- "You gonna deal those? They're not candy bars. You can let some of 'em go."
- ―Tony Blundetto[src]
Anthony "Tony" Blundetto, played by Steve Buscemi, is Tony Soprano's cousin, released from prison at the beginning of the fifth season. Tony Blundetto first appears as a calm, composed, and reformed criminal ready to pursue a straight, non-criminal, civilian life. However, it doesn't take long for him to realize that civilian life isn't what he wants and he turns back to crime, dragging the DiMeo crime family into the Lupertazzi crime family's power struggle, which ultimately leads to his early death.
Anthony Blundetto is introduced in the second episode of season 5, "Rat Pack". He is cousin to Tony Soprano and Christopher Moltisanti. To distinguish between them, they were called "Tony Uncle Johnny" (Soprano) and "Tony Uncle Al" (Blundetto) when they were kids, after their fathers' first names. Blundetto, Soprano, and Moltisanti all spent their summers on a farm owned by their uncle, Pat Blundetto. The two Tonys would often bully Moltisanti.
Tony B. is the father of Kelli Blundetto, who is Meadow's contemporary and is said to have run away from home, as well as identical twin boys Justin and Jason, whom he fathered by having Tony smuggle his semen out of prison nine years before, while he was still incarcerated. In the episode "Unidentified Black Males", it is also revealed that he has a genius level I.Q. of 158. Also, he sports a large number of crude prison tattoos, on his forearms, biceps, chest, back, and legs.
In 1986, Tony B. was arrested, tried, and incarcerated for almost 17 years for the armed hijack of a truck. Tony Soprano was supposed to go along with his cousin that night but was not able to make it due to a severe panic attack during which he passed out and injured his head, which was caused by an argument with his mother. Although Tony B. doesn't know that's the reason Tony S. never showed, Tony S. tells Tony B. he was mugged by a group of black men the night of the hijacking, and was knocked unconscious. Tony S. strongly believes Tony B. holds some ill-will towards him because Tony B. was caught that night and ultimately went to prison, while Tony S. prospered, and eventually became the boss of the family. Tony B. denies this.
In the March 2004, Blundetto is released from prison along with a string of other well-known mobsters, the media labels them "The Class of '04" These other mobsters include: Former high-ranking caporegime Michele "Feech" La Manna , Lupertazzi Crime Family caporegime Phil Leotardo, and former Lupertazzi family consigliere Angelo Garepe who returns and decides to stay semi-retired. After Blundetto's parole, he decides not to return to a life of crime and has the incentive to stay straight and clean. Instead, he initially decides to go into massage therapy. Tony is seemingly disappointed that Tony B. has decided to pursue a legitimate career after Tony B. declines Tony's offer to get back started working with the DiMeo crime family with a stolen airbag scheme Tony had lined up for him but respects his cousin's decision regardless. Tony gets his cousin a job working for a laundry company owned by a Korean man named Kim. Kim doesn't trust Blundetto at all and shows his overt racial prejudice against him since he is a white ex-con. When Kim, however, finds out about Tony B.'s aspiration to become a professional massage therapist, he begins to take a liking to him and even says he will go in on the business with him fifty/fifty. With the help of Gwen, a girlfriend he met via the Internet while in prison, Tony B. passes his "New Jersey State Massage Licensing Board" exam and is hopeful to open his own massage/spa facility. Kim sets up Tony B. with an empty storefront he owns in West Caldwell to establish the massage parlor/spa. In the episode "Sentimental Education", Tony B. comes across $12,000 in the street, thrown out of a car window by a paranoid drug dealer who believed he was being tailed by the police, and everything appears to be going his way. He manages to start fixing the storefront up, but then goes on a self-destructive tear, staying out nights and blowing much of the remainder of the money on gambling and expensive clothes, to seemingly "keep up" with the modestly wealthy members of Tony's crew, and Tony himself. After fighting on the phone with Gwen, he takes his anger and frustration out in a beating he gives Kim, ostensibly because he has been doing all of the work, and he'd finally had enough. Tony B. then meets his cousin, Tony Soprano, at Nuovo Vesuvio for a meal. After hinting that he has messed up his business with Kim, Tony B. asks if he still needs someone to cover the airbag scheme, Tony S. tells Tony B. "it's hard doing business with strangers" (meaning Kim). At this, Tony B. then begins working with Tony's crew.
Little Carmine's crew simultaneously begins courting Tony B. through his old prison buddy, Angelo Garepe. In an earlier season episode "Where's Johnny?", Phil Leotardo had performed a mock execution on a female loan shark Lorraine Calluzzo for siding with Little Carmine during the Lupertazzi power struggle between Carmine and Johnny Sack. When Lorraine fails to give her money to Sack upfront, Phil, Billy, and crew-member "Joey Peeps" shoot and kill Lorraine along with her boyfriend and partner in her shylock business, Jason Evanina, after breaking into her Brooklyn home. In retaliation, Little Carmine loyalists, Rusty Millio and Angelo Garepe offer a contract to Blundetto to murder Joey Peeps ("Marco Polo"). Although he is reluctant at first, he later accepts the contract after he decided that he isn't moving up fast enough in Tony's crew. Blundetto shoots Joey, and a prostitute he was seeing, inside his car but the vehicle, still in drive, rolls over his foot. Blundetto limps away from the scene and leaves quickly in his car. In "Unidentified Black Males", Soprano discovers Blundetto has a limp. Blundetto lies and says he was jumped by gang members in Newark. Soprano learns from Johnny Sack, while playing golf, that a witness got a look at the man who killed Joey Peeps and that the witness said he was limping away from the scene. Soprano instantly puts the puzzle together and has a panic attack on the first tee and collapses. He later confronts Blundetto who calmly pleads his innocence. Although Soprano knows the truth, he tells Sack that Blundetto did not kill Peeps; he knows there would be dire consequences if the truth were known.
In "The Test Dream", Phil and Billy Leotardo kill Angelo savagely, in the trunk of Phil's car, in revenge for Peeps' death. This drives Blundetto into a rage, and he tracks down the Leotardo brothers one night on a New York street, he wounds Phil and kills Billy. By the end of season 5, Tony Soprano is under heavy pressure to deliver his cousin to Johnny Sack. With his entire crime family now targeted in revenge, Tony Soprano confronts his capos, telling them he is giving Tony B the protection he would give to any of them. But after much prevarication, Tony S. realizes that he has to make a painful choice. He uses a contact at a phone company to track down Tony B. at their Uncle Pat Blundetto's former farm. Tony B. is coming back from grocery shopping and is ambushed by Tony S. who shoots him with a 12-gauge shotgun on the porch of the farmhouse. He then tells Johnny Sack where Tony B is. When Phil arrives later to avenge his brother's death, he finds Tony B's body lying on a pile of wood on the front porch. Tony Soprano then tells Christopher Moltisanti to bury his cousin Tony secretly, and in one piece, off the premises.
When Soprano is shot and falls into a coma the following season, his dreams include an encounter with Blundetto. In the dream, occurring in the season 6 episode 3 "Mayham", his cousin (named in the credits merely as "Man") is stuck as a doorman in purgatory, urging Soprano to let go of his life as a mobster and spend the rest of eternity with his dead loved ones. Specifically, Soprano arrives outside an Inn where a fancy dinner party is being held. He wants to go in and is invited inside by Blundetto, but is told that he will have to leave his briefcase outside. Soprano is reluctant to let go of the briefcase, since he says his "whole life is in there." The implication is that he is on the verge of crossing over into the after life and must leave the briefcase, symbolizing his mortal life, behind. The presence of Blundetto, a man he murdered, and his dead mother inside the Inn, adds further credence to this idea.
Tony Blundetto is highly intelligent, physically capable , fearless and self destructive. After his release from prison Tony is very affable and even tempered , though at times insulting towards his cousin. While at times confrontational with Soprano, he holds no real animosity for their conflicting fortunes and is mostly grateful for his cousins support following his release. After leaving prison Blundetto tried to go straight as a masseuse, even managing to open his own parlor. However his frustration with honest work combined with the stress from not sleeping and working full hours cause him to self destruct, beat Kim out of anger for doing the majority of the work, and reluctantly crawls back to his cousin for employment afterward. His initial frustration at his slow ascension causes him to take a contract on Joey peeps, which nearly starts a war with the New York family. After his cousin Tony gets him a job working at a casino, Blundetto proves himself to be very capable as a manager and organizer, quickly becoming a top earner. However the death of his close friend Angelo sends Blundetto into a rage and his attempt at retribution ends with his death and his Cousin Tony is left with a damaged relationship with the New York family . Before his imprisonment Blundetto was a rising star in the Dimeo family along with his cousin Tony, with a reputation as a ruthless enforcer. He was originally very fit and muscular, but his prison time caused him to lose weight. As a whole while Blundetto was very intelligent and capable, he was never able to completely adjust to life outside prison and was impulsive and self destructive.
- Appears in the following episodes:"Two Tonys", "Rat Pack", "All Happy Families...", "Irregular Around the Margins", "Sentimental Education", "In Camelot", "Marco Polo", "Unidentified Black Males", "Cold Cuts", "The Test Dream", "Long Term Parking", "All Due Respect", "Mayham".
Known Murders committed by Blundetto
- Joe Peeps: Contracted by Rusty Millio and Angelo Garepe in retaliation for Lorraine Calluzzo's shooting (July 2004)
- Heather: An innocent prostitute shot by Blundetto alongside Joey. (July 2004)
- Billy Leotardo: Shot by Blundetto in retaliation for the murder of Angelo Garepe (October 2004)