Wednesday, April 19, 2006



In one of the more comical sub-plots in this latest season for 'The Sopranos', "Paulie Walnuts" Gaultieri found out that his Ma wasn't his ma; his Aunt Dottie - a nun! - was. When she was a young girl in the waning days of World War II, while she was still a novice who had not yet taken her vows, Dottie worked as a hostess at a USO canteen. There she met a sailor by whom she had a baby... Paulie.

(I'm assuming that Paulie is roughly the same age as Tony Sirico, the actor who plays him; and Sirico was born in 1946.)

His Aunt Dottie was a bit, well, dotty... when she finally confessed this to Paulie on her death-bed; so that if she ever remembered the identity of Paulie's biological father, she took the name with her when she died days later.

I don't see how Paulie would be able to ever find out the sailor's name, unless it was actually entered on his birth certificate. And considering the fact that David Chase has let a lot of plot-lines slide to the wayside rather than get wrapped up neatly - just like in real life, - more than likely Paulie will never find out.

He is a pretty clueless guy, after all. I don't think it ever occurred to him that he could have been banging a distant cousin when he slept with a prostitute in Italy, who had come from the same small town as his grandfather.

But as he is so obsessed with the concept of his own conception, Paulie might get it in his head to track down the guy who knocked up his real Ma and maybe even wack him!

Good thing then, that the TV character I have in mind passed away more than twenty years ago in Toobworld (as did the actor who portrayed him).

So for the time being, I think I'm pretty safe in putting forward this theory as to who his biological father might have been in Toobworld. He's a classic TV character seen every day on TV Land, one who did serve in the Navy during the Big One.

Ward Cleaver.

Ward Cleaver, as portrayed by Hugh Beaumont on 'Leave It To Beaver', grew up on the family farm outside of Mayfield in what could be described as a Tom Sawyer-like childhood. But after spending his four years at State University living in a frat house (where he was elected president) and serving as an engineer in the Seabees during the war, Ward Cleaver probably felt the need to sow a few wild oats (or some other kind of seed) while on leave in New York City once his unit returned home to the USA.

He probably never even realized that he had impregnated Dottie; otherwise he would have done the right thing and married her to give his son a name. Instead, he went home to Mayfield and married his sweetheart June Bronson and they raised two boys in a warm and loving home.

This means that Paulie Walnuts would be half-brother to Wally and the Beav.

Ooh, marone! Makes your head spin, don't it?

But as there is something to be said for nurture vs. nature, the only thing Paulie would have inherited from Ward Cleaver would have been his DNA. Without the firm guidance from Ward as a father figure, Paulie found himself on the path that has surely placed him on the highway to hell.

Unlike many father/son pairs in Toobworld who look alike due to the same actor playing the role, I'm not saying that Ward Cleaver and Paulie Gaultieri are identical twins or even near as. But there are just enough physical similarities (which could have been diluted by the chromosomal contributions made by Dottie) to make them a reasonable match as father and son.

Take a look for yourself:

Paulie Walnuts

Ward Cleaver

Perhaps this combination might work better:

Paulie ......... Ward

Or enter their names in Google Image Search and see what photos you come up with!

Did Ward ever tell his beloved June that he had fooled around before they married? Something tells me he would have owned up to it......


"When you make a mistake, admit it.
If you don't, you only make matters worse
Ward Cleaver
'Leave It To Beaver'

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I watch The Sopranos religiously. Have never missed an episode. It's why we're paying an extra $4.98 a month for HBO on Demand. Hell, The Sopranos is why I got HBO in the first place! (After seeing your tapes of Season 1.)

Ward Cleaver?????

What a thought....

(Good piece, BTW. One little typo, though, if you can fix it -- Paulie will ever find out should be Paulie will never find out.)