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FaceApp, Crane Girl, and Jon Kaplan

A graphic of Tony Nappo edited to appear as multiple people sitting in a circle as a spoof of Alcoholics Anonymous. At the top and bottom of the image is text that reads
/By / May 2, 2017

Nappoholics Anonymous is a weekly column featuring twelve random thoughts by actor Tony Nappo. Some are funny, some are poignant, some bother him, and some make him weep from sadness while others make him weep for joy. Here are his thoughts: unfiltered, uncensored, and only occasionally unsafe for work.

1. I feel like I just spent a week studying for a final exam of an excruciatingly dull non-elective course called Concerts My Friends May or May Not Have Gone To.

2. Don’t miss the exclusive Carlton Cinema engagement, running from May 1st to sometime later on on May 1st, of Honey, I Shrunk Everything But That Kid’s Head starring Kristian Bruun.

3. I was discussing Ravi Jain’s brilliant production of Prince Hamlet with Raoul Bhaneja outside of an audition and I confessed that, at intermission, I was still processing how I felt about the show. It was quite sign language heavy at the top and I thought that if I didn’t know the story, I’d maybe only be getting the general gist—picking up a word or image here and there—and it might not all be super clear to me what was happening. BUT, during the second act, it occurred to me that the average person who can hear and doesn’t already know the story would probably have the EXACT SAME EXPERIENCE when hearing Shakespeare’s actual fucking text, anyway.

4. Wise Guys was on TV last week. If you ever find yourself wondering why Joe Piscopo doesn’t make movies anymore, watch this movie.

5. I always considered myself half black growing up in Scarborough but I don’t remember actually looking like I was.

6. Kevin O’Leary has stepped away from politics, which is kind of amazing because, I mean, I see people avoid stepping in shit all the time but I’ve never heard of a pile of shit avoid being stepped into.

7. Inspirational story of the week:

Patrick James Gallagher had six callbacks for the role of The Flintstones’ Gazoo before they decided his head was too big. But he never gave up on his dream and has made thirty-six Night at the Museum movies now and starred or guest-starred in every single TV show made in the last seven years.

8. Top 5 Gay Porn Shakespeare Titles

5- Much Ado About Pumping

4- Two Gentleman of the Bonah

3- As You Like It Up the Bum

2- The Merchant of Penis

1- Corey’s Old Anus

9. Had an audition for Murdoch Mysteries this week. If I ever do get to finally do that show, I wanna be the guy who tells that skeptical red-headed captain, “Hey. This guy has solved a case a week, every week, FOR TEN FUCKING YEARS! If he says I did it, I did it.”


11. The Montreal Canadiens have just signed Toronto Crane Girl, Marisa Lazo, to replace present GM Marc Bergevin. Habs owners said, in a very brief press statement, “… at least when she only half plans things out, she knows how to get herself rescued instead of completely fucking an entire organization for the next ten years.”

12. Immediately upon hearing the news of Jon Kaplan’s death, I wrote to Matt MacFadzean that I wished we, as a community, could all just gather somewhere and hug each other and cry. I have never understood that impulse to gather like that in the face of the loss, like Elvis or John Lennon or Kurt Cobain fans did. But with Jon, I did. I felt such an immense personal loss, but it was really part of a bigger, more communal loss that I was instantly aware of and dialled into. As much as he meant to me, I knew he meant so much to so many others, even those who didn’t know him personally. He was an icon. And, yet, there was always an intimacy with Jon, maybe because the most personal of public things that we do was the thing he always received from us with so much respect and compassion. He took care of us. And that sense of being taken care of is gone now. To me, it was almost parental.

I have been fortunate to have not lost a parent yet but this loss feels akin to what I imagine that will one day be. There won’t be any replacement. There was only Jon. He was there, from the start, watching me grow up in the theatre and helping raise me with his written words. He praised only the praiseworthy and when he was silent about me, I knew I had missed the mark. His silence was generous.

He was the first person to ever interview me in print. I showed up forty minutes late, still half drunk from the night before, parked my car over the curb and onto the sidewalk, and entered breathless and apologetic. Jon just smiled, told me to catch my breath, and held my hand and walked me through it. In the interview itself, he made me sound fun and vibrant and imperfectly human, rather than the train headed full-steam for a tunnel wall that I was—which he could have done. But he chose to protect me, instead.

We never saw each other without a warm embrace and a kiss as our greeting. I never saw his face not light up when he saw me approach, his eyes twinkling, that famous moustache curtain rising on his broad, wide, almost-bashful smile—that paternal smile of calmness and certainty. That smile that said wherever you are at right now is okay and I’m right here with and for you.

But now, of course, he won’t be with me—with any of us. He can’t be. And, yet, no doubt he will be. Just as all those who have taught us and loved us always are.

Rest in peace, Jon. You will truly be missed.

Photo by Dahlia Katz

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Tony Nappo

Tony Nappo

Tony is Italian, he’s from Scarborough, he’s an actor, he’s a father, he’s a really good house painter, and he doesn’t believe that most things matter, ultimately, at all.



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