He first appears in "Fifteen Percent". After Jay introduces Cameron to his friends as "a friend of Mitchell's", Mitchell is incensed and decides to talk to his father about it. Mitchell then tells him that he believes that Shorty, one of his friends, is gay. Jay vehemently denies it, but when he informs Gloria of Mitchell's opinion, she agrees with Mitchell, since Shorty has never tried to flirt with her. She convinces Jay to talk to him about it, and he invites Shorty to go playing golf. He begins noticing signs after he starts watching how Shorty acts and comes to think it may be possible. Jay settles for coffee and finally tries to get Shorty to open up. Jay admits he didn't handle the situation well with his son, and offers him to support Shorty and doing all he can to help him. Shorty tells him however, that rather than being gay, he owes a bookie $20,000. He assumes that Jay is willing to lend him the money, and considers it beautiful. Jay confronts Mitchell, telling him that in offering his support to Shorty, he's had to loan him $20,000 to cover gambling debts. It turns out that Mitchell never believed that Shorty is gay, he was teaching Jay a lesson for introducing Cameron as "a friend of my son's". But Mitchell tells his father he's proud of him, for becoming more open-minded than he was when Mitchell was younger.
He reappears in "Treehouse", with his girlfriend Darlene. When Gloria sees that Shorty spends a lot of time with Darlene, she gets mad because she and Jay hardly ever do something together. Shorty invites Jay and Gloria to dance salsa and Darlene tells Gloria she would be doing her a favor because Shorty never stops dancing. Jay rejects the offer, which makes Gloria so angry. But later, Jay takes a pill that Mitchell gave him to dance and he finally goes to dance salsa with Shorty, Darlene and Gloria at the dance.
In "Bringing Up Baby", he, Phil and Miles, kidnap Jay and bring him to a boat to surprise him for his 65th birthday. Shorty also tries to convince Phil to grow a beard.
In "Three Dinners", he and Darlene announce Jay and Gloria that they are moving to Costa Rica. Jay gets upset with the news and he doesn't know how to react. He tries everything to make Shorty change his mind but the two of them end up fighting with Shorty leaving the house. Gloria and Manny try to make Jay admit that the reason he reacted that way is because he is afraid that Shorty will like Costa Rica and he won't come back. Even though Jay denies it, he later accepts the possibility of "losing" his best friend and when Shorty comes back to get the jacket he forgot, Jay gets very emotional when he tells him goodbye.
- He and Jay know each other for at least 30 years.
- He stayed at the hospital with Jay for three days when Mitchell was born a month premature, so Jay named Mitchell (in middle name) after Shorty's real name, Vincent.
- He was a Marine.
- His father was a tailor, and that's why he's always talking about clothes.
- In reality, Chazz Palminteri is 6 years younger than Ed O'Neill