I don't watch a lot of TV, but there is one show I never miss.
No, it's not "Everything on Skin-emax between 11 pm and 3 am."
That's my second favorite show.
The only show I really watch is the Sopranos.
I love the characters. The storyline is great. Everything about it is terrific.
Well, not everything.
Truth is, I do have one small issue with the Sopranos. One teeny-tiny problem that I wish they'd do something about to make the show even more credible in my mind.
It's such an obvious problem, I can't believe no one's brought it to their attention yet.
My problem is this: What's up with all this Italian mob crap?
Listen, I know a lot of Italian guys and believe me, they're not that tough. They may look tough and dress tough. But they're not that tough. I could kick their asses.
Or at least run faster than them.
Now the Jews, hardass Jews like me, we're the tough suminabitches. Read the history books, my friends. Jews were notorious for being cutthroat, aggressive and wickedly violent.
And that's just when they had to pay retail.
At any rate, I've graciously volunteered to offer my services to the writers and producers of the Sopranos. I think my ideas would do wonders for the credibility of the show. And I feel the least I can do is bring a different perspective to the table. The Jewish tough-ass perspective.
Besides, that's exactly what I am. One goddamn tough-ass Jew.
What are you lookin' at, you putz?
THE SCENE OPENS ON A DARK, RAINY NIGHT IN APRIL, ABOUT TWO WEEKS AFTER PASSOVER. WE SEE THE OUTLINED SHADOW OF TWO MEN STANDING IN FRONT OF A BUILDING. ONE MAN IS DESPERATELY PLEADING TO THE OTHER.
MAN 1: C'mon, he's gotta understand. He's got to. This has just been a rough couple of weeks for me, that's all. I swear I'll pay him. I swear to God. Just gimme a break. C'mon, gimme a break.
MAN 2: I'm sick of your promises, Jimmy. I'm tired of the excuses, Jimmy. I've given you every break in the world, and this is the kind of respect you show me? When you don't pay, it's a reflection on me and the way I handle my affairs. Do you understand what I'm saying, Jimmy?
MAN 1: Please, next week I'll have the money. I swear I will. You've gotta trust me. You know I'm good for it. Please! No! Please!
MAN 2: I'm sick of your promises, Jimmy. Sick of them.
WE SEE THE OUTLINED SHADOW OF MAN #2 TAKE HIS YARMULKE OFF HIS HEAD AND CRAM IT DOWN MAN #1'S THROAT, CHOKING HIM TO DEATH. AS THE BODY CRUMPLES TO THE GROUND, MAN #1 REACHES INTO MAN #2's THROAT, PULLS OUT HIS YARMULKE, BRUSHES IT OFF, PUTS IT BACK ON AND WALKS AWAY.
MAN 2 [mumbling to himself]: Schmuck.
THE SCENE DISSOLVES AWAY AS WE FADE TO THE SILVERSTEIN'S HOUSE AT DINNER ON FRIDAY NIGHT. THE WHOLE FAMILY IS GATHERED (MAURY, BEVERLY AND THEIR TWO CHILDREN, ARI AND HANNAH) AS THEY FINISH THEIR SABBATH PRAYERS BEFORE THEY EAT.
MAURY: Baruch atah adonai, elohaynu ….
ARI: Jesus dad, can't we just eat?
MAURY [PISSED]: Goddamn it! How many times have I told you not to bring his name up in this house?
HANNAH: You are so racist, dad.
MAURY: That is very unfair, Miss Wise-Ass. I happen to be open to any and all races and religions.
HANNAH: Good, because I'm having sex with a guy who's half Puerto Rican and half Sudanese.
MAURY: My daughter is shtupping a goyem? Oy.
MAURY PASSES OUT.
RACHEL: Hey everybody…there was a sale at Nordstrom's today!
ARI: Mom, can I be excused? I need to go study for my Bar Mitzvah. And then sneak out my bedroom window and smoke some pot with my upper-middle class Jewish friends.
THERE'S A KNOCK AT THE DOOR. RACHEL GETS UP TO OPEN IT. IT'S MAURY'S CLOSE FRIEND, CONSULTANT AND DENTIST, LARRY BERNSTEIN.
LARRY: Hi Rach. Is Maury home?
RACHEL: Yeah, c'mon in.
THEY WALK INTO THE KITCHEN. MAURY'S GETTING UP, A LITTLE GROGGY.
LARRY: Hey, uh Maury, can we go and talk somewhere…alone?
THEY HEAD OFF TO THE BASEMENT, THE ONLY PLACE IN THE HOUSE THAT'S TRULY PRIVATE.
LARRY: Maury, we got a big problem on the east side.
MAURY: Goddamn it! I'm sick and tired of those electrical fires at the matzoh factory. Like that shit doesn't taste like burnt cardboard already.
LARRY: That's not the problem. It's the Cohen bar mitzvah. [PAUSE] They got Neil Diamond.
MAURY [PISSED]: You're kidding me! Neil-Friggin-Diamond? That bastard, Herbie Cohen! He's going out of his friggin' way to one-up my bar mitzvah. I mean, Ari's. Christ, Rachel's been planning this friggin' thing for two friggin' years, for chrissakes….
LARRY: I know, I know.
MAURY [REALLY PISSED]: No, you don't know! You got no goddamn idea. The whining. The kvetching. Every goddamn day of my life it's, "Hey Maury, how do you think I'll look in this dress?" "Hey Maury, what kind of food should we have?" "Hey Maury, I need new diamond earrings." Now, <I>they</I> got Neil-Friggin-Diamond singing at their bar mitzvah? Jesus Christ! That bastard Herbie Cohen. What kind of shit is he trying to pull?
LARRY: You think this has anything to do with Passover?
MAURY [BEYOND PISSED]: Let me tell you something about that rat bastard Herbie Cohen! Nobody shows up to a Seder at my house with gefilte fish out of a jar. Nobody!
LARRY: Talk about disrespect.
MAURY: Christ, I had no choice. I had to put the order out to kill his wife's cleaning woman.
LARRY: Respect is respect.
MAURY: What the hell does that mean?
LARRY: I don't know, but it sounded good in my head.
MAURY: Do yourself a favor. Stick to fixing teeth. Now get your fat ass outta here. I gotta make a plan.
LARRY: Hey, y'know, you haven't had a cleaning in two years…
MAURY: Get out or your freakin' hygenist is gonna be wheeling you out!
SCENE FADES OUT WITH LARRY RUNNING OFF, AND MAURY STARING OFF IN THE DISTANCE.
MAURY [UNDER HIS BREATH]: Schmuck. Good dentist, but a schmuck.
WE OPEN INSIDE A PLUSH HOTEL, WHERE THE RECEPTION FOR THE COHEN BAR MITZVAH IS TAKING PLACE. IT'S INCREDIBLY DECADENT: BLACK TIES AND EVENING GOWNS, GORGEOUS FLOWERS, SPECTACULAR ICE SCULPTURES. WE SEE HERBIE COHEN STANDING BY MAURY SILVERSTEIN AND HIS FAMILY.
MAURY: Hey Cohen, uh, nice party.
HERBIE: Well, Maury, I know your son's bar mitzvah is coming up pretty soon. I just wanted to maybe give you some ideas for when you start to plan it, y'know? You have started planning, haven't you? [HE LAUGHS A WICKED LAUGH] Oh hey, by the way, did I tell you my wife got another cleaning woman? She's Amish. [HERBIE LEANS IN TO WHISPER TO MAURY] Not only is she a hot piece of ass, she's half the friggin' price too…do you believe it? I don't know what happened to the other cleaning woman, but I sure wish I could thank somebody for getting rid of her. [HE LAUGHS AGAIN. MAURY GIVES HIM A DIRTY LOOK] Listen, I'd love to talk, but if you'll all excuse me.
HERBIE COHEN WALKS UP TO THE FRONT OF THE ROOM AND PICKS UP THE MICROPHONE.
HERBIE: Hi everybody, can I have your attention, please? It's time to bless the wine. And tonight, we have a very special guest to lead us in prayer. Ladies and gentleman…Mr. Neil Diamond!
EVERYONE EXCITEDLY CLAPS. NEIL WALKS UP TO THE MICROPHONE AND RAISES HIS GLASS OF WINE.
NEIL: Baruch ata adonai, elohaynu melech haolam, boray p're haganfen. Amen.
HE SIPS HIS WINE, SMILES, AND IMMEDIATELY DROPS DEAD.
EVERYONE STARTS SCREAMING. ONE OF THE 24 DOCTORS IN THE CROWD RUSHES OVER TO LOOK AT HIM.
DOCTOR: It's too late. This man's been poisoned!
EVERYONE SCREAMS. THROUGH THE SEA OF HUMANITY, HERBIE COHEN SPOTS MAURY SILVERSTEIN, WHO'S SITTING AT HIS TABLE, SMILING. MAURY MAKES EYE CONTACT WITH HERBIE. HE SMIRKS, AND RAISES HIS GLASS OF WINE.
MAURY LEANS OVER TO HIS WIFE RACHEL:
Gee, that's too bad, ain't it? Hope he didn't pay him ahead of time. The schmuck.
SCENE FADES TO BLACK. THE CREDITS ROLL.
Well, that's my contribution to the betterment of television.
Personally, I think something like this would really do wonders for The Sopranos. And it would take major strides towards helping people realize that us Jews are one tough-assed bunch of suminabitches.
Don't mess with me, man.
I'll scratch the numbers off your American Express card and I won't even blink.