From 1870 he began his personal success as the character in the farce of Henry Sciosciammocca Felice Parisi "rogue Feliciello de 'na pizza", which prompted the impresario of the Teatro San Carlino, Giuseppe Maria Luzi, hired him for his National Comedy Company . In the same year (1872), the same farce Petito wrote for him "Happy, Guaglione 'and n'anno" that will take the stage along with some scripts that he now experienced, he had prepared. After the death of Petito, replaced by De Martino, left the San Carlino.
Ambitious social climber, aims to emerge at all costs, preferring to starve rather than submit to David Petito, new head of the company. After a brief period spent in Rome, in the company of Raffaele Vitale (one of the most famous era Pulcinella) rents with some comedians of San Carlino a booth on the pier, Metastasio, which represents some of his works. In 1878, agrees to return to San Carlino, knowing that his side would play in the suborder puffin Caesar Theodore, here was a great success with the comedy "Don Felice master of calligraphy," better known as "Lu curaggio de nu firefighter napulitano" . The following year he was hired to tour nationally.
In 1880 he obtained a loan of 5,000 pounds Advocate Severus and, thanks to his perseverance, managed to reopen and renovate the old and glorious theater of San Carlino, where he made his debut on 1 September with the comedy "Presentation of a comedy troupe." He himself, in his "Memoirs," says that "The public dall'affiatamento surprised and admired company, the naturalness of the acting, impeccable owned by the dress, laughed and applauded loudly." Thus began a season of great success, which led him soon to become an idol. He became a successful comedian, born into a modest family, now owns a building in Via Dei Mille, built by the same architect of the Teatro Bellini, Vincenzo Salvietti, carriages and horses. Married since 1876 with Rosa De Filippo (who, as a young man was loved by King Vittorio Emanuele II and appears often with diadems and brilliant worthy of a queen) was then entered into a relationship with this woman's niece, Luisa De Filippo.
On May 15, 1889 he obtained a memorable success with "'Na Santarella" at the Teatro Sannazzaro of Via Chiaia. All Naples, elegant and funny, runs over to the small theater, and with the proceeds of the play, which opens its doors permanently in the capital, he built a villa on the Vomero hill, just call Santarella The Villa, which stood on the main facade written, "Here I laugh!" a few years later sold it because his wife was afraid to live there alone when her husband was on tour.
His greatest success, "Poverty and Nobility", which later had three film adaptations (memorable was that of 1954 with Toto) was written solely to allow participation in the comedy old son Vincent, who starred in the first performance in the role of Peppiniello.
The foundation of the Salone Margherita Theatre, the first Neapolitan variety, built in the basement of the new Galleria Umberto I, began to undermine the fortunes of the playwright, who in response to new fashion recurred to the public with its own cafe-chantant, but the shot of grace came to him in 1904, when he was starring in spite of one of the most outstanding theatrical events of the time: that concerning the parody of "The daughter of Iorio" Gabriele d'Annunzio, who provided him with blazing failure (D'Annunzio even dragged him to court for a memorable time because three years, from 1906 to 1908, however, that Scarpetta won) and many disappointments. There are many criticisms of these years, especially by Salvatore Di Giacomo and Roberto Bracco. Unique voice in his defense was that of Benedetto Croce.
In 1909, disillusioned and embittered, retired from the stage, after taking part in the parody "The Queen of the Sea", composed by his son Vincenzo, to which he requires to be his successor in the role of Sciosciammocca. In 1920 he wrote an essay on the art of character innovators Raffaele Viviani. He died at the age of 72 years, and his funeral was very impressive: it was embalmed and placed in a crystal coffin. His comedies were shot many times and are still often on the bill. In addition to his son Vincenzo, other famous actors Neapolitans as the brothers Aldo and Carlo Giuffre recited his comedies. On the big screen several films were made from his plays, as well as three versions of his masterpiece, even if the silent version of 1914 is considered lost.