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Re: Pirates spoof on Sopranos
Pirates spoof of 'Sopranos' hitting it big on YouTube
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
By L.A. Johnson, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Just a small-town [bird]
Livin' in a lonely world ...
-- sung to opening strains of Journey's "Don't Stop Believin' "
"Sopranos" fans received a treat at last weekend's Pittsburgh Pirates games: The debut of "The Parrot," a clever and comic video spoof of the loved, loathed and hotly debated final scene of "The Sopranos." The video appeared on the PNC Park JumboTron during pitching changes in the series with the Chicago White Sox. While an enterprising Pirates fan captured the video on a cell-phone camera, an even clearer version has popped up on YouTube.
Complete with blood red title lettering on a black background and guns for the "r"s, "The Parrot" had it all -- the pathos, the Parrot, the Pirate and the pierogies.
Now, thanks to a Pirates fan with a video camera cell phone, "The Parrot" is gaining worldwide acclaim on YouTube.com at
As the video begins, we see the Pirate Parrot (a k a Tony Soprano) striding across a dark street toward the entrance to a diner. Bells dangling from the front door ring as he enters. Seated at a booth, the Pirate Parrot flips through the song choices on the tabletop jukebox. Just like his HBO counterpart, he selects Journey's 1981 Top 10 single "Don't Stop Believin'."
Bells jingle again and the song begins as Captain Jolly Roger (a k a the Pirate a k a Carmela Soprano) enters the diner and slides into a booth across from the Pirate Parrot.
A menacing young man in a Members Only jacket walks into the diner followed by Oliver Onion pierogi, who joins the group. The waitress serves the table a plate of onion rings. (Not sure how Oliver feels about being served up a fried side of his innards). Then, Jalapeno Hannah pierogi pulls up outside, trying to parallel park a Pirates panel truck, just like Meadow trying to maneuver that Lexus (and evidently a model that doesn't parallel park itself). Once parked, Hannah runs toward the diner. The song swells. Her little purse swings with each step. The Pirate Parrot looks up, then, the screen goes black.
And the crowd cheered, at least those who knew it was a "Sopranos" parroty, um, we mean, parody.
"We shot it from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. and the people in Ritter's didn't even seem to care or notice we were in there with a parrot, a pirate and people in pierogi suits," says Eric Wolff, producer and director of in-game entertainment for the Pittsburgh Pirates. "It was really kind of eerie how similar Ritter's was" to the diner in the Sopranos.
He got the idea for the parody the night he watched "The Sopranos" June 10 finale and pitched the idea at work the next day.
On Wednesday, they sent their intern out to buy a Members Only jacket for the guy at the counter, and a USA cap for the guy pouring the sugar, who happens to be the video's editor, Ryan Kuntz, doing double duty as an extra. They filmed it that night, after a game, with videographer Ken Brown helping make the magic.
Wolff concedes they had to add bells to Ritter's door for the shoot and that "Don't Stop Believin' " wasn't really on the jukebox there, but that's OK.
"I didn't get to see the video [yet], but my family and friends said it got a good response at the game," said Art Velisaris, one of four brothers who own Ritter's Diner on Baum Boulevard in Bloomfield.
"Brilliant. Thanks for that. I'm brushing away the tears as I type this," said a delighted Joe Penkrot, 60, of Chicago, who yesterday received a link to "The Parrot" video in an e-mail from a Pittsburgh friend.
"It was just beautiful," says Penkrot, a former Dormont resident, who yesterday forwarded the link to about 60 people. "The attention to detail, the little looks, the asides, the business with the jukebox. It was all very well done."
The iconic "Sopranos" final scene now joins other legendary series finale final scenes, from the bedroom-dream realization scene in "Newhart" to the tearful group hug and "It's a Long Way to Tipperary" sing-along of "The Mary Tyler Moore Show." And it will be mimicked.
In addition to "The Parrot," there are several other Sopranos spoofs making the rounds on YouTube.com, including Soprano-ized endings of "The Godfather" www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZlCwfSHQCow and "Citizen Kane" www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ms99nentT6Y.
Sen. Hillary Clinton is even parodying "The Sopranos" final scene on her presidential campaign Web site, as a tease to the announcement of her campaign song. www.hillaryclinton.com/?splash=1.
Because "The Parrot" video has a limited shelf life, it probably will be shown only one more time, between the end of the Pirates-Washington Nationals night game and the start of the fireworks on June 29.
"It's definitely off the wall, not something you expect to see at a sporting event," Wolff says. "We've gotten a pretty good crowd reaction."
hillary and bill even got in on the act doing a spoof to announce her campaign song. (the parrot was better)