Among the many elements that made The Sopranos so wonderful was that it littered northern New Jersey with so many rich and colourful characters. They all felt human, they all felt real, but they still had a flair for drama. Minor roles were as fleshed out as the supremely written main protagonists, which made for a plethora of wonderful characters. With so many to choose from, there is little wonder that so many fans of the show differ in their opinion as to who’s their favourite character. Personally I don’t think I can choose just one, but I have to admit to having a soft spot for Uncle Junior or Corrado John Soprano Jr. to give him his full name.
Uncle Junior, of all the characters, demonstrated a sharp wit, remarkable insight and displayed the widest vocabulary, littering his prose with delightfully colourful metaphors and unique phrasing. This also made him highly quotable and here are some of the greatest Uncle Junior utterances, in no particular order.
Corrado 'Uncle Junior' Soprano
and his best quotes
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Livia Soprano was a complicated personality, Tony’s years of therapy can testify to that, however, Uncle Junior summed her up perfectly with a simple and unique simile which had us all nodding in agreement.
The Happy Wanderer - The Sopranos S2E06
Toodle Fucking-Oo - The Sopranos S2E03
Throughout the six seasons Junior had a lot of trouble with the federal government, spending seasons 2-4 under house arrest. His flair for a metaphor superbly expressed the heat he was feeling from the FBI that were investigating his affairs.
A little bit of self-perception can carry you a long way and Junior knows exactly how he and his nephew Tony fit into the political landscape of the New Jersey underworld. He also knows how to state his position in a manner which leaves no-one in any doubt as to what he means.
Second Opinion - The Sopranos S3E07
Uncle Junior has never been afraid to put Tony in his place, but instead of telling his nephew that he “doesn’t know everything”, like most normal people would say, he instead uses one of the greatest metaphors I think I’ve ever came across. This, incidentally is Junior’s way of telling Tony he has uncle he never knew he had, Ercoli Soprano.
The Happy Wonderer - The Sopranos S2E06
When Junior’s lawyer is able to demonstrate that Corrado is not a flight risk and he’s granted a little more freedom after a year and half of house arrest he is eloquently and uniquely able to sum up his time under house arrest.
Army of One - The Sopranos S3E13
Following his surgery to remove the stomach cancer, Tony in an effort to cheer up his uncle tells him “You look better”; Junior is not in the mood for compliments.
Second Opinion - The Sopranos S3E07
Corrado demonstrates several times that he is well read and a class above most of the other uneducated goombahs that inhabit North Jersey. “Sat like patience on a monument” is a seldom heard quote from an impassioned speech from Viola the female lead in William Shakesphere’s Twelfth Night – like I said Corrado is clearly well read.
Another instance where Uncle Junior slips in an uncommon literary reference is when he’s complaining about his hip in S02E04 Commendatori. He says “It hurts like the fuckin' ‘Pit and the Pendulum’ just to wipe myself”; The Pit and Pendulum being an obscure short story from Edgar Allen Poe about the torture of a prisoner by the Spanish Inquisition.
Meadowlands - The Sopranos S1E04
Uncle Junior loves cracking jokes. He has great comic timing, a deadpan delivery and they’re always smutty or racist.
Some other classic Junior jokes include:
S02E02 Do Not Resuscitate: "A Chinaman goes to see the eye doctor. After the exam the doctor said, "I know why you're having trouble." The Chinaman says, "why?" Doctor said, "you have a cataract." Chinaman says, "no, I have a Rincoln Continental."
S1E04 Meadowlands: “You heard about the Chinese godfather? He made them an offer they couldn't understand.”
Remember When- The Sopranos S6E15
Junior’s fixation with President John F Kennedy is so strong that he’ll not even question his doctor, who is about to operate on him to remove his tumour, simply because his name is Dr John Kennedy.
Second Opinion- The Sopranos S3E07
Corrado can’t even let slip a simple curse word. When he falls over in the shower he takes his exclamation to the next level.