli?

In every installment of I Love Ya But You’re Strange I spotlight strange but ultimately endearing comic stories. Feel free to e-mail me at brianc@cbr.com if you have a suggestion for a future installment!

Today, we look at one of the oddest Archie supporting characters of the mid-1980s, Glenn Scarpelli!

One Day at a Time was a popular sitcom that ran for an impressive nine seasons between 1975-1984. The show was about a divorced woman, Ann Romano (played by Bonnie Franklin) raising two teenage daughters, Julie (Mackenzie Phillips) and Barbara (Valerie Bertinelli) on her own (with some help from the wacky super of their apartment building, named Schneider, played by Pat Harrington).

A big problem with the series was that Mackenzie Phillips had all sorts of drug problems in her personal life and it made for a difficult time for the show to keep her on the air. She was even arrested in the middle of Season 3! In Season 5, the show made a big move by having her character get married, with her husband joining the cast of the show. That got awkward when her drug problems got so bad that they suspended her soon afterwards and then fired her before Season 5 was even finished.

With Julie off of the show now and Barbara old enough to be in college, the show decided to add a new kid to the program for Season 6 (which began in late 1980), this time a boy. Ann had been working for an advertising firm since the first season and now the show had her go on her own. She teamed up with an artist named Nick Handris (Ron Rifkin). He was also divorced and had a son named Alex. Alex was played by a young actor named Glenn Scarpelli...

Following Season 6, Nick was killed off but the show found a way to keep the popular Alex character, having him move in with Ann and Barbara, with him essentially becoming a son to Ann.

Scarpelli was a popular character on the show, but after the show's eighth season, it was unclear whether Franklin wanted to come back for Season Nine, so Scarpelli got a gig on another sitcom, Jennifer Slept Here, starring Ann Jillian (as a ghost haunting a family...yes, seriously). Then Franklin decided to give the show one more season, but since he had already committed to the new series, Scarpelli had to leave One Day at a Time for its final season.

Around the same time, though, he also tried a singing career. It's pretty hilarious...

Okay, so what does this have to do with comics, you wonder?

Well, as it turned out, Glenn Scarpelli's father was a notable comic book artist named Henry Scarpelli!

He worked for DC Comics' Archie knock-off series, Swingin' with Scooter (what if Archie was also a British mod!) in the late 1960s/early 1970s, among other humor titles...

When those series dried up, Scarpelli then went to work for Archie Comics itself, drawing for them for the next 40 years, including doing the Archie comic strip until soon before Scarpelli passed away in 2010...

I think you can guess where this is going, right?

But it is all so more glorious than you expect...

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