While all of Smith’s quotes below are otherwise accurate, because of the sensitive nature of my editors, I changed his profanities to ones used in Elizabethan times.
As the first episode started, we were both shocked to learn that only one of the eight Italian-American cast members was actually from Jersey. The rest were Bennies, a term for people who come to the shore during the summer. “All these jackanapes are Bennies,” Smith sort of said. “Looking at this show and thinking it’s about New Jersey is like looking at Hogan’s Heroes and thinking it’s a real depiction of World War II.” When Smith saw the cast’s house decorated with maps of Jersey surrounded by Cadillac emblems and Italian flags, he vowed to take down his own antique map of the state. “This is like the moment for Catholics when Madonna started wearing a crucifix and turned it into a trinket,” he said, before yelling “Flax-wench!”