Comedy – 1980 – Special – Joe Piscopo On Sports


Joseph Charles John Piscopo 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 early 1980’s….where he played a variety of recurring characters.  Born in Passaic, New Jersey, Piscopo grew up in North Caldwell…and attended West Essex High School….where he was a member of the drama club “the Masquers”…..when 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.

In the summer of 1980, Piscopo was hired as a contract player for Saturday Night Live…..at a time when 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…..who are both seen in this comedic piece herewith…. thus they were the only two cast members to be kept when Dick Ebersol took over the show the following spring. 

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…..as 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.”  

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.…then an album, New Jersey, for Columbia Records followed in 1985….and an ABC special called “The Joe Piscopo New Jersey Special” in May 1986.  In 1987, Piscopo was name-checked in Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ #1 rock single “Jammin’ Me”….and 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. 

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