Today’s list is dealing with the Sopranos, and your top 5 favorite characters of the show other than Tony Soprano. The show, during its run, was the most successful cable show ever and consider the best TV show of all time by several people, including the NY Post. It follows the life of Tony Soprano, a New Jersey mob boss and his struggles with everything from his job and wife, to his faith and over bearing mother. If you have not seen it, I highly recommend it.
Today’s guest lister is Ted Schuster. Ted thought of and sent in this list on his own, and I am glad he did. I went to high school with Ted and he is one of the biggest fans of the series I know. With a cast of well over 200 people, it has a ton of characters to choose from. Let us start with Ted’s list:
1. John Sacramoni: Johnny is the master of sounding like he’s on the brink of blowing up, but holding back his anger just enough to speak in calm, measured tones. Of course, he blows up from time to time too. Whether it’s his dying devotion to the success of the Esplanade project or his unconditional love for his wife Ginny, John is a dedicated man. The indignity of being forcibly taken away from his daughter’s wedding is shackles was too much for poor John to bear.
Allies: Paulie Gultieri, Tony Soprano, Ginny Sack
Foes: Carmine Jr., Ralph Cifaretto, Tony Blundetto
Quote: “Power sharing….what’s this, the FUCKING U.N. NOW?!”
2. Artie Bucco: Artie is a bit of a tragic character, and also a bit of a schmuck. Artie has a thankless job as go-to restaurateur for a mob family that always stays after hours and never pays on time. He grew up with Tony and envies his boyhood friend’s fast-paced lifestyle. Between committing arson and running up month’s worth of tabs without paying, Tony is not the most considerate friend at times. However the main reason Artie makes this list is when early in season 6, he grows tired of being taken advantage of. What ensues is him standing up to Tony, flipping out on his employees, and beating the crap out of Benny Fazio.
Allies: Carmela Soprano, Tony Soprano, Rosalind Aprile
Foes: Benny Fazio, Gabrielle Dante
Quote: “You know better than the New Jersey Zagat? ‘Artie Bucco, warm and convivial host’.”
3. Ralph Cifaretto: Similar to Richie Aprile and Tony Blundetto, Ralphie is introduced to the fold mid- series as a troublemaker. In a series full of sociopaths, Ralphie is arguably the biggest. Whether it’s his mistreatment of the Bada Bing employees, his sanctioning a hit on his own son-in-law, or his unique relationship with Tony’s sister Janice, Ralph is one twisted, depraved individual. However, he is also a solid earner for Tony and a worthy leader of the ever-critical Esplanade.
Allies: Eugene Pontecorvo, Vito Spatafore
Foes: Johnny Sack, Paulie Gualtieri
Quote: “Why was I born handsome instead of rich?”
4. Carmine Luperrtazzi, Jr.: Carmine Jr had big shoes to fill after the passing of his father, and he never seemed cut out for the life as boss. After losing a power struggle with Johnny Sack, Carmine follows his passion of producing movies, first DVD’s for the South Beach Strumpet Series, and later Chris’s passion project Cleaver. He also maintains a role as liaison between New York and New Jersey, called upon from time to time to ease tensions. Although many characters on the show use words incorrectly, nobody does it more frequently or with more self-assuredness than Little Carmine.
Quote: This alteration you had with him…..you’re at the precipice Tony, of an enormous crossroad.
Allies: Rusty Millio, Lorraine Calluzzo
Foes: Johnny Sack
5. Silvio Dante: As Tony’s point man, Silvio’s job is to make Tony’s life easier. When Tony is in a pinch, he knows who to call. Whether it’s Jimmy Altiere, Sal Bonpensiero, or Adriana La Cerva, Silvio is a trusted hitman with distaste for rats. Tony consults him more than anybody else, and occasionally Silvio will be forced to dispense advice that the boss doesn’t want to hear. Present for the entirety of the series, Silvio is a classic character and one of the favorites of my friend JR, purveyor of this blog. Why he and Patsy didn’t have firepower more readily accessible that fateful day at the Bing, I’ll never understand.
Quote: “You know, Vito called me “skip” the other day. Slip of the tongue, no doubt. But I noticed he
didn’t correct himself.”
Allies: Tony Soprano
Foes: Fat Dom Gomiello
Good list Ted. I am going to reverse here and do my list 5 to 1. Here is mine to go along with yours:
5. Johnny Sacrimoni – Johnny Sac, much like what Ted said, was a total hot head but most of the time kept it bottled up. He was a ruthless mobster, but ultimately consumed by vengeance and the need to be the Boss of New York was his downfall. But Johnny Sac also, for as tough as he was, was a loving man. One of the more memorable scenes was him crying at his daughter’s wedding which made him look weak in the eyes of his fellow mates. He also was excepting of his very obese wife and had a very touching moment where he said as much. Good work Johnny!
4. Corrado “Junior” Soprano – Junior was the brother of Tony’s father, Johnny. Perhaps he wasn’t respected enough, or didn’t deserve it, but he never was the true boss of the New Jersey family. A constant butt of a lot of Tony’s jokes, Junior eventually tried to have Tony killed and ultimately ended up shooting Tony himself. Junior, defined but his huge glasses, could never actually see what was going on. He, himself though, was a pretty funny man. He was responsible for some of the funniest parts in the show.
3. Christopher Moltisanti – Chrissy Chrissy Chrissy! You just wanted to root for him. He was a drug addict, cheater, girlfriend beater (and killer, sort of) and all around shit head. But he tried to clean up and tried to get his act together and just never quite could. Every time you thought he might figure it out and put it all together, he messed up. Due to his relationship with Tony, he was given time and again more chances to clean up. Christopher was the ultimate tragedy of the show. And when he finally did meet his end, did you even see it coming?!
2. Meadow Soprano – Tony’s oldest child and only daughter. Meadow is the one woman in the show that gets out of the mob life. She is the only person that will stand up to Tony. Meadow is also on this list because it is with Meadow, not really Tony’s wife Carmella, that we see Tony show any sort of true love and affection for. A lot of the moments between Tony and Meadow are heartwarming and touching. Tony is also a little over protective of Meadow, as evidence of the (very racist) reasons he doesn’t want her dating a black friend and the dude he curb stomps for hitting on her. Meadow is also the one that (inadvertently) puts a death warrant out for Vito, gets an old rat killed in New England on a college trip and gets a dudes face curb stomped. But all of this doesn’t compare to what Meadow truly represents on the show. She is not a feminist; she instead breaks her gender role completely. Where her brother AJ mopes around and lives in Tony’s comforts, Meadow gets out of the mob world completely and goes to college. She works hard to get where she is, and although she enjoys going home to do laundry, she refuses to accept things Tony gets through his illegal dealings. Good for you Meadow, you are the woman!
1. Silvio Dante – Perhaps the most inadvertently funny person on the show, whenever the soft spoken Silvio opens his mouth, solid gold comes out. Silvio is Tony’s most trust friend and advisor. Most of the time Silvio is the one that provides guidance to Tony and often is the calm, soothing approach to issues that contrasts so well with Tony’s impulsiveness. Silvio is also the most trusted assassin’s Tony has. His offing Adriana was cold and heartless. But he never raised his voice or even acted like he cared about what he was doing. The one time Silvio loses his temper is at a poker game. JUST LEAVE THE CHEESE WHERE IT IS! (I would repost the same clip Ted chose to use here if I could. Classic scene.)
Alright guys, think of your top 5 favorite characters from the Sopranos and post them down below in the comments. If you don’t, you might be getting a visit from Silvio…