Several months ago, my mate -- that's what English people like to be called -- rang me up on the telly and asked if I was available for a short gig.
Oddly enough, I was available, and since I enjoy working with and working for this chap, who we will just refer to as Shrek, I was more than happy to do the job.
He had just completed shooting a holiday commercial for his client Netflix. I will gladly post it here knowing that some of you less-attentive readers will come away from this thinking, "Siegel did that funny Treetopper spot." When in fact I had nothing to do with it.
Weeks after this holiday spot aired, thanks to signed NDA's I can't go into any detail, the Netflix folks wanted to have something for an internal meeting. And I was asked to help prepare a long form video.
Recognizing good work when I see it, I suggested reprising Lorraine's Treetopper character. Within hours we had a script -- a funny script -- written and approved.
Interesting how projects that are not on anybody's radar can be the most fun and the most painless. I swear ad agencies, clients and their slavish adherence to process and bureaucracy are their own worst enemies.
For obvious reasons I was looking forward to meeting Lorraine. And wanted to share all my stories about Northern New Jersey and the many Sopranos locations that were haunts of my teenage years.
The famed Bada Bing strip club on Route 17 in Paramus is an actual gentleman's club, though gentlemen is generally a term that is not recognized in the Garden State. I guess calling it a Gumba's Club didn't have the same panache.
In any case, the Bada Bing was real. And has gone by several names including CandyLand and Satin Dolls.
I know this because my buddies and I spent enough money there to replace the unmentionably-stained pleatherette couches in the Whisper Room.
But meeting Lorraine was not to be. She was stuck in the Hamptons and the voiceover recording all took place over a digital phone patch. And in case you're wondering, she was charming, salty and authentic NY through and through.
Was I disappointed?
You bet I was.
My plan was to get out my iPhone and snap a picture of myself and Lorraine Bracco, who played Dr. Jennifer Melfi, Tony Soprano's therapist.
Then I would have posted the picture of her and I right here on the blog and cleverly called it a Smelfie.
Get it? Selfie + Melfi = Smelfie.
Ahhhhh, maybe it's just as well.