We can’t be the only ones who’ve been listening to “Woke Up This Morning” and “Don’t Stop Believing” on a loop all day, in honor of the late, great James Gandolfini. We all want to remember the actor who brought pathos to the mafioso stereotype and made the world want to be from the Garden State back when the Jersey Shore crowd was still in middle school. That’s why we’ve gathered a few of the best videos, GIFs and photos floating around the Internet today…
1. Hug away your fears. We had to start out with Gandolfini at his warm and fuzzy best, in this clip of his appearance on Sesame Street. While telling Zoe about his fear of the dark, getting his hair cut and “giant, talking vegetables,” he also displays his acting chops. Just look at him snuggle with that teddy bear!
2. F-in’ Roar! The best thing Spike Jonze did in his bizarre adaptation of Where the Wild Things Are was to cast Gandolfini as the voice of Carol. One of the best things the Internet did was to mash up his Wild Things scenes with dialogue from The Sopranos. “This isn’t Little House on the F—in Prairie, those things are dangerous!”
3. Bow down. “This man helped launch a golden age and made so many things possible, Game of Thrones being just one of countless others,” wrote GoT fan Sean T. Collins on his Tumblr Boiled Leather. Whether he created this image or just borrowed it, it’s a very true symbol of everything HBO owes to Gandolfini and opranos creator David Chase.
4. Read Carmela’s words and weep: “He was a man of tremendous depth and sensitivity, with a kindness and generosity beyond words,” Edie Falco said in a statement about her co-star. “I consider myself very lucky to have spent 10 years as his close colleague. My heart goes out to his family. As those of us in his pretend one hold on to the memories of our intense and beautiful time together. The love between Tony and Carmela was one of the greatest I’ve ever known.”
5. Enjoy the irony. After all those years marveling performers at Bada Bing, Gandolfini played a man who took in the troubled teen stripper played by Kristen Stewart in Welcome to the Rileys. It’s quite sweet, really.
6. Inhale a little secondhand smoke.
7. Take it in with a montage. This one has the kind of soundtrack that is destined to make you tear up.
8. Laugh at his good nature. Kathy Griffin’s shtick is normally to rip apart celebs who are too full of themselves. She does the opposite in this clip, recounting her meeting with the gracious star at the Emmys.
9. Visit your local diner and order the onion rings. Last night, there was a crowd at Holsten’s, the diner where the final scene of the Sopranos was shot. The above touching photo made the rounds on the Internet, and we finally forgave the show for that frustrating final scene.
10. And speaking of, you should definitely rewatch that scene. Unless you have time to watch the whole series on HBO Go, that is. Don’t stop believing, everyone!