There was a time when Saturday Night Live had only two funny people in the cast. One was Eddie Murphy and the other was Joe Piscopo, who now wants to succeed Chris Christie as a Republican Governor of New Jersey.
Piscopo, best known at the time for his Frank Sinatra impersonation, left SNL in 1984. His movies and television appearances never made him a household name but he did fight Chuck Norris and teach Star Trek TNG’s Commander Data how to do stand up comedy.
Why does he want to jump into politics now? He was inspired by Donald Trump.
Piscopo, 65, gained fame as a member of the SNL cast, impersonating fellow Jersey native Sinatra as well as late-night host Dave Letterman. He also appeared in films and hosts a political talk radio show in New York and is a spokesman for the Boys and Girls Club.
He says he would likely run as a Republican in 2017, but isn’t ruling out jumping in as an independent after the June 6 primary.
“I’m seriously looking at it,” he said, promising to make a decision by January. “I love the people. I love the state. I know what has to be done.”
Piscopo has never campaigned for or held office, but considered running in 2004. What’s different now? He said he feels emboldened by the against-all-odds victory of President-elect Donald Trump, whom he spoke for recently at a Florida rally.
The website for Piscopo’s radio show highlights his public service record in addition to his show business credentials.
Although his unique talents are in constant demand from show business quarters, Joe devotes an extraordinary amount of time to non-profit and charitable activities. His willingness to perform at benefit functions knows no limits. Piscopo received the Volunteer of the Year Award from Big Brothers Big Sisters of Mercer County, NJ and 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 Co., Fla. and is especially proud to have been recognized by Boy’s Town of Italy in Rome.
As a result of this work, Piscopo started his own foundation called “The Positive Impact Foundation”, creating positive media for at-risk youth including the syndicated television show for teens, “Positive Impact TV”. This groundbreaking series mixes education and entertainment to reinforce positive behavior and lifestyles among at-risk youth from both urban and suburban backgrounds. And just this year, Joe has merged his foundation with the Boy’s and Girl’s Clubs of New Jersey and is their statewide spokesman.
Hey, if Al Franken can be a Senator, why can’t Joe Piscopo be a governor?