John Pinette

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John Pinette
John Pinette 2010.jpg
Pinette in 2010
Born(1964-03-23)March 23, 1964
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
DiedApril 5, 2014(2014-04-05) (aged 50)
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.
MediumStand-up, television, film
GenresObservational comedy
Subject(s)Impressions, self-deprecation, everyday life, obesity, world travel, food

John Paul Pinette (/pɪˈnɛt/ pi-NET) (March 23, 1964 – April 5, 2014) was an American actor, Broadway performer, and stand-up comedian. He toured the comedy club circuit beginning in the 1980s and appeared in cinema and on television. Besides stand-up, Pinette did impressions of The Chipmunks, Elvis Presley, Gollum from The Lord of the Rings, Hervé Villechaize (Tattoo from Fantasy Island), an Ewok, actor Marlon Brando (notably Brando's role in The Godfather), as well as various ethnic accents. He occasionally sang, for example "Over the Rainbow" from The Wizard of Oz, "Will You Be There" from Free Willy, and "Don't Cry for Me Argentina," in his stand-up routines.

Early life[edit]

Of Irish and French ancestry, Pinette was born in Boston, Massachusetts, on March 23, 1964,[1][2] and graduated from Malden Catholic High School in 1982. He was a practicing Catholic. He graduated from the University of Massachusetts Lowell in 1986 with a degree in accounting.[3] He started a six-month[3] career in accounting[4] but, on the advice of friends, left to pursue a career in comedy.[4]


Pinette got a break when asked to tour with Frank Sinatra. Pinette was a regular guest on The Tonight Show and The View.[4]

Pinette was in the films Duets, Simon Sez, The Last Godfather, Dear God, and Junior. He was a regular on the series Parker Lewis Can't Lose and, in 1998, starred as the carjacking victim in the final episode of Seinfeld. In 2004, Pinette was Bumpo in Artisan Entertainment's The Punisher, starring Thomas Jane and John Travolta.

Pinette was named Stand-Up Comedian of the Year by the American Comedy Awards in 1999 and received a Gemini Award nomination for his televised performance at Montreal's Just for Laughs Comedy Festival in 2000.[5] At the time of his death, he still held the record for the highest-selling one-person show in the history of Just for Laughs.[6]

In 2004, Pinette joined the touring cast of the musical Hairspray in the role of Edna Turnblad.[7][8] He later went on to the Broadway production in 2005, and continued in the role until May 28, 2006.[7][9] In his 2006 concert I'm Starvin', he said it was the first musical theater production he had been in since high school.

In 2004, Pinette's stand-up material was featured in Comedy Central's animated series Shorties Watchin' Shorties. In 2007, Pinette performed at the 42nd annual Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon. He performed at the Edinburgh Comedy Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 2008, and toured in cities in 2010 beginning in April. During this tour, Pinette recorded a Comedy Central special titled John Pinette: Still Hungry. The taping took place at the Vic Theatre in Chicago. The world premiere of Still Hungry was on July 29, 2011, on Comedy Central.[10]

Pinette was a host of the E4 Laughs at Edinburgh podcasts, showcasing comedians from the Edinburgh Festival in 2008.

In 2012, Pinette was one of the comedy acts in Ron White's Comedy Salute to the Troops on CMT.[11]

He was the host of All You Can Eat, a TV series taking a humorous look at American cuisine. The show debuted on the H2 network in the United States in late June 2013.


Pinette was pronounced dead at 2:30 p.m. on April 5, 2014, at the Sheraton Station Square Hotel in Pittsburgh. The Allegheny County Medical Examiner's office said Pinette had been suffering from liver and heart disease. An autopsy was not performed, as Pinette's personal doctor signed off on his cause of death as pulmonary embolism.[12][13]

Pinette's funeral services were held near his home in Springfield, Pennsylvania.[14]



See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ferguson, Lisa (May 22, 1998). "John Pinette: Keeping His Plate Full". Las Vegas Sun. 34-year-old
  2. ^ Brodeur, Nicole (September 23, 2004). "'Hairspray' and heels: kicking back at spa with mama Edna". The Seattle Times. Archived from the original on March 5, 2014. Pinette, 40
  3. ^ a b "John Pinette, stand-up comedian, dies at 50". The Washington Post. Associated Press. April 8, 2014. Retrieved 2018-07-30. He graduated with an accounting degree in 1986 from what is now the University of Massachusetts at Lowell. He lasted six months in that career.
  4. ^ a b c " (Official Website)". Retrieved August 12, 2010.
  5. ^ "John Pinette". Comix at Foxwoods Comedy Club. Archived from the original on October 18, 2012. Retrieved September 29, 2014.
  6. ^ "In Memory of John Pinette – A Just for Laughs Legend". Just for Laughs. Archived from the original on September 29, 2014.
  7. ^ a b "Replacements/Transfers: Hairspray - Neil Simon Theatre". IBDB. Archived from the original on August 7, 2012. Retrieved June 11, 2008.
  8. ^ Jones, Kenneth (July 1, 2004). "Comedian John Pinette Straps on Edna's Pumps for Hairspray Tour Starting Sept. 7". Playbill. Archived from the original on June 4, 2011.
  9. ^ Jones, Kenneth (September 6, 2005). "John Pinette Slips Into Edna's Housecoat in Broadway's Hairspray Sept. 6". Playbill. Archived from the original on July 28, 2010.
  10. ^ "John Pinette Biography". Broadway World. Retrieved 2018-07-30.
  11. ^ "Ron White Comedy Salute to the Troops 2012". Internet Movie Database. Archived from the original on September 29, 2014. Retrieved April 8, 2014.
  12. ^ Polke, Clarece (April 6, 2014). "Comedian John Pinette, 50, dies in Pittsburgh hotel". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved April 6, 2014.
  13. ^ "John Pinette Dead: Comedian And 'Seinfeld' Actor Dies At 50". The Huffington Post. April 6, 2014. Retrieved April 6, 2014.
  14. ^ "John P. Pinette". April 10, 2014. Retrieved February 2, 2017.

External links[edit]