Boardwalk Empire’s Nucky Thompson Costume

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nucky thompson

The key to enjoying Prohibition while still drinking is to do it virtually, such as by wearing a Halloween costume from the new “Boardwalk Empire” series. If you’d like to capitalize on your lack of dental work, a great choice would be dressing as the show’s enigmatic protagonist, Nucky Thompson.

Played by actor Steve Buscemi, Nucky Thompson is based on real-life racketeer Enoch Johnson. Ruling Atlantic City in the 1920s and 1930s and providing tourists with what they desired in the form of wine, women and gambling, Johnson lived the kind of aspirational lifestyle enjoyed today by inventors of iPod apps.

The Costume:

To create a credible Nucky Thompson costume, start with a flashy suit, preferably pin-striped. To make this costume a real stand-out, consider renting a suit from a tux rental shop and getting all the add-ons, such as wing-tip shoes and a high-collar dress shirt.

Remember that Nucky drove a powder-blue limousine and adjust your suit selection to match. Spare no expense: the HBO series pilot was the most expensive pilot ever made at around $50 million!

The little details make the costume here. Comb your hair down with gel to simulate a 1920s slick-back. A red carnation on the lapel, which the original Nucky wore and changed daily, is a great addition, and Buscemi even wears a period-piece collar pin on the show.

A sharp, tan fedora and a large gold pinky ring would complement the pocket watch, which you should also carry. Pawn shops are an excellent resource for these kinds of Halloween accessories. Slip a stack of poker chips and five aces in your pocket, to pull out and lay next to your drink.

The real Nucky was famous for consuming platters of ham and eggs in his penthouse suite after nights of gold-digging debauchery with showgirls, so keep your appetite alive for the morning after. Considering that 4.8 million viewers watched the premier, there’s a good chance some hapless girl in sequins will recognize you and want to be taken home.


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