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Joseph Charles John Piscopo (pronounced PIS-co-po; born June 17, 1951) is an American comedian, actor, musician, writer, and a nationally syndicated radio talk show host. He is best known for his work on Saturday Night Live in the 1980s where he played a variety of recurring characters.

Joe Piscopo
Piscopo in 2009
Born Joseph Charles John Piscopo
(1951-06-17) June 17, 1951 (age 66)
Passaic, New Jersey, U.S.
Education Jones College (BA)
Occupation Actor, comedian
Years active 1975–present
Political party Democratic (before 2008)
Republican (2008–present)
Spouse(s) Nancy Jones (m. 1973–1988)
Kimberly Driscoll (m. 1997–2006)
Children 4


Early lifeEdit

Born in Passaic, New Jersey, Piscopo grew up in North Caldwell[1] and attended West Essex High School and was a member of the drama club "the Masquers".[2] He developed a reputation for never playing a part the way it was written. After graduating from high school in 1969, Piscopo attended Jones College in Jacksonville, Florida, where he received a degree in broadcast management.[3]

Saturday Night LiveEdit

In the summer of 1980, Piscopo 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 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.[2]

Piscopo was best known for his impressions of celebrities such as Frank Sinatra, although he allegedly feared for his life due to Sinatra's alleged Mafia ties. 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."[4]

Post-Saturday Night Live careerEdit

Piscopo left Saturday Night Live at the end of the 1983-84 season. In 1984, he starred in a special for HBO and released a book for Pocket Books called The Piscopo Tapes. An album, New Jersey, for Columbia Records followed in 1985[5] and an ABC special called "The Joe Piscopo New Jersey Special" in May 1986.[6] In 1987, Piscopo was name-checked in Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' #1 rock single "Jammin' Me."

Since January 2014 he has hosted Piscopo in the Morning with Al Gattullo, Frank Morano, and Debbie DuHaime from 6:00 to 10:00 AM, Monday through Friday on AM 970 The Answer (WNYM) in New York City.[7]

By February 2017, Piscopo, a supporter of U.S. President Donald Trump, was considering running as an independent for Governor of New Jersey in the 2017 gubernatorial election. However, in April he decided not to do so.[8][9]

Personal lifeEdit

Piscopo married former "Wheel of Fortune" producer Nancy Jones in 1973. They had one child and divorced in 1988. He married Kimberly Driscoll in 1997. They had three children and divorced in 2006.[10] Piscopo is a resident of Lebanon Township, New Jersey.[11][12]


Celebrity impersonationsEdit


  1. ^ 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."
  2. ^ a b 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."
  3. ^ 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. 
  4. ^ "Saturday Night Live Backstage". 2011-02-20. NBC.  Missing or empty |series= (help)
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ Corasaniti, Nick (2017-02-20). "Joe Piscopo Considers Running for Governor of New Jersey. No Joke". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-02-21. 
  9. ^ Joe Piscopo won't run for New Jersey governor, CBS Miami (AP), May 3, 2017. Retrieved 3 May 2017.
  10. ^ Terruso, Julia (November 30, 2012). "Judge orders Joe Piscopo to pay $10K in child support". The Star-Ledger. 
  11. ^ Staff. "On the Comeback Trail: John Kerry and...Joe Piscopo?", The left coaster, March 9, 2005. Accessed June 11, 2009.
  12. ^ Jennings, Rob. "Joe Piscopo insists he's still thinking of running for N.J. governor", NJ Advance Media for, April 7, 2017. Accessed September 2, 2017. "Piscopo, who lives in Lebanon Township, suggested he would tap into a similar base of support if he runs."

External linksEdit