I think that's the date of the season premiere of the Sopranos, and a guy named Stan Carp appeared in one episode ("the Weight", 4.4). Or maybe you're thinking of the talking fish from Tony's dream about Sal "Big Pussy" Bompensiero.
I don't subscribe to HBO either. I think I originally borrowed tapes from dougo, and then I started buyin DVDs faithfully. A bunch of us watch them as a group, and we'll be watching this new season semi-live at the home of someone who does subscribe. I think the show is a real masterpiece.