Joey Zasa

Joey Zasa

Infobox character
colour = #DEDEE2
name = Joey Zasa


caption =
first = "The Godfather Part III"
last = "The Godfather Part III"
cause =
born = birth date|1936|1|2
death = death date and age|1979|7|4|1936|1|2
nickname = Spotlight Zasa
occupation = Gangster
alias =
species = Human
gender = Male
age = 43
portrayer = Joe Mantegna
creator = Mario Puzo & Francis Ford Coppola

Joey Zasa (January 2, 1936July 4, 1979) is a fictional character appearing in "The Godfather Part III". He was portrayed by Joe Mantegna.

Following the death of Frank Pentangeli in 1959, Zasa was awarded all the Corleone family business in New York with the Commission and Michael's approval. He was likely a "caporegime" of Pentangeli's, as it appears that even with Michael's exit from the business, Zasa still reports to Corleones (as did Pentangeli), although it is possible he could be a boss and only defers to Michael out of respect.

While Zasa was feared and, to a certain degree, respected among his peers in New York's underworld of organized crime for his business acumen and utter ruthlessness, his flamboyance and hunger for publicity earned him the Corleone family's displeasure as it attracted unwanted public attention to its criminal enterprises. Michael especially disapproved of Zasa's high public profile and eagerness to deal in the drug trade. Zasa may have been meant to reflect real-life gangster John Gotti, also known for casting a "bella figura," as Zasa describes his nature. He also may be based partially on Joseph Colombo, who as a Mafia Don campaigned saying there is no such thing as the Mafia.

Zasa was part of a plot to have Michael murdered during a meeting with all the various Dons in Atlantic City, New Jersey. During the meeting Joey walks Micheal into insulting Joey, prompting Joey to leave the meeting in fake anger, with Zasa out of the meeting the hit initiates and an attack helicopter hovers above the meeting room and kills nearly everyone inside with a biragge of bullets from a minigun. Michael escaped, but nearly every other Don attending the meeting was killed, the others that survived made deals with Zasa.

Zasa was assassinated days later by Vincent Mancini-Corleone in the Little Italy Independence Day celebration. Vincent's men (disguised as marching band men) kill Zasa's bodyguards and Vincent himself (disguised as a mounted police officer) shows up and shoots Zasa thrice in the back right after saying "Goodnight, Mr Zasa".

Vincent and Joey had a past as Vincent was a former employee of Zasa's who came to despise him, claiming him to be two-faced and had cursed toward Michael behind his back. A famous scene at the beginning of this movie occurs in Michael's office, as Michael wants to end a dispute between Zasa and Vincent. Vincent says he plans on killing Zasa causing Michael to ask why he should care. Vincent then says he should care because Zasa said, "Fuck Michael Corelone." Zasa, frightened, denied making the comment. Michael then says, "If there's a guy going around saying 'Fuck Michael Corleone,' what are we gonna do with a piece of shit like that? He's a fucking dog." (This line is another reference to John Gotti. A Capo of the the Columbo family, Micheal Franzese had made the comment "Fuck John Gotti". Gotti later confronted Franzese with that famous line about being a dog, to which Franzese, like Zasa, cowered and agreed that such a person making comments like that would be a dog.) Zasa agrees and Michael asks the two to shake hands and make up. When Zasa goes to hug Vincent, he whispers "Bastarde" in Vincent's ear. Vincent then bites Zasa's ear and their feud continues until he kills Zasa. Mantegna would later mirror the tone and mannerisms of Joey Zasa's character in his portrayal of mob boss Fat Tony on "The Simpsons".


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