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RUSH: I’m getting ready for the program today, reading the New York Post, and they found the cause of death for James Gandolfini. It was four shots of rum, two pina coladas and two beers along with two orders of fried king prawns and a large portion of foie gras. That’s the New York Post. The headline: “Sopranos Star Gandolfini Guzzled at Least Eight Drinks During Final Meal,” and the story goes into great detail about what Gandolfini ate three hours before his heart attack, with the clear implication that his dinner killed him.

What he had for dinner killed him! It fits right in line with all of the stuff that you’ve heard over the years about what you shouldn’t eat. So I fully expect the death certificate will mention the cause of death as eight adult beverages, two orders of fried king prawns, and a “large portion” of foie gras. Now, he had a heart attack. The autopsy has confirmed a massive heart attack. (interruption) See? Snerdley’s in there nodding his head, “Yeah!” ’cause he’s a vegan.

“It’s entirely believable that that meal could have been what led to Gandolfini’s death.” Caused it! Not “led to,” “caused” it. (interruption) Well, I thought… (interruption) Let me tell you something. I bet you a thousand people could go eat that exact meal tonight and survive it. What do you think of that? How many people…? (interruption) Eight adult beverages. (interruption) What do you mean, “at times”? (interruption) “Well, one day it’ll catch up with you. Can’t do it every night.” We don’t know that he did it every night. That’s not in the story. That’s just how it begins.

“Gandolfini guzzled four shots of rum… struggled with booze addiction in his final weeks…” I mean, this is a really mean story. I didn’t know Gandolfini. I met James Gandolfini one time. It was at our annual cigar dinner. The Sopranos people were on the cover of an issue in that year, and Marvin Shanken invited them. Dominic Chianese was there, and Vincent Curatola, who played Johnny Sack, was there, and Paulie Walnuts was there, and Gandolfini was there. I thought Gandolfini was shy.

He was really withdrawn — or laid back, I should say. But he did make some remarks during the night. I understand from people that know him that this was pretty common. He stood up and he thanked whoever and whatever for the recognition that was being handed out that night, and then he asked everybody to remember that, time even though it was for charity, while we were all decked out in tuxedos and having a grand that there were a whole lot of less fortunate, more unfortunate people out there.

He said, “Let’s not forget them ever.” Everybody that I’ve spoken to that knows the guy said that that was something that he was consciously aware of. You’ve heard the story that he was just an average guy from the bowels of New Jersey who made it (late in life, by the way) as an actor and he always wanted to be focused on the less fortunate, and he always was. I thought he was nice as he could be. There was nothing standoffish or aloof about him. So I read this New York Post story today, and it really is brutal.

“Sopranos star James Gandolfini, who struggled with booze addiction in his final weeks, scarfed down a decadent final meal that included at least eight alcoholic drinks, The Post has learned.” Whoa! Eight alcoholic drinks. Who ever heard of anybody doing that? “Gandolfini guzzled four shots of rum, two pina coladas, and two beers at dinner with his son — while he chowed down on two orders of fried king prawns…” For those of you in Rio Linda, we’re talking about “big shrimp.” Those are king prawns.

“[A]nd a ‘large portion’ of foie gras…” For those of you in Rio Linda, that would be duck liver. (interruption) You don’t like duck liver? You don’t like that? Anyway, he had a “large portion” of that. “Photos of Gandolfini in Rome show the actor looking haggard in the days leading up to his death — and he spent a lot of the time with a drink in his hand. Hours before he keeled over from a massive heart attack, the actor sat down for a 7 p.m. meal with his son, Michael, 13, at the Boscolo Exedra Roma hotel’s outdoor restaurant,” al fresca, for those of you in Rio Linda.

“Gandolfini, 51, first ordered a pina colada with two additional shots of rum on the side. He followed that up with an identical round — a pina colada and two shots — and then downed two beers, the source said.” There are pictures of this, by the way. People sitting nearby were taking phone photos and sending ’em all over the place. “Gandolfini also enjoyed back-to-back orders of fried prawns slathered with mayonnaise chili sauce — as well as a heaping portion of foie gras. He ate the entire meal himself.”

His son looked on starving!

No, it doesn’t say that, but that’s the implication: He didn’t share; he ordered all this stuff and he went Henry VIII on everybody. “He ate the entire meal himself. Michael had his own dinner and two virgin pina coladas, the source said.” Who ever heard of people having their own dinner at a dinner table? “Nearly ‘everything [Gandolfini] ordered was fried. Obviously, that’s going to cause problems with your heart,’ the source said.”

So there’s a single source who’s obsessed with what people eat who wants everybody to think that the cause of death was eight shots of booze, pina coladas and beer; two orders of king grab, foie gras, and whatever; and then three hours later, a heart attack. So let’s look at the death certificate and see what it says. Did you know that foie gras could kill you? Did you know that king prawns could kill you? Did you know that pina coladas could kill you?

Did you know that beer could kill you? Did you know that fried stuff could kill you? (interruption) Taken together? See? I’m trying to make a point here, and I’m losing. Everybody here thinks, “Oh, yeah, this is deadly!” You have to really ask yourself why you think that. You have got to really ask yourself why you think a single final meal could cause this. That is a great illustration and an example of how you have been propagandized by the food Nazis like the people at the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

I guarantee you.

(interruption) Because it happened…? What were you gonna tell me? (interruption) Yeah, it happened. It happened. He had a heart attack. We can’t do what-ifs, but he had a heart attack. By the way, they figured out more on Michael Jackson, speaking about this stuff. It turns out that Michael Jackson did not have any real sleep for two straight months, 60 days. Real sleep is rapid eye movement sleep, REM sleep. When you take propofol, you don’t go into REM sleep.

Michael Jackson got no real sleep for two months. Now, REM sleep, that is where… If you look at the brain as a computer, REM sleep is shutdown time, rest time, refurbish time. You clean out all the garbage, and you wake up and the brain is rebooted and ready to go. Jackson had none of that for 60 days. He had insomnia. So this guy was giving him the propofol, but the propofol actually prevents people from actually sleeping. It anesthetizes them.

When you go that long… I mean, if you go five or ten days without REM sleep, you are in a really, really bad neurologically problem. Michael Jackson never had a chance. Again, that’s just the story I read. With anything in the media these days there has to be an asterisk that it could all be wrong and it could all be mistaken. So, anyway, I thought about going out and having the Gandolfini meal tonight, and see what happens. (interruption)

Look at these people! (laughing) “Don’t do it! Don’t do it!” Ha-ha-ha-ha. They’re all serious. Look, I can’t imagine pina coladas with foie gras, either, but he did it. Again, according to an eyewitness — ONE eyewitness. But, anyway, you ought to see these people. They’re seriously upset. They believe me when I tell ’em I’m gonna go have this exact meal. “Don’t do it! Don’t do it!” Because of this story implying that foie gras, pina coladas, king prawns, leads to heart attack. That’s how this all happens. Beer!

Do you think if he had had vodka instead of rum, maybe that woulda been okay?


RUSH: There was another cast mate, cast member of The Sopranos at the cigar dinner that night. Joseph Gannascoli. He played Vito Spatafore. He was just one of the nicest guys. He had a soup restaurant in Bay Ridge. I can’t remember the whole name of it. It was “Soup” something or other. It was on a corner in Bay Ridge in Brooklyn, and he was just the nicest guy. They all were. Dominic Chianese. I ran into him another time in Elaine’s, and he was great. Paulie Walnuts, Vincent Curatola.

These guys, they were all fabulous people to me. Gandolfini was great. I’m telling you, he was shy, and reserved. They were really reserved. It was fun to meet them. But I gotta tell you, does anybody believe…? How odd is it that a restaurant in Rome is serving pina coladas? Now, any bar probably makes pina coladas, but the one thing you don’t associate with Rome is pina coladas, and then a Jersey guy? Can you see Chris Christie ordering a pina colada?

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