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Anatomy of an Internet Hoax: Nikki Leotardo June 24, 2007

Nikki Leotardo?  FuggedaboutitTwo weeks ago, just after the finale of HBO’s The Sopranos aired, a tornado of an Internet hoax began circulating in cyberspace. Rumor was that rather than the ending being an inconclusive steaming dump, David Chase gave it concrete closure: Tony Soprano is certainly killed by Nikki Leotardo, the man in the members only jacket and nephew to Phil Leotardo. Hundreds of thousands of gullible morons propagated the misinformation — blogging, commenting, and pumping it up until Nikki Leotardo finally made it into google’s top 10 search terms, a home on wikipedia (now removed), and a place in faux Sopranos history.

We’ve got mixed feelings about the idea of an Internet hoax. One the one hand, disinformation kind of blows, but on the other, mischief, mayhem, and making idiots look like asses they are totally rocks. Regardless, we’ve tracked down the operative who originated the whole fiasco, the creator of the Internet’s favorite fake Mafioso, Nikki Leotardo. Regardless of what your feelings are on the subject, it’s a conclusive case study on how the virtual world is filled with non virtual morons. Here’s the sordid details, straight from the horse’s mouth:

I am here to officially proclaim what you should already know by now. There is and never was a “Nikki Leotardo” on any episode of the Sopranos. I know this not because HBO spokespersons said so but because I wrote the damn thing after the show ended on Sunday night. If you never heard about this theory, here it is in its original form:


Darren’s Encore Performance July 25, 2006

As promised, here is a final shout out from our homie Darren. There are actually a handful more voicemails out there, and some terrifically salacious tales, but we feel that this is the best one for us to wrap on. It’s classic Darrenator, just released, and we’re certain that you haven’t heard it before.

I’ll sue you silly, Joanne! The FBI! Roadrunner! The Justice Department!

Here’s what Darren will probably never understand. All the effort in the world from Joanne, Donald, the Gonzo Rangers, or the hundreds of other blogs out there who have carried this thing couldn’t have made him such an international celebrity. It’s so easy to post to the Intraweb these days that only the truly spectacular are selected by the masses from the constant din of information. There is only one man or woman in this whole saga who is exceptional enough to command such a presence, and his name is the Darrenator.


Darren Appears at a Newstand Near You July 21, 2006

As we mentioned yesterday, the Darrenator has now been immortalized in print. Lloyd Grove’s Lowdown at the New York Daily News dishes the scoop — most of which is weeks old news. One new development is that he quotes a JDate spokesman as saying that Big Daddy D has been suspended. There’s also this bit which is hilarious:

Sherman’s smiling snapshot on JDate — where he variously employed the user names “Cute­TallFunny,” “CuteTallFit” and “SexyTallWitty” — gave no hint of his jaw-dropping chutzpah.

Grove was also able to get the elusive Darrenator on the phone:


Darrenator Update Soon… July 20, 2006

If our sources are correct, there’s been some very interesting developments in the saga of Darrenhood lately. We honestly thought this thing had about run its course, but the rumor is that the FBI might actually be involved. We’re trying to track down some specifics now.

Another tidbit is that Darren may be geting some lovin’ from a NYC newspaper tommorrow, which will be super fun for everyone! Except big daddy D, of course.

We’ll get back to you as soon as we know the score.

Get Ready to Purify our Rundwons, Bitches Part II July 17, 2006

As promised, we did some serious recon at a Scientology outpost to find out the real deal about these guys.  And here’s the real deal: Scientology is a waste of time and money.  Have you had your thetans checked?  Don't blow this Gill!The dude working there (we’ll call him Gill, after his resemblance to the struggling salesman of Simpsons fame) was perfectly nice to us.  However, his answers never strayed from the vague talking points that enable these guys to attract impressionable minds.  To Gill’s credit, he sincerely believed what he was saying.  Questioning the validity of what he was proclaiming propably never occurs to Gill.  And like his Simpsons namesake, we just felt bad for the real life Gill.  


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