Tony Soprano Playing Mario Kart 64 in 1999 is Everything


Mario Kart 64 is great. The Sopranos is even better. And James Gandolfini’s performance as Tony Soprano is one of the most important goddamn things in the spectrum of time and place. So it goes without saying that a combination of all these would result in a bombastic display causing one’s head to explode when confronted with its magmatism. Luckily, and unfortunately, this exists. Be warned, this will require a steadfast commitment on your part to not buckle at the knees upon meeting your savior.

So this is the first season of the show. There are a lot of weird edits and questionable decisions throughout its freshman run. You can tell that David Chase and company are still trying to figure out all the ingredients in this plate of hot antipasto, oh amirite ovah here?! (I’m half Italian and from Canarsie. This is okay. And as a resident of Bay Ridge, I’ve allowed Nate to become a Bay Ridge guy too)

Mikey and Tony in da Ridge!

This context of this scene is nothing especially important. Tony comes home and sees his son, AJ playing some N64. He turns on the dad mode and tells him to move over and let him play some Mario Kart too because fuck yes (unrelated note: Nate let’s play some MarioKart!!) Anyway, he fucks up as he doesn’t know how to play (so dad), starts a new race and slaps his bear paw over his son’s eyes to cheat (SO DAD) and eventually beats him. He then tells him to go to bed soon because it’s a school night (SUCH MOB DAD).

It’s a sweet little moment of character development centered around painting Tony as the family man he very much is. While much of his development outside the home focuses on the FAMILY man (nudge! huh?! right everyone?!) he very much is.

But can you just look at this utter fucking nonsense?! LOOK AT IT!!

HAHAHAHA WHATT?! Why does Tony use just one hand? If you’ve ever played N64 you would know that it’s impossible to operate ANY game like that. Why does he extend his hand forward toward the screen? Does he think it’s going to help him? When AJ resets the console why does the game go straight to the start of the race? I think the answer is obvious…David Chase and James Gandolfini are frauds! A coupla STUNADS! Unsubscribe!

Really though, I fucking love this. I love that it’s effective for what the scene is written to be and that it commits obvious, hilarious prop errors. I love that it caters to my love for this show and my love for video games. And I love that Gandolfini can take a stupid little scene like this and remind us that he was one of the best we ever had.

I’m not crying. YOU’RE CRYING!

– Dan

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