Entertainment | Passaic, New Jersey (1951 – )
Joe is a comedian, actor and entertainer best known for his work on Saturday Night Live. Born Joseph Charles John Piscopo on June 17, 1951, Piscopo worked as a disc jockey and dinner theater performer before he turned to stand-up comedy. In 1980, he and Eddie Murphy dominated the second wave of SNL’s “Not Ready for Primetime Players” and stayed on for the next few years. Piscopo was famous for his impressions of celebrities, the most prominent of which was Frank Sinatra. Sinatra, who repeatedly endorsed Joe’s work, referred to Piscopo as “The Vice-Chairman of the Board.” Piscopo also had a hit single with “The Honeymooners Rap.”
By the time he left SNL in 1985, Piscopo left his mark on the program, and the nation, thanks to his wide range of celebrity impersonations, including David Letterman, as well as outrageous characters such as “The Sports Guy” and “Doug Whiner.” His work on SNL naturally led to Hollywood, and starring roles in such smash hits as Wise Guys (with Danny DeVito) and Johnny Dangerously (with Michael Keaton). Other film credits include Dead Heat, Sidekicks and the independent feature films Two Bits & Pepper, Roger Corman’s Demolition Day and a dramatic, critically-acclaimed performance in Jonathan Parker’s Bartleby. In January 1996, Joe starred on Broadway as disc jockey Vince Fontaine in Grease!
Live performances have always been an important part of Joe’s career. He has filled arenas and casino showrooms from coast to coast and in Canada. Joe also has won acclaim for his dramatic guest-starring roles on Law and Order. Piscopo also has been a guest on many other TV shows, including The Late Show with David Letterman, the Fox News Channel and other broadcasts. He serves each year as co-host of New York City’s Columbus Day Parade with Maria Bartiromo.
Piscopo devotes much of his energy to non-profit and charitable activities, particularly for causes in New Jersey. Piscopo was the keynote speaker at the Big Brothers Big Sisters National Conference in Chicago. In addition, Piscopo has received Community Service Awards from Boys and Girls Clubs in New Jersey and Broward County, Fla. and was recognized by Boy’s Town of Italy in Rome. Piscopo has five children: Joey, Alexandra, Michael, Olivia and Charley Rae.