As It Happens

Regina deli owner cuts off his legendary 'mullet from heck'

Fans of the deli expressed their shock on social media after it was revealed that Carlo Giambattista had cut his hair.
A shot of Carlo Giambattista's ponytail before he chopped it off. (Jean Bilodeau)

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Carlo Giambattista cut his hair. But what the owner of the Italian Star Deli in Regina didn't expect was that chopping off his locks would cause a stir on Twitter. 

Last Monday, Giambattista made the decision to part with the mullet, which he often kept in a ponytail. News of his new look made its way to Twitter and some fans of the deli were shocked by the change. 

Giambattista owns the family-run deli. It was started by his parents Gina and Frank in 1966 after emigrating from the small village of Vinchiaturo, Italy.

Giambattista spoke with As It Happens guest host Laura Lynch about his hair. Here is part of their conversation. 

LL: Mr. Giambattista, what have you done?

CG: You know what I didn't think I did anything, Laura, but all of a sudden, my God. You know I thought a simple little cut, a little trim would have been OK, but looks like something has happened here. So it's a little bit embarrassing to me right now.

LL: But you really did cut off the ponytail, right?

CG: You know, Laura, if it was a ponytail I would have left it, but it was one of them bad looking mullets. I'm 57-years-old so it was a mullet from heck.  

LL: Is that why you did it?

CG: I did that. I looked at a picture a couple of days ago, before I did it and I said "That's really how I look." I should have looked at more pictures throughout the years but that's why I did it. It was enough. I had it all my life.

LL: Wait a second, you've had it all your life? Tell me how many years that really is.  

CG: From the time I graduated, this would be '79. Couple of years after that you know the hair started to get longer and longer. I played in bands and what not so I kept it like that. And then it turned into a mullet probably about 10, 15 years ago. I don't know how that happened.

The aftermath of Carlo Giambattista's famous ponytail being cut off. (Heather Giambattista)

LL: A change like that can sometimes be traumatic. How does it feel to not have that swinging around back there anymore?

CG: You know, I grab it every once and a while. It's kind of weird because I kind of thought maybe some people wouldn't like what's going on but I know I have to live in this skin so it's not so bad. You know Laura, I'm loving it. I feel like taking my shirt off and running around the streets saying, "Yes. I am free." Man, I really feel like doing that.

LL: What about all your customers on Twitter. Did you have any idea that the haircut would trigger a reaction like this?

CG: You know, Laura, no. I thought maybe a few people would sit there and comment on it but I never thought, I never expected. Believe me, if I knew that that was going to happen I might have kept it because I'm not looking for the attention.

LL: Where is the ponytail?

CG: I've got it in a bag. So the gentleman that cut it, you know, he cut it off and he put it in a bag. So my wife has got it somewhere, I don't know where it is now. I haven't seen for a while. It's sitting in a bag I think in a safe place. I might have to put it in a safety deposit I think after today.

LL: You mentioned earlier that you used to play in bands. Do you think that the ponytail was just you trying to hold onto your younger man's dream of being a rockstar? 

Carlo Giambattista hair has been a staple in his life, as can be seen in this 1979 yearbook photo. (Courtesy Marina Giambattista)

CG: You got it, man. You hit it, absolutely. You know people hold on to things and that's definitely it because I never put this, Laura, this mullet out of its elastic. It was always in a ponytail. I also played in bands. When I played in bands I had the hair out.

Now at 57, are you kidding? Who's going to call me to play drums? Nobody. So it's gone. So if they want me back, I still got that ponytail in the bag. I'll tape that back on if anyone wants me.

Carlo Giambattista's hair before he cut it. (Jean Bilodeau)

This interview has been edited for length and clarity. To hear more from Carlo Giambattista, listen to the audio.

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