Welcome to The Daddy Issue, our very fatherly tip of the cap to the father figures in our lives as well as all the fatherly stuff they can’t help but do — from pretending they’re not asleep on the couch, to the dad jokes that make even Tony Soprano smile. We’ll talk to famous dads and their equally famous progeny and also deconstruct fatherly influence in each and every one of its forms. In doing so we hope to come out the other side with a better understanding of our own and everyone elses daddy issues. Read all of the stories here.

The Sopranos would not have been the triumph it was and may have failed altogether without the charisma of Tony Soprano. The mafia don of North Jersey had to be likable in order for you to stick with him through his many acts of violence and cruelty. Show creator David Chase credited beloved actor James Gandolfini for the audiences sympathy toward his lead sociopath once noting I think maybe with another actor in that part you would not be rooting for Tony Soprano quite so much. But Gandolfini had support from the writers particularly in the corny disarming sense of humor they gave Tony. The guy was never ever without a dad joke.

An upset Meadow protests Not funny dad but in so doing accepts his cover story. In his therapy sessions with Dr. Melfi meanwhile Tony resorts to dad jokes in order to evade the lines of questioning that make him uncomfortable. His smirking reply when asked if he has had his prostate examined Hey I do not let anybody even wag their finger in my face.Sure sometimes Tony just wanted to make his kids cringe with a stupid pun the essence of dad humor is second hand embarrassment. But the gags were also a screen an act that would have you believe he was a harmless goofball not a depressed angry and dangerous criminal. He could also use this side of his persona to tilt reality in the way he preferred. After foiling an attempt on his life he pretends it was a carjacking gone wrong and in the hospital says of the SUV his attackers supposedly wanted I guess nobody told them about the kind of gas mileage that thing gets.

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