Joe Piscopo

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Joe Piscopo
Piscopo in 2009
Joseph Charles John Piscopo

(1951-06-17) June 17, 1951 (age 72)
EducationJones College (BA)
  • Actor
  • comedian
  • radio host
Years active1975–present
Political partyDemocratic (before 2014)
Independent (2014–present)[1]
Nancy Jones
(m. 1973⁠–⁠1988)
Kimberly Driscoll
(m. 1997⁠–⁠2006)

Joseph Charles John Piscopo (/ˈpiskəp/ PIS-kə-poh; born June 17, 1951) is an American actor, comedian, and conservative radio talk show host. He was a cast member on Saturday Night Live from 1980 to 1984, where he played a variety of recurring characters. His film roles include Danny Vermin in Johnny Dangerously (1984), Moe Dickstein in Wise Guys (1986), Doug Bigelow in Dead Heat (1988), and Kelly Stone in Sidekicks (1992).

Early life[edit]

Piscopo was born in Passaic, New Jersey, and grew up in North Caldwell.[2] He attended West Essex High School and was a member of the drama club "The Masquers."[3][4] He developed a reputation for never playing a part the way it was written. After graduating in 1969, Piscopo attended Jones College in Jacksonville, Florida, where he received a degree in broadcast management.[5]

Saturday Night Live[edit]

In the summer of 1980, Piscopo was hired as a contract player for Saturday Night Live. The show had gone through a major upheaval when all the writers, major producers, and cast members left that spring. The new cast bombed with critics and fans with the exception of Piscopo and Eddie Murphy. As a result, they were the only two cast members to be kept when Dick Ebersol took over the show the following spring. With the success of SNL, Piscopo moved to the wealthy borough of Alpine, New Jersey.[4]

Piscopo is best known for his impressions of celebrities, including Frank Sinatra. Piscopo rewrote the lyrics for a Sinatra sketch with the help of Sinatra lyricist Sammy Cahn and recalled that, "by the grace of God, the old man loved it."[6] Piscopo would later reprise his role as Sinatra in a series of stop-motion animated ads for Lipton Brisk Ice Tea.[7] He had an occasional spot on the Weekend Update segment as a bombastic sports commentator who would pose a series of questions and usually follow them up with a loud, "Who cares?". Piscopo and Robin Duke also played The Whiners.

Post–Saturday Night Live career[edit]

Piscopo left Saturday Night Live at the end of the 1983–1984 season. In 1984, he starred with Michael Keaton in the movie Johnny Dangerously, which was met with mixed reviews. He also starred in an HBO special and wrote a book for Pocket Books titled The Piscopo Tapes. An album, New Jersey, for Columbia Records, followed in 1985[8] and an ABC special titled The Joe Piscopo New Jersey Special in May 1986.[9] In 1987, Piscopo was mentioned in Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' No. 1 rock single "Jammin' Me".

In the mid-to-late 1980s, Piscopo developed an interest in bodybuilding. He first became involved with it when he was doing impressions of Bruce Springsteen on SNL.[10] He appeared on the cover of Muscle & Fitness magazine in April 1988 and again in June 1990. In the 1990 issue, he said, "Some people in Hollywood think I'm nuts with this bodybuilding stuff. They'll say, 'You're getting too big. You'll hurt your career.' But they don't understand that high that comes from a workout, the challenge, and the personal victory."[11]

Since January 2014, Piscopo has hosted Piscopo in the Morning, a radio show from 6:00 am to 10:00am weekdays on 970AM The Answer in New York City.[12] From the inception of his radio program until June 2020, Piscopo's program was produced by Frank Morano, who also served as an on-air contributor.[13] Starting on December 13, 2020, Piscopo also began to host the Ramsey Mazda Sunday Nights with Sinatra on 770 AM WABC in New York and WABC's sister station 107.1 FM WLIR in Hampton Bays.[14]

Piscopo considered running as an independent for governor of New Jersey in 2017 based in part on the political success of Donald Trump, for whom he campaigned in 2016. He was encouraged by a number of political figures, including former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani.[15] However, in May 2017, he ultimately decided not to run.[16] Piscopo has been active in a band and performed stand up and music at a political rally hosted by businessman Mike Lindell in May 2021.[17]

Personal life[edit]

In 1973, Piscopo married Nancy Jones. They had one child and divorced in 1988. In 1997, he married Kimberly Driscoll, who was his son's nanny when Piscopo was married to Jones. They had three children and divorced in 2006.[18]

Piscopo is a resident of Lebanon Township, New Jersey, and has also lived in Tewksbury Township, New Jersey.[19][20][21]

Piscopo is an avid New Jersey Devils fan and was the emcee for the team's 2003 Stanley Cup championship celebration.

Piscopo was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 1990.[22]


In 2013, Piscopo was inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame.[23]


Year Title Role Notes
1976 King Kong Bit Part Uncredited
1977 American Tickler Announcer aka Draws
1984 The House of God Dr. Fishberg
Johnny Dangerously Danny Vermin
The Joe Piscopo Special Himself Television special
1986 Julian Lennon: Stick Around Rival Video short
New Jersey Vice Short
The Joe Piscopo New Jersey Special Himself Television special
Wise Guys Moe Dickstein
1988 Dead Heat Doug Bigelow
Star Trek: The Next Generation The Comedian Episode: "The Outrageous Okona"
1992 Sidekicks Kelly Stone
1993 Batman: The Animated Series Mugsy, Manager Voice, episode: "Read My Lips" (credited as Joe Piscapo)
1994 Huck and the King of Hearts Max
1995 Open Season Hamlet
Two Bits & Pepper Zike, Spider
Captain Nuke and the Bomber Boys Mr. Wareman
Multimedia Celebrity Poker Himself Video game[24]
1999 Law & Order Jeff Stahl Episode: "Ambitious"
2000 Baby Bedlam Jack
2001 Bartleby Rocky
Law & Order Jeff Cahill Episode: "Formerly Famous"
2004 Law & Order Jarret Whitestone Episode: "Cry Wolf"
2006 Last Request Angelo
Dead Lenny Louis Long
2012 Joe Piscopo: A Night at Club Piscopo Himself Television special
2013 How Sweet It Is Jack Cosmo
2018 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Albert Romano Episode: "Mama"


  1. ^ Piscopo, Joe (August 14, 2014). "Joe Piscopo's confessions of a disillusioned Democrat". The Washington Times.
  2. ^ "The HBO series, 'The Sopranos,' features Steve Van Zandt (from left), Tony Sirico and James Gandolfini". Courier-Post. March 22, 1999. Retrieved December 23, 2014. Actor-comedian Joe Piscopo grew up in the neighborhood where the show is set, North Caldwell, Essex County.
  3. ^ Lurie, M.N.; Siegel, M.; Mappen, M. (2004). Encyclopedia of New Jersey. Rutgers University Press. p. 640. ISBN 978-0-8135-3325-4. Retrieved June 22, 2019.
  4. ^ a b Strauss, Robert (August 7, 2005). "So Jersey, He Deserves His Own Rest Area". The New York Times. Retrieved March 14, 2011. Mr. Piscopo's father, also named Joe, was a lawyer and the family mostly lived in Essex County, the younger Joe graduating from West Essex High School in North Caldwell. With his Saturday Night Live fame, he moved to one of the richest corners of New Jersey, Alpine, persuading Mr. Murphy to join him there in that wealthy enclave by the Palisades.
  5. ^ Lurie, Maxine N.; Mappen, Marc (April 1, 2004). The Encyclopedia of New Jersey. Rutgers University Press. p. 640. ISBN 978-0-8135-3325-4. Retrieved December 13, 2012.
  6. ^ "Saturday Night Live Backstage". Saturday Night Live. February 20, 2011. NBC.
  7. ^ Making of Brisk Commercial Sinatra. YouTube. Jon Murphy. February 11, 2023. Retrieved May 3, 2023.
  8. ^ "Joe Piscopo – New Jersey". discogs. August 15, 1985.
  9. ^ Terry, Clifford (May 13, 1986). "Piscopo Occasionally Ready for Prime Time". Chicago Tribune.
  10. ^ Willistein, Paul (May 6, 1988). "It's Jersey for this Joe: Piscopo Tones His Bulging Biceps and Career". The Morning Call. Retrieved June 1, 2020.
  11. ^ "Muscle & Fitness Retro – June 1990". Muscle & Fitness. June 22, 2012. Retrieved June 1, 2020.
  12. ^ "The Joe Piscopo Show".
  13. ^ "Joe Piscopo & Frank Morano on Capturing an Audience on AM970". YouTube.
  14. ^ Ramsey Mazda Sunday Nights with Sinatra Hosted by Joe Piscopo Promo Video (Retrieved from the 77 WABC Official Youube channel on December 15, 2020)
  15. ^ Corasaniti, Nick (February 20, 2017). "Joe Piscopo Considers Running for Governor of New Jersey. No Joke". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved February 21, 2017.
  16. ^ "Joe Piscopo won't run for New Jersey governor". CBS Miami. Associated Press. May 3, 2017. Retrieved May 3, 2017.
  17. ^ Dean, Grace (May 7, 2021). "Mike Lindell is holding a 2,200-person rally at the Corn Palace in South Dakota to promote his voter-fraud website Frank". Yahoo! News.
  18. ^ Terruso, Julia (November 30, 2012). "Judge orders Joe Piscopo to pay $10K in child support". The Star-Ledger.
  19. ^ Homer, Jordan (April 9, 2016). "Tewksbury's Piscopo featured at Cento Amici's 28th spring scholarship dinner". Hunterdon Review. Archived from the original on April 12, 2016. Retrieved October 26, 2018. Joe Piscopo, Tewksbury resident, former Saturday Night Live star, morning radio host, and New Jersey Hall of Famer was the evening's star.
  20. ^ "On the Comeback Trail: John Kerry and...Joe Piscopo?". The Left Coaster. March 9, 2005. Retrieved June 11, 2009.
  21. ^ Jennings, Rob (April 7, 2017). "Joe Piscopo insists he's still thinking of running for N.J. governor". NJ Advance Media. Retrieved September 2, 2017. Piscopo, who lives in Lebanon Township, suggested he would tap into a similar base of support if he runs.
  22. ^ Shifrin, Alexander. "Celebrities with Thyroid problems". Retrieved July 13, 2022.
  23. ^ "Joe Piscopo". New Jersey Hall of Fame. April 14, 2014. Retrieved April 15, 2022.
  24. ^ Oller, Jacob (March 23, 2017). "10 Crazy Full-Motion Video Game Performances By Well-Respected Actors". Film School Rejects.

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