Scene Appreciation: The ‘Cleaver’ Investor Pitch Scene Is The Funniest ‘Sopranos’ Scene Ever

I don’t know about you, but the recent passing of James Gandolfini (along with having read Brett Martin’s new book) has had me feeling nostalgic for The Sopranos of late, so much so that I’ve taken to DVRing the daily reruns HBO airs and watching them when I go to bed at night. The other day an episode aired that contained a scene I had kind of forgotten about, but since then I’ve probably watched it no less than 50 times, I swear, and I’ve come to think that it may be the single funniest scene of the show’s entire run.

I’m talking about the scene in which Christopher, his junkie/gambling addict writer pal J.T. and Little Carmine pitch Cleaver, their get-rich-quick slasher film concept, to a room full of wiseguys. After obviously spending way too much time analyzing it, I’ve come to believe that everything about it — the writing, the acting, the shot-framing, the direction — is perfect. It’s a virtually flawless scene. The only beef I can come up with is that Paulie Walnuts wasn’t included in the scene as a potential investor, because every Sopranos scene featuring Paulie is a good Sopranos scene. I believe that the scene is so good, in fact, that it can be understood and enjoyed even by those who’ve never watched a second of the show. But for benefit of those who haven’t seen it, here’s a little background.

The writer here, J.T., is in debt to the mob, Christopher in particular. Problem is, J.T. is dead broke. So as a way to pay his debt, it’s decided that J.T. will write a “Saw meets The Godfather” slasher flick that Christopher, who has long held Hollywood aspirations, and Little Carmine, a proud porn producer, can develop.

Such a flick, they believe, would be a “f*cking money machine”…

I love so many things about this scene, but most of all I think I love the “how the hell did I get myself into this” look on J.T.’s face most of all…

And with that, I’ll get out of the way.

Your own thoughts — agree or disagree — are welcome in the comments.