Joe Piscopo

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

Joe Piscopo
Piscopo in 2009
Joseph Charles John Piscopo

(1951-06-17) June 17, 1951
EducationJones College (BA)
OccupationActor, Comedian, Radio Host
Years active1975–present
Political partyDemocratic (before 2008)
Republican (2008–present)
Nancy Jones (m. 19731988)

Kimberly Driscoll (m. 19972006)

Early life

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][3] 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.[4]

Saturday Night Live

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 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.[3]

Piscopo was best known for his impressions of celebrities such as 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."[5]

Post–Saturday Night Live career

Piscopo left Saturday Night Live at the end of the 1983–1984 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[6] and an ABC special called The Joe Piscopo New Jersey Special in May 1986.[7] In 1987, Piscopo was mentioned in Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' No. 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.[8]

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.[9][10]

Personal life

Piscopo married former Wheel of Fortune producer Nancy Jones in 1973. They had one child and divorced in 1988. In 1997, he married Kimberly Driscoll, his son's nanny when Piscopo had been married to Jones. They had three children and divorced in 2006.[11] Piscopo is a resident of Lebanon Township, New Jersey and has lived in Tewksbury Township, New Jersey.[12][13][14]


Year Title Role Notes
1976 King Kong Bit Part Uncredited
1977 American Tickler Announcer
1984 The House of God Dr. Fishberg
Johnny Dangerously Danny Vermin
The Joe Piscopo Special TV Special Himself
1986 Julian Lennon: Stick Around Rival Video Short
New Jersey Vice Short Movie
The Joe Piscopo New Jersey Special Himself
Wise Guys Moe Dickstein
1988 Dead Heat Doug Bigelow
1988 Star Trek: The Next Generation, Season 2, Episode 4: The Outrageous Okona Comic
1992 Sidekicks Kelly Stone
1994 Huck and the King of Hearts Max
1995 Open Season Hamlet
Two Bits & Pepper Zike / Pepper
Captain Nuke and the Bomber Boys Mr. Wareman
2000 Baby Bedlam Jack
2001 Bartleby Rocky
2006 Last Request Angelo
Dead Lenny Louis Long
2013 How Sweet It Is Jack Cosmo
TBA Spring Break '83 Max's Father

Celebrity impersonations


  1. Staff. "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."
  2. Lurie, M.N.; Siegel, M.; Mappen, M. (2004). Encyclopedia of New Jersey. Encyclopedia of New Jersey. Rutgers University Press. p. 640. ISBN 978-0-8135-3325-4. Retrieved June 22, 2019.
  3. Strauss, Robert. "So Jersey, He Deserves His Own Rest Area", The New York Times, August 7, 2005. 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."
  4. Maxine N. Lurie; Marc Mappen (April 1, 2004). The Encyclopedia of New Jersey. Rutgers University Press. pp. 640–. ISBN 978-0-8135-3325-4. Retrieved December 13, 2012.
  5. "Saturday Night Live Backstage". February 20, 2011. NBC. Missing or empty |series= (help)
  6. "Joe Piscopo – New Jersey". discogs.
  7. "Piscopo Occasionally Ready for Prime Time".
  8. "The Joe Piscopo Show".
  9. 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.
  10. "Joe Piscopo won't run for New Jersey governor", CBS Miami (AP), May 3, 2017. Retrieved May 3, 2017.
  11. Terruso, Julia (November 30, 2012). "Judge orders Joe Piscopo to pay $10K in child support". The Star-Ledger.
  12. Homer, Jordan. "Tewksbury's Piscopo featured at Cento Amici's 28th spring scholarship dinner", Hunterdon Review, April 9, 2016. Retrieved October 26, 2018. "Joe Piscopo, Tewksbury resident, former Saturday Night Live star, morning radio host and New Jersey Hall of Famerwas the evening's star."
  13. Staff. "On the Comeback Trail: John Kerry and...Joe Piscopo?", The left coaster, March 9, 2005. Retrieved June 11, 2009.
  14. Jennings, Rob. "Joe Piscopo insists he's still thinking of running for N.J. governor", NJ Advance Media for, April 7, 2017. Retrieved September 2, 2017. "Piscopo, who lives in Lebanon Township, suggested he would tap into a similar base of support if he runs."
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