is an American comedian, known for his work on Saturday Night Live. Piscopo planned to study acting but went into stand-up comedy in the late 1970s. In the summer of 1980 he was hired as a contract player for SNL. The show had gone through major upheaval, as all the writers, major producers and cast members had left that spring. The all-new cast bombed with critics and fans. Piscopo and Eddie Murphy
were the exceptions and the only two cast members to be kept when Dick Ebersol took over the show in spring 1981. Piscopo was best known for his boorish impressions of celebrities such as Frank Sinatra
(he wrote Sinatra a letter asking his permission; Sinatra agreed and jokingly dubbed him vice-chairmen of the board
). Piscopo left SNL in 1984, but unlike Murphy, did not find major success. He appeared in a few semi-successful films, and had his own HBO comedy special, but was regarded more as a punch line to a bad joke about the doomed careers of most SNL alumni.
In the early 1990s, Piscopo became a subject of controversy after his newly buffed-up physique and appearances on fitness magazines led many to speculate he was using steroids. Piscopo has repeatedly denied the allegations and says he began a campaign to improve his body after battling thyroid cancer from 1981 to 1982. He has also appeared in anti-steroid PSAs.
In more recent years Piscopo appeared in the long-running Broadway revival of Grease, guest-starred on major TV series such as Law & Order and toured with other SNL alumni such as Kevin Nealon and Victoria Jackson. He lives in New Jersey with his wife Kimberly and 3 children.
Note: This profile was written in or before 2004.
Joe Piscopo Facts
|Eat Drink Laugh: The Story of The Comic Strip
|Joe Piscopo: A Night At Club Piscopo
|Joe Piscopo / Barry Williams
|How Sweet It Is
|8-Movie Family Pack
|Joe Piscopo: American Tickler