Celebration 2007

Joe Piscopo

Television, film, theater, nightclubs -- they're all fields in which Joe Piscopo has won the acclaim and affection of millions.  For almost 20 years, Joe has proven to be one of show business' brightest lights.  After stints as a disc jockey and dinner-theater performer, Joe turned to comedy.  In 1980, he was chosen to join a newly formed ensemble charged with one of the most difficult tasks in TV history -- replacing the original cast of Saturday Night Live.

By the time he left the show in 1985, Joe had left his mark on the program, and the nation, thanks for his wide range of hilarious original characters and celebrity impersonations, from The Sports Guy and Doug Whiner to David Letterman and, of course, Frank Sinatra, who had repeatedly endorsed Joe's portrayal of him.  In addition, Piscopo starred in three HBO specials; his work in the first of these, The Joe Piscopo Special, won him a Cable ACE Award for Outstanding Performance.  He also starred in the critically acclaimed New Jersey Special on ABC-TV.

His work on SNL quite 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," "The Last Request" (with Danny Aiello), and a dramatic, critically-acclaimed performance in Jonathan Parker's "Bartleby."

In January 1996, Joe conquered yet another realm when he starred on Broadway as disc jockey Vince Fontaine in Grease!  (Ever the trouper, Joe insisted on performing opening night despite conditions created by one of the worst blizzards in history).  The show's producers were so impressed with his Broadway turn that they built a touring company around him for the summer of 1996.  And when Grease! reopened on Broadway in April 1997 after a three-month hiatus, it was Joe who was asked to headline the production in order to get it back on its feet.

Joe has also recently won acclaim for his dramatic guest-starring roles on the NBC drama "Law and Order."  You might have also seen Joe on the HBO series "Arli$$" or as a guest on the FOX New Channel and the nationally-syndicated television show "Extra."  His voice was heard on the Nickelodeon comedy series "The 1,000 Deeds of Eddie McDowd," and -- yes -- that was Joe as Santa Claus in the ABC-TV special "Dear Santa."