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Joe Piscopo, 2009
|Born||Joseph Charles John Piscopo
June 17, 1951
Passaic, New Jersey, U.S.
Joseph Charles John "Joe" Piscopo (pronounced PIS-co-po; born June 17, 1951) is an American comedian and actor best known for his work on Saturday Night Live where he played a variety of recurring characters.
Born in Passaic, New Jersey, Piscopo grew up in North Caldwell and attended West Essex High School and was a member of the drama club "the Masquers". He developed a reputation for never playing a part the way it was written. Graduating from high school in 1969, Joe went on to attend Jones College in Jacksonville, Florida. There he received his degree in broadcast management.
Saturday Night Live
In the summer of 1980, he was hired as a contract player for Saturday Night Live. The show had gone through major upheaval when all the writers, major producers, and cast members had left that spring. The all-new cast bombed with critics and fans with the exception of Piscopo and Eddie Murphy; thus 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.
Piscopo was best known for his impressions of such celebrities as Frank Sinatra, although he feared for his life due to Sinatra's alleged Mafia ties. Piscopo thus 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."
Post-Saturday Night Live career
Since January 2014 he has hosted "Piscopo In The Morning" from 6:00 to 9:00 AM, Monday through Friday on 970 The Answer (WNYM) in New York City.
- King Kong (1976)
- The House of God (1984)
- Johnny Dangerously (1984)
- The Joe Piscopo Video (CED) (1984)
- Wise Guys (1986)
- Dead Heat (1988)
- Sidekicks (1992)
- Huck and the King of Hearts (1993)
- Demolition Day (1995)
- Two Bits & Pepper (1996)
- Baby Bedlam (2000)
- Bartleby (2001)
- Dead Lenny (2006)
- Last Request (2006)
- How Sweet It Is (2013)
- Staff. "The HBO series, `The Sopranos,' features Steve Van Zandt (from left), Tony Sirico and James Gandolfini.", Courier-Post, March 22, 1999. Accessed December 23, 2014. "Actor-comedian Joe Piscopo grew up in the neighborhood where the show is set, North Caldwell, Essex County."
- Strauss, Robert. "So Jersey, He Deserves His Own Rest Area", The New York Times, August 7, 2005. Accessed 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."
- Maxine N. Lurie; Marc Mappen (1 April 2004). The Encyclopedia of New Jersey. Rutgers University Press. pp. 640–. ISBN 978-0-8135-3325-4. Retrieved 13 December 2012.
- "Saturday Night Live Backstage". 2011-02-20. NBC. Missing or empty
- Staff. "On the Comeback Trail: John Kerry and...Joe Piscopo?", The left coaster, March 9, 2005. Accessed June 11, 2009.