Three more items that indicate no loss of interest in The Sopranos, more than two weeks after the series ended:
• First, the hoaxster behind the nutty “Nikki Leotardo” theory about the final sequence, a clearly bogus interpretation that circulated all over the ‘Net in the hours after the finale aired, has finally come clean.
• Second, over the weekend, I had occasion to dine at Holsten’s, the Bloomfield, N.J. ice cream parlor/diner where the final scene was filmed. (Even tried — and failed — to parallel park in the spot across the street where Meadow struggled to squeeze her car.) The place is much smaller than it appeared on TV (it’s one long, narrow room that seats maybe 40 people, tops), there are no Journey-blasting jukeboxes on the tabletops (those were just props), and the onion rings are decent but not all they’re cracked up to be. (The ice cream, however, which is made on the premises, is excellent.) Still, I had to order the rings, as did everyone else in the joint, which was full of tourists snapping pictures of themselves sitting in the Soprano family’s booth and buying commemorative Holsten’s/Sopranos T-shirts. (The flow of tourist dollars is surely silencing the local naysayers who didn’t want the Mob drama to film in their burg.) Clearly, this malt shop is going to be a shrine to which Sopranos fans will make pilgrimages for years to come.
• Finally, Steven Van Zandt (pictured) has emerged from Silvio’s coma to return to two of his many day jobs: advocate for unsigned rock bands and columnist for Billboard. In an editorial last week, Little Steven urged directors of TV commercials to use more unsigned rockers in their ad soundtracks. Which raises the question: How many of you have ever been turned on to an unfamiliar musical act because you heard their tune in an ad? And how many of you have purchased a song because you liked it in a commercial? Show of hands, please, below.