All in the Family TV show Wiki
Jack Somack
Jack Somack
Jack Somack appeared in two episodes of "All in the Family".
Personal Information
Born: September 14, 1918
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Died: August 24, 1983(1983-08-24) (aged 64)
Deathplace: Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Character actor
Years active: 1967-1983
Character/Series involvement
Series: All in the Family
Episodes appeared in: "Archie Sees a Mugging" (Season 2)
"Archie the Babysitter" (Season 5)
Character played: Tony Vicino/Tony Silberforce
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Jack Somack (born September 14, 1918-died August 24, 1983) appeared as Tony Vicino, a businessman and neighbor of the Bunkers in the Season 2 episode titled "Archie Sees a Mugging" and then as Tony Silberforce in the Season 5 episode "Archie the Babysitter". Jack is perhaps best recognized to TV viewers for his appearances in the Alka-Seltzer commercials during the 1960s and 1970s.



Jack, a native of Chicago, acted in amateur productions for many years and didn't break into professional acting until his fifties. Jack appeared in guest roles in many TV series during the 1970's such as AITF, The Jeffersons, The Rockford Files, Starsky and Hutch, Sanford and Son and Laverne and Shirley. In films, he is probably best known for his portrayal of Jack Portnoy, the father of Alexander Portnoy (Richard Benjamin) in Portnoy's Complaint.

Alka-Seltzer commercial ads[]

Probably considered his greatest claim (rather dubious) to fame was appearing in the notorious "spicy meatball" Alka-Seltzer commercial in the late 1960s and early 1970s. This was really a "commercial within a commercial." A film crew is trying to make a 10-second spot for a fictitious brand of meatballs. In it, Somack (who was Jewish) plays an actor playing a portly, mustachioed Italian sitting at a little table in front of a small oven. From his left, his ample, beaming "wife" places a plate of meatballs in front of him. Jack is supposed to eat one and say, "Mamma mia, that's a spicy meat-a-ball!" The commercial ads were eventually pulled from the air after protests from Italian-American anti-defamation groups that the commercial promoted unflattering stereotypes of Italians.

Selected filmography[]

Starring Roles[]

Series Role Year(s) Season(s)
The Stockard Channing Show  Mr. Kramer 1980 1

Guest Starring Roles[]

Series Role Episode Airdate
All in the Family Tony Vicino Archie Sees a Mugging January 29, 1972
Sanford and Son Gabey Steinberg and Son October 10, 1975
The Rockford Files Oliver Prey The Hammer of C Block January 9, 1976
All In The Family Cop Archie, The Babysitter January 12, 1976
Man From Atlantis The Mudworm October 13, 1977
The Jeffersons Papa Panelli The Jefferson Curve December 17, 1977
Starsky and Hutch Detective Peterson Deckwatch May 17, 1978
Laverne & Shirley Officer Newman It's A Dog's Life December 12, 1978

External links[]