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Backstage pass: mobster Jimmy Falcone moves to Regina in FUGGET ABOUT IT Back to Media Coverage

METRO REGINA BY SIMON HIATT Posted: September 5, 2012

One of organized crime’s most notorious figures has taken up residence in Saskatchewan, but residents needn’t worry about a rise in criminal activity.

Mobster Jimmy Falcone, formerly of the Gambini crime family, resides in Regina in animated form only.

The new Teletoon original animated series Fugget About It follows Falcone and his family as they transition from New York to witness-protection-plan-enforced life in Regina.

“It’s a city full of good-natured, wonderful people,” said co-creator Willem Wennekers in a telephone interview.

“And that’s a great foil for our mob family’s main character, to drop a bunch of hard-nosed New York gangsters among the kindly, salt of the earth people.”

The old saying “write what you know” definitely applies to Wennekers. While he may not have any first-hand experience with the mafia, he knows the city the Falcone family is calling home quite well.

The Calgary native studied film and video at the U of R, and lived in the city for seven years before moving to Ontario. He and co-creator Nicholas Tabarrok came up with the idea several years ago and wanted to set the show in Regina from the beginning.

“We both realized we’re big fans of The Sopranos and movies like The Godfather and Goodfellas and came up with this idea of taking characters like that and putting them in witness protection in Canada,” said Wennekers.

An early attempt at an animated demo didn’t pan out, but it did attract some high profile interest. The Daily Show with Jon Stewart’s Jason Jones, who lent his talents to the demo and returned as a guest voice on the series, is just one of the big names involved.

“We’re very happy to have him and we’re happy to have Alan Thicke and the legendary Andrea Martin as guest voices,” said Wennekers.

The duo first approached Teletoon with the show idea in 2009, but it wasn’t until the network launched its new At Night programming this year that Fugget About It found a home. And while a long career in television is often about as likely as one in organized crime, production has already begun on Season 2 before the premiere episode has even aired.

“Teletoon is very supportive of the show,” said Wennekers. “They seem to really like it and they’re letting us run with it for now.”

The series premiere of Fugget About It runs at 11 p.m. on Friday, on Teletoon.

Why we love the mob

Wennekers understands why people love a good mobster story: “I think audiences can live vicariously through mobsters because they can do basically whatever they want. They have no regard for the law or social conventions; it’s fun to watch people like that onscreen.” He’s not the only one who thinks so, as three of the top 15 movies of all time as ranked by IMDB users feature mobsters. At No. 15 is Goodfellas, The Godfather Part 2 holds the No. 3 spot and The Godfather comes in at No. 2, beat out only by The Shawshank Redemption.

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