‘Talking Sopranos’: Steve Schirripa at Times Channels ‘Baccala’ While Doing Sponsor Ads

If you’re looking for a podcast and count yourself a fan of The Sopranos, then you can’t go wrong with Talking Sopranos, which launched in April 2020. On the show, co-hosts Michael Imperioli (Christopher Moltisanti) and Steve Schirripa (Bobby “Baccala”) guide listeners through each Sopranos episode, in order.

Over the course of the first seven episodes, fans have learned how Imperioli based his character on a real mafioso, how Schirripa landed the part of “Baccala,” and how Tony Sirico was more like Paulie Walnuts that you might have thought.

But, more than that, the podcast has worked because Imperioli and Schirripa speak freely and naturally about something that interests them as much as their listeners. And there’s rarely a dull moment.

Even as the list of Talking Sopranos sponsors has grown, the show has managed to keep its focus. Schirripa in particular deserves credit on this front. While reading ads, Schirripa doesn’t slack in the slightest. And you can see why he played the sincere Bobby Baccala so well.

Steve Schirripa really gives ‘Talking Sopranos’ ads his all

'Sopranos' cast
Michael Imperioli, Steve Schirripa and John Ventimiglia | James Devaney/WireImage

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For podcast fans, the obligatory “word from our sponsors” can get tedious. But, early on in Talking Sopranos, listeners didn’t have to bother with that because the show only had one. But as more sponsors have jumped on the train it’s remained a non-issue.

In episode 6, Imperioli and Schirripa introduced a new sponsor that offers postal products at home via their website. After both co-hosts read their section of ad copy convincingly, Schirripa went off-script with some personal anecdotes (as he’s wont to do).

“Listen, my wife has been using this for years,” he said. “It’s simple. You know, you print out the labels and stuff, uh, on the computer. You just leave the package downstairs, you know, whether it be a box … it’s really something. She’s been using it for years.”

But Schirripa wasn’t done. From there, he continued riffing on why “now more than ever” was a time to avoid going to the post office (the need for masks gloves, etc.). And he approached Baccala-level commentary before he was done.

In a Baccala-esque moment, Schirripa said the crowd at post offices can be ‘funky’

Steve Schirripa on 'The Sopranos'
Steven R. Schirripa as Bobby “Bacala” Baccalieri acts in a scene in HBO’s hit drama series, “The Sopranos.” | HBO

While continuing to pump the advantages the sponsor offered Talking Sopranos listeners, Schirripa had a Baccala-esque digression. These days, he pointed out, “You don’t wanna have to go out and … see these people where you get stamps, go to the post office. You know, the post office is funky anyway.”

At that point, Imperioli had to jump in. “I don’t think it’s funky,” he said, shaking his head. “What do you got against the post office?” Schirripa said said his opinion came from personal experience. “I was a postal worker,” Schirripa told Imperioli. “I worked at the post office.”

As Imperioli broke out laughing, Schirripa described working the graveyard shift at a post office in downtown New York while he attended college. But he held his ground after Imperioli pressed him on the “funky comment.”

“It’s a little funky … crowd that goes to the post office,” Schirripa said. “It’s kind of like you go to a DMV. It’s the same thing.” After calling out the sponsor two more times, Schirripa finally finished the break. “Listen to your Uncle Steve,” he told listeners. Bobby couldn’t have done it better.

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