Read David Chase’s Eulogy For James Gandolfini

Alan Sepinwall, who began his career as a TV critic covering The Sopranos for the Star Ledger in Newark, New Jersey, which is the very same paper Tony Soprano trundled down his driveway to retrieve every morning, has the entire transcript of Sopranos creator and showrunner David Chase’s heartbreaking eulogy for the late actor delivered at his funeral at the Cathedral of Saint John in New York overnight. 

“Dear Jimmy,

Your family asked me to speak at your service, and I am so honored and
touched. I’m also really scared, and I say that because you of all
people will understand this. I’d like to run away and call in four days
from now from the beauty parlor. I want to do a good job, because I
love you, and because you always did a good job.

I think the deal is I’m supposed to speak about the actor/artist’s work
part of your life. Others will have spoken beautifully and
magnificently about the other beautiful and magnificent parts of you:
father, brother, friend. I guess what I was told is I’m also supposed
to speak for your castmates whom you loved, for your crew that you
loved so much, for the people at HBO, and Journey. I hope I can speak
for all of them today and for you.

I asked around, and experts told me to start with a joke and a funny
anecdote. “Ha ha ha.” But as you yourself so often said, I’m not feelin’
it. I’m too sad and full of despair. I’m writing to you partly because
I would like to have had your advice. Because I remember how you did
speeches. I saw you do a lot of them at awards shows and stuff, and
invariably you would scratch two or three thoughts on a sheet of paper
and put it in your pocket, and then not really refer to it. And
consequently, a lot of your speeches didn’t make sense. I think that
could happen in here, except in your case, it didn’t matter that it
didn’t make sense, because the feeling was real. The feeling was real. The feeling was real. I can’t say that enough.”

Read the whole thing here.