Goodfellas: ‘Funny How’ Scene is Based on a True Story

GoodFellas Tommy DeVito goodfellas Funny How

One of modern cinema’s most significant and enduring works is Goodfellas, a genuine masterpiece by Martin Scorsese from 1990. Based on the book Wiseguy by Nicholas Pileggi, The lives of certain representatives of New York organized crime is shown in this intricate and multidimensional work. Still, the restaurant scene is unquestionably the most recognizable and symbolic one.

Tommy De Vito, played by the excellent Joe Pesci, is telling Henry, played by Ray Liotta, who is laughing heartily, a funny story about his life. He mistakenly refers to Tommy as “funny.” 

Tommys gets offended by the comments, and the situation turns menacing. The inspiration for this scene came from actual life events and was not part of the Script.

Joe Pesci was a server in a restaurant when he was a young guy. While watching him in action, he called a gangster “funny, ” the remark was poorly received. Pesci told Scorsese this tale when they were working on the movie, and he enjoyed it so much that he decided to include it. 

The sequence was improvised and rehearsed by Pesci and Liotta, but they kept the scene a secret from the other actors present to capture their genuine responses. He did not put it in the screenplay for the filming, so only they knew what was happening on stage.