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If one is asked about the most noteworthy gangsters in pop fiction, The Godfather's Don Corleone and The Sopranos' Tony Soprano would definitely come up. And it wouldn't take long for comedy fans to bring up The Simpsons' Fat Tony, the recurring mountain of calm menace making organized crime fun in Springfield. Voiced by Criminal Minds star Joe Mantegna, Fat Tony is one of The Simpsons' most popular side characters, and the upcoming Season 18 DVD will put the mob boss in the spotlight for a special feature titled "A Conversation with Fat Tony," in which Mantegna shares why he loves the character. Check it out!
Having come into existence back in 1989, The Simpsons is no stranger to spinning winning characters out of broad stereotypes, and on the surface, Fat Tony is basically just a caricature of how most people think about successful, suit-wearing Italian gangsters. But it's largely through Joe Mantegna's grizzled performances, coupled with some sympathy-earning storylines, that Fat Tony transcends the parody and becomes a fully three-dimensional figure within Springfield's giant population.
At this point, Fat Tony is the character that Joe Mantegna has been playing for the longest, and it's a role that he took even before his own kids were old enough to appreciate The Simpsons' humor. He was drawn into the role because of how good the script was, presumably for the character's very first episode, which was Season 3's "Bart the Murderer." But Fat Tony himself also speaks to the actor, since he says his family is full of these kinds of personalities. I wish I could get paid for sending up one of my uncles in cartoon form.
And hey, Fat Tony himself even made a cameo in the clip, with Joe Montegna bringing the vocal goods to have his long-running character mention that he'd like to be around for a lot longer. He even throws a veiled animated threat out there for the writers to be sure and heed his words. Capisce?
Check out one of Fat Tony's best scenes below, and let's all make our silent wishes that The Simpsons one day brings Futurama's Clamps into Fat Tony's gang. He would have made the below moment even better.
Even though it was previously announced that The Simpsons was abandoning its regular fan-beloved DVD releases, the hunger for more home releases was apparently too much for Fox to take, as Season 18 will be the first official DVD set to come out in three years. The set, which features the 400th episode and the 24 parody with Kiefer Sutherland, will give fans their usual batch of episode commentaries from the cast and crew -- one of the most informative supplemental extras of all time -- as well as deleted scenes, animatic features, and the "Conversation with Fat Tony" we've been talking about. Plus, the set itself is using Fat Tony's face on the packaging, so we're pumped!
The Simpsons Season 18 will hit DVD on Tuesday, December 5, so be sure to hit up Amazon or your preferred retailer to pick it up. And if you're in need of other shows to catch up with after the animated hit's midseason finale on December 10, just hit up our fall TV premiere schedule and our 2018 midseason premiere schedule.