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The Bada Bing's logo

The Bada Bing! (aka the Bada Bing or The Bing) is a fictional strip club from the HBO drama television series The Sopranos. It was a key location for events in the series, named for catchphrase "bada bing", a phrase popularized by James Caan in The Godfather.[1] The popularization of the fictional club benefited the real-life go-go bar where scenes were filmed.

Contents

Use in and effect on the series

The Bing is owned and chiefly operated by Silvio Dante, Tony Soprano's consigliere. Tony's office is in the back room(s) of the Bing,[2] and the Soprano Family often conducts business either in the Bing or these back room(s).

The club's title is a stereotypical Italian-American expression, also rendered as "bada bing bada boom" or "bada boom bada bing". The use of Bada Bing as the name of the club and elsewhere in the series popularized the catchphrase such that it was added to the 2003 Oxford English Dictionary as an exclamation to emphasize that something will happen effortlessly and predictably.[3] Bada bing is imitative of the sound of a drumroll or may also derive from the "bada-bing" sound effect that James Caan's character, Sonny Corleone, makes to describe an up-close shooting in The Godfather.[4]

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Alcohol and nudity

The "Bing" represents one of the series' deviations from reality insofar as real-world New Jersey law prohibits the sale of alcohol at topless bars.[5] The "Bing" is a topless go-go bar.

Reviewer Paul Levinson heralded the Bada Bing!, and its background of nudity, as a key setting for the series:

"The Sopranos's brilliant solution is to situate most of its nudity in the Bada Bing! strip joint run by Tony Soprano's aide-de-camp, Silvio Dante. The setting is an eminently logical place to frequently find Tony and his crew discussing business, and the naked women need no further motivation than that they are dancing in the club...Bada Bing! is an ideal locale -- doing for The Sopranos what the diner did for Seinfeld and the bar owned by Munch, Meldrake, and Bayliss did for Homicide -- but with a physically illicit explicitness that gives sexual energy to whatever other story is unfolding.”[6]

Key scenes

The Bing is where:

  • Tony Soprano and his crew find out Jackie Aprile, Sr. has died from his illness. One of the dancers vows never to forget where she was the day Jackie died.
  • Tony Soprano cancels the hit on Don Hauser, his daughter's soccer coach and an uncovered statutory rapist.
  • Tony and Sil agree to have Richie Aprile killed, but are pre-empted by a deadly domestic dispute involving Richie and Janice.
  • Tony Soprano and Paulie Walnuts agree to have Big Pussy whacked if they found out he was wearing a wire for sure.
  • Ralph Cifaretto beats his pregnant girlfriend Tracee, a Bing dancer, to death in the parking lot just outside the building.
  • Johnny Sack informs Tony that he is prepared to reconcile with Ralph following an insult to Sack's wife, in turn allowing Tony to cancel a planned hit on him.
  • Christopher Moltisanti threatens Tony with a gun for allegedly having an affair with his fiancée, but he has already emptied his gun of bullets by shooting a car in the parking lot (which was the same make, model, and color as Tony's old car, a burgundy 1999 Chevrolet Suburban).
  • Tony makes the case for not killing Vito Spatafore over his homosexuality to Silvio and Carlo Gervasi.
  • Paulie has a vision of the Virgin Mary hovering over the dance floor and reconciles with his aunt and adoptive mother Marianucci.
  • Silvio Dante is shot several times in the parking lot on an ordered hit from Phil Leotardo. Patsy Parisi accompanies Sil, but flees on foot. Silvio is hospitalized in critical condition.
  • Matthew Bevilaqua and Sean Gismonte desperately and unsuccessfully try to gain the attention of Tony Soprano, angering him by openly boasting of criminal activities in his presence. He dries his wet hands after going to the washroom on Matthew and throws him against the bathroom wall.
  • Brendan Filone delivers a shipment of stolen DVD players directly behind the Bada Bing.
  • Silvio Dante arrives at the club to open it in the morning and finds Christopher Moltisanti, coming down from a heroin binge vomiting heavily in the toilet, his hair in the toilet water. He later brings this up at Christopher's rehabilitation intervention.

Effect on film location

All interior and exterior shots of the Bada Bing were filmed on location at Satin Dolls, an actual go-go bar on Route 17 in Lodi, New Jersey.[7] (Occasionally the neon "Satin Dolls" logo can be seen on an interior wall of the club.)

The popularity of the series and the notoriety of the Bada Bing! resulted in economic benefits through tours and souvenirs for the real-life club.[8]

After the series finale, the owners of the real bar decided to auction off the furnishings.[7][9]

References

  1. ^ Vanity Fair: The Godfather Wars
  2. ^ Bada Bing! Saying goodbye to Tony Soprano The Economist, June 7, 2007
  3. ^ Oxford 'bada bings' its latest dictionary, ABC News Online, August 21, 2003, Accessed August 29, 2007
  4. ^ MP3 of the Godfather scene
  5. ^ New Jersey. Department of Law and Public Safety. Office of the Attorney General. Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control. (March 2004). Alcoholic Beverage Control Handbook for Retail Licensees., page 34 ("Go-Go Dancers")and page 38 anyone . Trenton, NJ. Accessed May 16, 2009.
  6. ^ Naked Bodies, Three Showings a Week, No Commercials: The Sopranos as a Nuts-and-Bolts Triumph of Non-Network TV, By Paul Levinson. Published in This Thing of Ours: Investigating the Sopranos, David Lavery, ed. Columbia University Press & Wallflower Press, 2002, ISBN 1903364442
  7. ^ a b Brubaker, Paul. "Bada Bing club, is auctioning 'Sopranos' memorabilia online", Herald News, August 25, 2007. Accessed August 29, 2007.
  8. ^ 'Sopranos' mania means money, By Michael McCarthy, USA TODAY, July 15, 2001, Accessed August 30, 2007
  9. ^ "Sopranos club sells strip poles: Fans of mob drama The Sopranos are being offered a piece of the action when the strip club featured in the hit show auctions off its props.", BBC News, August 21, 2007. Accessed August 29, 2007.

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