The ‘Sopranos’ Creator Wrote Quarantine Monologues for the Show’s Beloved Characters
Since the April 6 launch of the Talking Sopranos podcast, fans have gotten a steady stream of revelations about the making of the classic HBO show. In the debut episode, co-host Michael Imperioli revealed how he based the Christopher Moltisanti character on a real-life mafioso.
In the show’s third installment, Imperioli and co-host Steve Schirripa (Bobby Baccala) got a visit from Michael Rispoli, who played boss Jackie Aprile in season 1. On that occasion, Rispoli detailed what it was like to audition for the Tony Soprano role with James Gandolfini as his competition.
In the sixth installment of Talking Sopranos, fans got a real treat: new material from Sopranos creator David Chase. Imagining his beloved Sopranos characters in quarantine in the coronavirus (COVID-19) era, Chase wrote lines for Tony’s family and crew for the first time in 13 years.
Imperioli and Schirripa kicked off episode 6 of their podcast by debuting Chase’s new work. And it became clear right away that the characters — from Paulie Walnuts to Meadow and A.J. — still have plenty of life in them.
Paulie Walnuts and Adriana have very personal takes on life in 2020
You could always count on Paulie Walnuts (Tony Sirico) for a big laugh on The Sopranos. More than a decade since Chase retired the character, Paulie remains alive and well in the creator’s head. And he gave Paulie the opening lines for Imperioli to read on Talking Sopranos.
“People call me a germaphobe, [big laugh]” Chase had Paulie say. “All I got to say is, ‘See, motherf*ckers?’ And I knew some f*ckin’ thing like this was gonna happen. I saw the Holy Mother at Bada Bing.”
Adriana La Cerva (Drea de Matteo), whom some Sopranos fans believe never died, also got a few terrific lines. For her bit, Chase referenced the condition that troubled Adriana after the FBI began pressuring her for information.
“I’d volunteer or something,” Chase had Adriana say. “I feel so bad. I’ve been crying a lot. But I got an underlying condition: irritable bowel syndrome, right? I can’t reach my doctor to find out if that would exclude me from passing out masks or something.”
David Chase also had fun with the Silvio Dante and AJ Soprano characters
While Chase delivered fine new material for Tony Soprano (“They said the pork store could remain open”), his lines for Silvio Dante (Steve Van Zandt), A.J. Soprano (Robert Iler), and Bobby Baccala were nothing short of brilliant.
In Silvio’s case, the laidback strip-club operator/consigliere dealt with a setback to one of the crew’s key businesses. “We told the girls we’d keep them all on furlough,” Chase had Silvio say. “Lap dance was the first to go.” Then Schirripa got to read as his old Baccala character.
“Last national emergency, I took all this sh*t because I got my predictions about it wrong,” Chase had Baccala say. “I said ‘Quasimodo,’ T said ‘Nostradamus.’ My wife bought a Nostradamus book and I looked, and he didn’t say anything about this. Weird thing is, though — my son Robert? He went to Notre Dame.”
For his new A.J. material, Chase referenced some lines Tony’s son had about Donald Trump late in the series’ run. “At one time, I wanted to work for Trump,” Chase had A.J. say. “You believe it? F*ck me, dude.”
With this new work on the record, we wouldn’t be surprised if Sopranos fans began calling for another season of the show. However, Chase hasn’t finished the film prequel yet. Everyone will have to sit tight for now. This podcast should help.