Last week on Boardwalk Empire, Season 1’s forced baptism/drowning of crooked investigator Agent Sebso by Agent Nelson Van Alden (Michael Shannon) finally came back to bite the pious investigator in the Bible. (Accused of the crime, Van Alden bolted; Sunday’s season finale will show whether he goes on the lam or returns penitently after a little head-clearing self-flagellation.) But even though Sebso perished last season, the character has resurfaced in a new rap video, courtesy of the man who portrayed him, Erik Weiner, the same actor whose viral video “One Line on The Sopranos” got him the job on Boardwalk Empire to begin with.
After drying out from his fatal blessing, Weiner — a lyricist and viral-video hobbyist — gifted the cast and crew with the Sebso-themed rap parody “Boardwalk Empire State of Mind,” reworking the refrain of “Empire State of Mind” to fit the show’s theme music. One year later, he’s posted a video, which, for extra verisimilitude, he shot on the show’s set. (And down by the seaside for a comic nod to the show’s foot-soaking opening credits.) Writer-actor Ed McGinty (who plays Ward Boss Boyd on the show) volunteered to direct, Broadway actress Halle Morse did a last-minute Alicia Keys, and various crew members loaned their costumes, makeup, and hair and camera expertise. Weiner supplied the rhymes (“Listen up, any bad guys / If you are Jewish, don’t you ever get baptized”) and a whole lot of gratitude. “I can never thank [creator] Terry Winter enough. I mean, he was the one who saw my Sopranos video and asked me to audition,” Weiner tells us. “So this video is really a tribute to him, the show, and the tremendous time I had working on it.”