10 Bizarre The Sopranos Fan Theories

HBO
HBO

Did Tony die at the end of The Sopranos? Did Carmela? Did we all die instead? Even if you’ve never seen HBO’s iconic crime drama, you’ve likely heard five dozen theories on what happens in the finale. But not all Sopranos fan theories concern that dramatic cut to black. There’s plenty of wild speculation on cats, cannibals, and cults, too. Learn all about it below, but if you’re a newbie, watch out: there are some spoilers ahead.

1. THE SOPRANOS ARE CANNIBALS.

James Gandolfini and Tony Sirico in The Sopranos
HBO

According to this insane theory, Tony Soprano’s men don’t just kill people—they serve them on the menu at Satriale’s. The case rests on two pieces of evidence: 1. Christopher Moltisanti’s offhand remark that it would be a "long time" before he "eats anything at Satriale’s" while disposing of a body and 2. Tony’s crime family's name, DiMeo. That’s pretty similar to Demeo, as in the notorious gangster Roy DeMeo. He had a reputation for dismembering his victims, and certain rumors claim he did something more gruesome than that. While this is a fairly flimsy argument, just to be safe: don’t order the veal at Satriale’s.

2. JANICE WAS IN THE WILD WILD COUNTRY CULT.

Before Tony’s sister Janice relocated to New Jersey, she spent a lot of time in Los Angeles. There she joined an ashram and renamed herself Parvati, after the Hindu goddess of love and fertility. That means she was on the West Coast in the 1980s, at the same time as the Rajneeshpuram cult. Which brings us to the obvious question: Did Janice join their compound in Oregon? It would explain why we know so little about her past, and considering her familiarity with crime, she could’ve helped plan the cult’s arson and assassination attempts. We also know she worked at a coffee shop in Seattle, and isn’t that exactly where you’d go if you were fleeing a cult one state over?

3. VIN MAKAZIAN IS PETER MCCALLISTER.

Remember that detective on Tony’s payroll from season one? His name was Vin Makazian, and he was played by actor John Heard. John Heard also played Kevin McCallister’s dad Peter in Home Alone, and some Redditors think that’s no coincidence. They argue it’s the same character on a long timeline, taking mob money to support his family’s lavish lifestyle. How else could the McCallisters afford a 15-person vacation to Paris?

4. MEADOW ISN’T TONY’S DAUGHTER, BUT HER FRIEND IS.

This fan theory starts with Carmela Soprano having an affair. She gets pregnant, convinces Tony the baby girl is his, then spends a lot of time agonizing over Catholicism to cope with her guilt. But around the same time, Tony’s actual daughter is born. She grows up to be Meadow’s friend Hunter—the one who ends up in medical school, which is what Tony always wanted for Meadow. How did Reddit arrive at this complicated conclusion? It’s all based on Meadow’s “darker features” and relative lack of mental health problems that seem to plague the rest of her family.

5. THAT ORANGE CAT IS A GHOST.

Toward the end of The Sopranos, we meet an orange tabby cat. It loves to stare at a photo on the wall—one of Christopher Moltisanti, Tony’s recently departed nephew and former prótége. Christopher was also the fiance of Adriana La Cerva, a woman with a fondness for animal prints who also met a violent end in the series. That’s why some people think the cat is Adriana’s ghost, back to spook the mobsters who killed her. Others counter that the cat is merely a representation of Adriana, not a literal specter or reincarnation.

6. TONY AVENGED ADRIANA’S DOG.

Ghost cats aside, Christopher was never much of a friend to animals. In season four, he accidentally sat on Adriana’s dog Cosette, crushing the poor pup to death. Karma came back for Christopher later in the series, when Tony whacked him to eliminate a persistent liability. But at least one fan thinks it was actually over Cosette—and there’s convincing photo evidence to support this theory.

7. LILYHAMMER IS SILVIO DANTE’S COMA DREAM.

Steven Van Zandt, Trond Fausa, and Fridtjov Såheim in 'Lilyhammer'
Netflix

When we last see Tony’s consigliere Silvio Dante, he’s in a coma, his fate a complete mystery. Or is it? Lots of people think the Netflix series Lilyhammer is Silvio’s crazy coma dream, since it also concerns a mob type played by Steven Van Zandt.

8. TONY WASN’T SHOT; HE HAD A STROKE.

Many fans believe Tony was shot in the final scene of the series, when the music abruptly stops and the camera cuts to black. But what if he died under less violent circumstances? As Vulture points out, Tony wasn’t the healthiest guy. (All that pasta and cigars add up.) So it’s very possible a stroke—rather than a bullet—took him out.

9. TONY WAS DEAD ALREADY.

James Gandolfini, Edie Falco, and Robert Iler in The Sopranos
Will Hart, HBO

Another finale theory? Tony doesn’t die ... because he’s already dead. This Reddit thread suggests Tony croaked in the season five episode “The Test Dream,” which features a lengthy dream sequence. According to the fan theory, that sequence is actually Tony passing into the afterlife, and the following season is Tony processing his last memories.

10. THE JUKEBOX JUST GOT UNPLUGGED.

Why did the music cut out in the series finale? Maybe the Journey tune stopped because someone tripped over the jukebox plug. Watch your step the next time you’re in a New Jersey diner. (Especially Holsten's in Bloomfield, New Jersey, where The Sopranos's divisive final scene was filmed.)

10 Fast Facts About Jimi Hendrix

AFP/Getty Images
AFP/Getty Images

Though he’s widely considered one of the most iconic musicians of the 20th century, Jimi Hendrix passed away as his career was really just getting started. Still, he managed to accomplish a lot in the approximately four years he spent in the spotlight, and leave this world a legend when he died on September 18, 1970, at the age of 27. Here are 10 things you might not have known about the musical legend.

1. Jimi Hendrix didn't become "Jimi" until 1966.

Jimi Hendrix was born in Seattle on November 27, 1942 as John Allen Hendrix. He was initially raised by his mother while his father, James “Al” Hendrix, was in Europe fighting in World War II. When Al returned to the United States in 1945, he collected his son and renamed him James Marshall Hendrix.

In 1966, Chas Chandler—the bassist for The Animals, who would go on to become Jimi’s manager—saw the musician playing at Cafe Wha? in New York City. "This guy didn't seem anything special, then all of a sudden he started playing with his teeth," roadie James "Tappy" Wright, who was there, told the BBC in 2016. "People were saying, 'What the hell?' and Chas thought, 'I could do something with this kid.’”

Though Hendrix was performing as Jimmy James at the time, it was Chandler who suggested he use the name “Jimi.”

2. Muddy Waters turned Jimi Hendrix on to the guitar—and scared the hell out of him.

When asked about the guitarists who inspired him, Hendrix cited Buddy Holly, Eddie Cochran, Elmore James, and B.B. King. But Muddy Waters was the first musician who truly made him aware of the instrument. “The first guitarist I was aware of was Muddy Waters,” Hendrix said. “I heard one of his old records when I was a little boy and it scared me to death because I heard all these sounds.”

3. Jimi Hendrix could not read music.


George Stroud/Express/Getty Images

In 1969, Dick Cavett asked the musician whether he could read music: “No, not at all,” the self-taught musician replied. He learned to play by ear and would often use words or colors to express what he wanted to communicate. “[S]ome feelings make you think of different colors,” he said in an interview with Crawdaddy! magazine. “Jealousy is purple—‘I'm purple with rage’ or purple with anger—and green is envy, and all this.”

4. Jimi Hendrix used his dreams as inspiration for his songwriting.

Hendrix drew inspiration for his music from a lot of places, including his dreams. “I dreamt a lot and I put a lot of my dreams down as songs,” he explained in a 1967 interview with New Musical Express. “I wrote one called ‘First Look’ and another called ‘The Purple Haze,’ which was all about a dream I had that I was walking under the sea.” (In another interview, he said the idea for “Purple Haze” came to him in a dream after reading a sci-fi novel, believed to be Philip José Farmer’s Night of Light.)

5. "Purple Haze" features one of music's most famous mondegreens.

In the same interview with New Musical Express, it's noted that the “Purple Haze” lyric “‘scuse me while I kiss the sky” was in reference to a drowning man Hendrix saw in his dream. Which makes the fact that many fans often mishear the line as “‘Scuse me, while I kiss this guy” even more appropriate. It was such a common mistake that Hendrix himself was known to have some fun with it, often singing the incorrect lyrics on stage—occasionally even accompanied by a mock make-out session. There’s even a Website, KissThisGuy.com, dedicated to collecting user-generated stories of misheard lyrics.

6. Jimi Hendrix played his guitar upside-down.

Ever the showman, Hendrix’s many guitar-playing quirks became part of his legend: In addition to playing with his teeth, behind his back, or without touching the instrument’s strings, he also played his guitar upside-down—though there was a very simple reason for that. He was left-handed. (His father tried to get him to play right-handed, as he considered left-handed playing a sign of the devil.)

7. Jimi Hendrix played backup for a number of big names.

Though Hendrix’s name would eventually eclipse most of those he played with in his early days, he played backup guitar for a number of big names under the name Jimmy James, including Sam Cooke, Little Richard, Wilson Pickett, Ike and Tina Turner, and The Isley Brothers.

In addition to the aforementioned musical legends, Hendrix also helped actress Jayne Mansfield in her musical career. In 1965, he played lead and bass guitar on “Suey,” the B-side to her single “As The Clouds Drift By.”

8. Jimi Hendrix was once kidnapped after a show.

Though the details surrounding Hendrix’s kidnapping are a bit sketchy, in Room Full of Mirrors: A Biography of Jimi Hendrix, Charles R. Cross wrote about how the musician was kidnapped following a show at The Salvation, a club in Greenwich Village:

“He left with a stranger to score cocaine, but was instead held hostage at an apartment in Manhattan. The kidnappers demanded that [Hendrix’s manager] Michael Jeffrey turn over Jimi’s contract in exchange for his release. Rather than agree to the ransom demand, Jeffrey hired his own goons to search out the extorters. Mysteriously, Jeffrey’s thugs found Jimi two days later … unharmed.

“It was such a strange incident that Noel Redding suspected that Jeffrey had arranged the kidnapping to discourage Hendrix from seeking other managers; others … argued the kidnapping was authentic.”

9. Jimi Hendrix opened for The Monkees.

Though it’s funny to imagine such a pairing today, Hendrix warming up The Monkees’s crowd of teenybopper fans actually made sense for both acts back in 1967. For the band, having a serious talent like Hendrix open for them would help lend them some credibility among serious music fans and critics. Though Hendrix thought The Monkees’s music was “dishwater,” he wasn’t well known in America and his manager convinced him that partnering with the band would help raise his profile. One thing they didn’t take into account: the young girls who were in the midst of Monkeemania.

The Monkees’s tween fans were confused by Hendrix’s overtly sexual stage antics. On July 16, 1967, after playing just eight of their 29 scheduled tour dates, Hendrix flipped off an audience in Queens, New York, threw down his guitar, and walked off the stage.

10. You can visit Jimi Hendrix's London apartment.

In 2016, the London flat where Hendrix really began his career was restored to what it would have looked like when Jimi lived there from 1968 to 1969 and reopened as a museum. The living room that doubled as his bedroom is decked out in bohemian décor, and a pack of Benson & Hedges cigarettes sits on the bedside table. There’s also space dedicated to his record collection.

Amazingly, the same apartment building—which is located in the city’s Mayfair neighborhood—was also home to George Handel from 1723 until his death in 1759; the rest of the building serves as a museum to the famed composer’s life and work.

John Carpenter’s Original Halloween Is Coming Back to Theaters This Month

Anchor Bay Entertainment
Anchor Bay Entertainment

From September 27 through October 31, the original 1978 Halloween—directed by John Carpenter and produced by Debra Hill—will be returning to theaters, though it will look a little different. Hypebeast reports that the film’s cinematographer, Dean Cundey, helped remaster and restore a copy of the original film, giving this updated version better lighting and effects.

Upon its release on October 25, 1978, Halloween became one of the highest-grossing independent films of all time (it grossed $47 million domestically on a $325,000 budget), and kicked off a decade of copycat slasher films. In 2006, the Library of Congress chose to preserve Halloween in the U.S. National Film Registry. Last year, David Gordon Green directed Halloween, a “sequel” to the original. (Basically, the new Halloween ignored plots from 37 years of Halloween sequels and remakes.)

In 2020 and 2021, two more Halloweens, both starring Jamie Lee Curtis and directed by Green, will hit theaters worldwide. But between the end of September and Halloween, you’ll have a chance to see one of the greatest horror films of all time in theaters. (While watching you can look out for these Halloween goofs.)

Unlike a lot of classic movie re-releases, however, Halloween will not be shown at big chains like AMC. And the dates, times, and ticket costs will vary among venues, which will include select art house theaters, Rooftop Cinema Clubs, and event centers across North America. To find out if Halloween will be screening at a theater near you, go to CineLife’s site and type in your zip code.

[h/t Hypebeast]

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