The SNL Zillow porn sketch hit so hard I think it knocked a tooth loose. Because I, like you, fill the empty space by delighting in the collision of envy and judgment that comes from looking at other people’s homes on the internet. You know, as a part of the ruse that we’re there for anything other than to curse them for their access to natural light and laugh at them for that couch. That couch, so plaid, so sad. But sometimes normal Zillow (or Realtor or Trulia) gives way to something truly magical.
Maybe it’s a home from the 1880s with a jail inside. Or the one that captivated the internet for its plethora of DVDs, interesting furniture combos, and side by side toilets. My all-time favorite house is this now off-the-market California property that has, according to the images, a model train city, pirate paraphernalia galore, and a telescope pod.
What I love most about these listings is that they aren’t wholly weird. They’re seemingly normal listings that just seem to get overtaken by unique and colorful details and detours to create something illuminated by smiling faces that unite us all in “whoa.” But you can’t game or buy your way in. It just happens. As it is now, with Joe Pesci’s freshly re-listed beach house that he’s lived in since the ’90s. And that’s a weird thing in and of itself because the dry and boring celebrity real estate genre is usually filled with houses that are immaculately staged with “you too could eat your cereal in an antiseptic art museum for $40 million dollars” vibes. But Joe Pesci’s beach house is a place where life has happened. One very specific life, with reminders of that life and his epic career (Goodfellas, My Cousin Vinny, Home Alone) spread all over the place. And that’s why the house that 8 Heads In A Duffel Bag probably partially paid for earns our interest. So, let’s look through some of the images from the listing together while we share a few stream of consciousness thoughts.
1. According to the Re/Max listing from Michael Puccio, it’s a 7,200+ square foot beach house on nearly 1/3 an acre with its own dock. It’s objectively gorgeous and a worthy palace for someone who has spent his entire life entertaining the masses. 90% of the listing reflects that and that alone. But again, that’s the charm of these things. Everything is normal and then, blam, a barber’s chair in your doorway reveals unanticipated character while teasing at a larger story that you will never know. Ever.
Anyway, I chose this picture to show off the expanse of the house and to remind everyone that the most baller thing you can do is have a pool directly beside a body of water.
2. The aforementioned barber’s chair. There’s another picture that shows that there’s a framed photo on the chair. I’m sure there’s some kind of sentimental story here. It’s just… why right next to the door? Does Joe Pesci so value a clean look that he requires all guests to get a haircut and a shave before entering his home to gaze at his posters and very small TVs? Again, we’ll never know the true story here. And I love that.
3. A reminder that Joe Pesci sings beautifully. He raps terribly. But he sings beautifully, so good for him for this understated but stocked music area. I wonder which of Pesci’s famous friends have jammed in that room during parties. Little Steven Van Zandt? Bruce? I don’t know that they’re friends with Pesci, I’m just assuming all New Jersey famous people have a text chain and do things together. Has Joe Piscopo crooned in that room? If those walls could snitch… you know, because mob movies. Anyway, I don’t care for those chairs. Too pedestrian. This listing needs more whimsical and/or ornate furniture. Hit up 1stDibs and drop the cost of a gently used Prius on a Louis XVI living room set, man.
Sidebar: if Zillow porn is your kink, let me introduce you to 1stDibs, where garrish and expensive antique furniture and baubles can be sifted through delivering the same jealousy and “my god, that’s hideous” superiority that you get from browsing home listings. But it’s also, like, a really informative history lesson. Back to Joe!
4. That’s what I’m fucking talking about. A goddamn horse next to a floral print chair with sad rolls. Like the barber chair, I imagine there is some kind of sentimental inspiration for this very specific design choice. Perhaps something related to the Jersey Shore (the place, not the show, though my God…)
Do you think Joe Pesci has sat atop that horse at any point while smoking a big cigar? Like, not to be funny. Not to act like a clown [REFERENCE!]… How could you not?
5. The Lethal Weapon 3 pinball machine is going for like 4 grand on eBay. If Joe doesn’t play the hell out of this thing he could absolutely sell it to buy an antique bell on 1stDibs or some kind of scepter, which they have.
Pesci basically stopped acting (save for a couple of projects) after the ’90s, and now I’m wondering if it’s because he ran out of wall space for his posters. Also, where the hell is the maroon tux from My Cousin Vinny? That thing should be behind glass and on a wall like the Hall of Fame garment that it is.
6. Everything in me wants to say that the bust atop that filing cabinet is the model of Pesci’s head that they used in his episode of Tales From The Crypt when he came upon a set of twins who cut him in half, but that might be wishful thinking. Anyway, while this place qualifies as a lux beach house (albeit in Jersey) and the Joe Pesci museum that the world needs, it does fail in one regard (two is that tux is nowhere to be found): what’s with the TVs, Joe? I don’t like knowing that my TVs are bigger than Pesci’s TVs. I’m sure it’s a matter of priority for him (and me), like maybe he’s one of those “I don’t watch TV, I sing in Italian, slow cook meats, and make love to models” types even into his late 70s. Which would be amazing. That’s the life I want for him. But it still feels like the universe is out of joint knowing Joe Pesci might be watching Raging Bull on a tiny picture tube set. And heaven forbid Scorsese finds out.
Anyway, Pesci’s West Point Island mansion can be had for just $6.5 million. If, somehow, you find your way to buying this house by way of this article, make sure I get a referral fee. I think that’s a thing. Also, INSIST on getting all the sweet Pesci collectibles as a throw-in. Especially the tux!