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Bada Bing! is a fictional strip club from the HBO drama television series The Sopranos. It was a key location for events in the series, named for catchphrase "bada bing", a phrase popularized by James Caan's character Sonny Corleone in The Godfather. The popularization of the fictional club benefited the real-life go-go bar where scenes were filmed. The Bada Bing is loosely based on Wiggles, a strip club owned by New Jersey mobster Vincent Palermo before it was shut down.
Strippers at the Bada Bing were portrayed by extras including Elektra, Justine Noelle, Kelly Madison Kole, Luiza Liccini, Marie Athanasiou, Nadine Marcelletti, Rosie Ciavolino and Sonia Ortega. The "Bada Bing Girls" appeared in a photo spread in the August 2001 issue of Playboy magazine.
Presumably in an attempt at humor, the Federal Aviation Agency has two way points in North Central New Jersey called BADDA and BINGG on the instrument approach to runway 23 at Morristown Municipal Airport.
The Bing is owned and chiefly operated by Silvio Dante, Tony Soprano's consigliere, in Lodi, New Jersey. Tony's office is in one of the back rooms of the Bing, and the DiMeo crime family often conducts their business either in the bar or in the office.
The club's title is a stereotypical Italian-American expression, also rendered as "bada bing bada boom" or "bada boom bada bing". "Bada bi; Bada ban" is an expression in Malinke, meaning "it is done, it is good," so it is possible that the phrase "bada bing, bada boom" may have been picked up originally from African-Americans by Italian immigrants.
The use of Bada Bing as the name of the club and elsewhere in the series popularized the catchphrase such that it was added to the 2003 Oxford English Dictionary as an exclamation to emphasize that something will happen effortlessly and predictably. Bada bing is imitative of the sound of a drumroll or rim shot, or may also derive from the "bada-bing" sound effect that James Caan's character, Sonny Corleone, makes to describe an up-close shooting in The Godfather.
Being a topless go-go bar selling alcoholic drinks, Bada Bing represents a deviation from reality insofar as real-world New Jersey state law prohibits topless or nude dancing in establishments that sell alcohol. However, New Jersey strip clubs without liquor licenses may opt to permit patrons to bring in their own alcoholic beverages, while full bars with liquor licenses are allowed to feature non-topless or non-nude go-go dancers (i.e. "bikini bars").
Reviewer Paul Levinson heralded the Bada Bing, and its background of nudity, as a key setting for the series:
"The Sopranos's brilliant solution is to situate most of its nudity in the Bada Bing! strip joint run by Tony Soprano's aide-de-camp, Silvio Dante. The setting is an eminently logical place to frequently find Tony and his crew discussing business, and the naked women need no further motivation than that they are dancing in the club...Bada Bing! is an ideal locale – doing for The Sopranos what the diner did for Seinfeld, and the bar owned by Munch, Meldrake, and Bayliss did for Homicide – but with a physically illicit explicitness that gives sexual energy to whatever other story is unfolding.”
The Bing is where:
All interior and exterior shots of the Bada Bing were filmed on location at Satin Dolls, an actual go-go bar on Route 17 in Lodi, New Jersey. (Occasionally the neon "Satin Dolls" logo can be seen on an interior wall of the club.)
The popularity of the series and the notoriety of the Bada Bing! resulted in economic benefits through tours and souvenirs for the real-life club.