NEWARK, N.J. – Tony Soprano was sighted late Tuesday night leaving Satin Dolls, the gentlemen’s club on Route 17 in Lodi, New Jersey, where scenes that took place at the Bada Bing strip joint in The Sopranos had been filmed.
“He looked good, man,” said Mario Fenestra, who reported the sighting to the Newark Star Ledger, the newspaper Mr. Soprano shambled down his driveway in his trademark white terry robe to fetch at the opening of many episodes of The Sopranos.
When the reporter asked if the person Mr. Fenestra saw might have been James Gandolfini, who played Tony Soprano on television, Mr. Fenestra grew agitated.
“Yo, you sayin’ I don’t know the difference between an actor and the real thing? You want me to come down there and punch your lights out?
“I’m tellin’ ya, numbnuts, it was him. He was with his goomar. When I yelled, ‘Hey T,’ he shot me a look then got in his Escalade and drove away. This proves he didn’t die in the last episode.”
A debate has raged over the fate of Mr. Soprano since the moment the television screen went black at the end of The Sopranos Sunday night. Many viewers contend that Mr. Soprano was shot by one or more of the shady characters in the restaurant where he was sharing a basket of onion rings with his family.
Other viewers, like Mr. Fenestra, maintain the abrupt ending was simply a literary device, a “Zeus ex mackinaw,” that was series creator, David Chase’s, playful way of suggesting that television, like real life, is “an existential stagmire.”
In related news, President Bush said the “abrupt pullout” with which The Sopranos ended was “irresponsible” because it could plunge the mafia into a civil war.
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