So, what's everbody watching on tv lately? 30 Rock...The Office...Lost? Damages and Rescue Me on FX are pretty good. What about the old HBO Sunday night line up? I thought this season of Big Love was great. And I'm a huge Flight of the Conchords fan. But both those HBO shows ended their seasons, and I'm a little short on choices for my pre-work week viewing pleasure. I may have to...um...read. Harsh.
But thank goodness for A&E, because tucked between the bounty hunter and retired rock god shows, they've been doing the viewing public the great service of showing Sopranos repeats on a daily basis. And Sunday nights is reserved for the final season. It's like I've fallen in love with the show all over again. So in honor of this television classic, let's take a look at what some of the cast are up to today. But not the lead characters. Today, we check in on the dearly departed, to see what life is like on the other side.
Anthony DeSando as Brendan Filone
Oh Brendan, you were our first. I remember when Mikey Palmice put that bullet through your eye, and in the bathtub, no less...is nothing sacred. Since then, Anthony DeSando has been a cop show regular, with guest spots on everything from NYPD Blue to CSI Miami. He also does one of the voices on a Sopranos video game, because once you go whacked, it's tough to go back.
Al Sapienza as Mikey Palmice
Speaking of Mikey Palmice, he didn't last much longer than Brendan. Tony needed to clean out Uncle Junior's crew, so that meant Mikey had to go, After that unfortunate jog in the woods, Al Sapienza has gone on to dozens of TV and film roles, recently appearing in Saw V as the police chief. And for more of what Mikey likes, you can check out his personal site.
Lilo Brancato as Matt Bevalaqua
Oh Lilo, Lilo, Lilo, If you live in New York, or if you're an avid ready of the Post or Daily News, you're very familiar with what happened to the former Mr. Bevalaqua. After roles on the Sopranos, and an earlier starring role in A Bronx Tale with Robert DeNiro, Lilo had some serious drug issues. In 2005, he was charged with second-degree murder for his role in a burglary in the Bronx, and ended up being convicted of first-degree attempted burglary. He's now serving a 10 year sentence. Truth, as they say, can be stranger than fiction.
David Proval as Richie Aprile
On this list, Richie has the unique distinction of being the only wiseguy whacked by a woman. You remember, Janice Soprano shot him point blank in the chest for punching her in the face. Come to think of it, Janice went out with three different guys on this list, but I digress. As for David Proval, he's in a ton of movies. IMDB actually lists four different flicks in 2009, alone. He was also in a movie called Balls of Fury for about twelve seconds. Anyone see that flick? It was pretty funny.
Vincent Pastore as "Big Pussy" Bompensiero
Why'd they do it? Nobody wanted Pussy to go. But he wore a wire for the Feds, so he had to sleep with the fishes. But the story has a happy ending, as Vincent Pastore has basically become the go-to guy for all your mob character needs. Mickey Blue, Eyes...Made...and an emmy-worthy performance as Vinnie Fellatio on Son of a Beach. He's also made the reality show rounds. And here's something I didn't expect...a recurring role on General Hospital. Soaps have changed a little, haven't they.
Jason Cerbone as Jackie Aprile, Jr.
I never liked Jackie. He was always a little weasley. And hitting Chris Moltisanti's card game...not very bright. As for Jason Cerbone, he's done some videos, some cop shows, and this year he's in The Taking fo Pelham 123 with James Gandolfini. Anyone remember the original? Really great.
Joe Pantoliano as Ralph Cifaretto
Joey Pants...we love us some Joey Pants. And without a doubt, Ralphie was honored with one of the funniest death episodes. When they put his head in the bowling ball bag...well, it's not tv, it's HBO. As for Joe Pantoliano, he had a great movie career before the Sopranos (Guido, the killer pimp ring a bell?), and he continues to work in movies today, with three flicks this year. He also continues to do all he can to make the kangol hat a staple of every man's wardrobe. Ya gotta have hobbies.
Drea De Matteo as Adriana La Cerva
We finally come to the one woman on the list. Like Pussy, Adriana got whacked for working for the Feds. Either that, or Tony coudn't stand hearing her say "Christafa" any more. As for Drea De Matteo, she used to own a famous East Village clothing store called FilthMart (which appears to have reopened in LA). She dates Shooter Jennings, son of country music legend, Waylon. And today, you can see her on another very cool FX show called Sons of Anarchy. Makes you wonder how FX and Fox News can be related.
Steve Buscemi as Tony Blundetto
From Mr. Pink in Reservoir Dogs, to the woodchipper guy in Fargo, he's played dozens of classic characters. And when you're that famous, you get to be whacked by Tony, himself, in the face, with a shotgun, As for today, you don't need me to tell you what Mr. Buscemi is up to. But I will say my favorite story about him is that after Sept 11th, he went back to his old firehouse (used to be a fireman) and dug through the rubble at ground zero...a class act.
Joseph Gannascoli as Vito Spatafore
Fat Vito wasn't nearly as fat in the last season, but he was slightly gayer than usual. And that was enough for Phil Leotardo to have his men do some very unpleasant things to him in a motel room. Today, Joe Gannascoli is all about food. He owns a restaurant in Brooklyn, and a line of pasta sauces called Sauce to Die For. He also appeared on Celebrity Fit Club, which is understandable, seeing as how he owns a restaurant in Brooklyn and a line of pasta sauces.
Steve Schirripa as Bobby Bacala
And speaking of fat, that don't make'em much more rotund than Bobby Bacala. Bobby got it in a toy store, playing with train sets...not your typical mob ending. But he did last until the second to last episode, which is longer than I thought he would. Today, Steve Schirripa has written a bunch of books about Goombas, he's acted in a bunch of movies and tv shows, has a cooking show on Lifeskool (no idea), and this just in...he was in the scene in Casino where Pesci stabs a guy with a pen. Now I have to watch that for the four hundredth time.
Frank Vincent as Phil Leotardo
Finally, Phil Leotardo was a thorn in Tony's side right up to the point where a car rolled over his skull. After that, not so much. Outside of The Sopranos, Frank Vincent is a mob movie regular, he plays several instruments (who knew), wrote a book about being a man's man (of course he did), and he was on an episode of Stargate Atlantis with Bobby Bacala. Those whacked mob guys...they sure do stick together.