I'm an afternoon shift automotive factory rat trying to get into IT. When I have the time, I write and also produce web sites.
As everyone may know, radio isn’t exactly as gold as it was some decades ago. My own personal experience of radio gold on the FM dial was back in the mid-90s when radio played a lot of grunge and heavy metal when it was fresh. My favorite station back in that day was 102.7 Z-Rock in Detroit (now a hip hop station) which had Screamin’ Scott Randall (now on Detroit’s WRIF), Danielle Flynn & Steve Black. And also in 2001-02 when WKRK 97.1 FM Talk had a good lineup, Howard Stern mornings, Kramer & Twitch starting at 10:30, Deminski & Doyle on the drive home, Tom Leykis on the prime time, Parker & the Man sports on the early evening hours and finishing with the syndicated Loveline in the late night. Everybody has their own memories of Radio Gold and may not agree that any radio gold existed in the 90’s or early 2000s. Heck, you can’t seem to find radio gold in FM radio these days due to FCC regulations and the nosy Nazi’s of the PTC, and also this:
Fortunately (if you are willing to pay for it) we now have the option of Satellite Radio from SiriusXM. Commercial-free stations on almost each and every genre, you can also get Howard Stern as well (with commercials). Sirius XM does not have to bow down to the FCC and the PTC for that matter; you can listen to music and talk with explicit lyrics and swear words. And one in particular show that gets a ‘XL’ label (aka Explicit Lyrics) is XM channel 103: The Opie and Anthony show; known best for their Sex for Sam 3 bit and also causing controversy with the Homeless Charlie bit, let’s not forget Jocktober in where the duo spends an hour almost each day in October attacking a morning zoo show out of random and the fans get involved by attacking the target show’s Facebook pages with rude comments and sick pics.
On November 29, 2012 Opie & Anthony, along with third mic Comedian Jim Norton started the day talking about the one year anniversary of the death of the great Patrice O’Neal who would also previously played the 3rd mic a number of times for the show. After that, Anthony brought up a TV special he had seen when waking up in the middle of the night with the TV on, it was Club Piscopo. Anthony first started by saying it’s Joe Piscopo with a big band behind him with Joe himself playing guitar, saxophone, drums, flute and also singing. Anthony emphasized that this was the worst thing he has ever saw on TV. He said that although it was a disaster to watch, he just couldn’t stop watching it. This interested his show mates Opie & Jim to get more info on Club Piscopo.
While watching the video above, they have noticed an old friend of their show (Jeff Norris) was a part of Club Piscopo, much to their hilarity. Fans of the PalTalk chatroom and through direct tweets to the show’s hosts had pointed to another video of Joe Piscopo back in the late 80s singing a song called “Kimberlee” a song for his second wife Kimberlee Driscoll, and a big age difference. The title of the video says it all:
Boy that was scary.
The boys also noticed that Piscopo had a film coming out called How Sweet It Is (it was later released in 2013). My guess it is straight-to-DVD and I cannot find it on Netflix, but here's the trailer:
After a commercial break and a little track from the late Patrice O’Neal about on how people handled football injuries back in the day. Opie, Anthony and Jim Norton came back with Jim Florentine (Crank Yankers). The boys found Piscopo’s special via the Showtime site (subscription required) and us listeners go along with it as they see Joe Piscopo introducing his rap bit and does his rap. Anthony’s reaction is priceless.
Piscopo goes on with a Latino bit in which Opie does actually enjoy, as everyone else is netural with it. Next, Piscopo again talks it up about Letterman and does his Letterman bit. Since I don’t have Club Piscopo available for your viewing pleasure, here’s this:
After this, Piscopo talks it up about the big band behind him and although they are great jazz musicians, they can’t do classical as Joe explains. This prompts the bandleader to grab a wand and direct the band to play classical and Joe grabs a flute to go along. In that time, Anthony reveals that this is where he woke up to and he believed he was dreaming at first.
While watching Club Piscopo via the Showtime site, the boys run into buffering issues. It was later determined that fans of the show were following along with O&A. Some jokes were floating around on how Showtime would be surprised on the high numbers Club Piscopo is generating. In which Anthony said, “I can’t, in good conscious, be responsible for that.”
Piscopo goes on a heavy rant about his days in SNL and his times in being a muscleman. His big banter doesn’t go well with Opie, Anthony and the two Jims. Next, Piscopo is back to music mode, Joe goes on with the Piano, then the Saxophone where the big band’s best saxophone player and Piscopo do a sax duel, and Jim Norton says, “I wished they do a duel, with guns.” After the sax, he does an impression of Johnny Cash while playing the guitar. And when the credits roll, Joe is on the drums doing a drum solo.
Of course, I've never saw Club Piscopo on screen and even after listening to this, I was interested in seeing this live even though O&A and myself didn't really approve of it. I even looked up information on Club Piscopo making a stop in Detroit. But it appears that I’ve may’ve missed that opportunity or Joe forgot about Detroit (or maybe he didn't).
The next day towards the end of the show, Joe Piscopo himself called in to say hello to O&A. Here’s the vid:
Despite how O&A took off on him in the end, Piscopo was invited back on the show. He told of great detail of his love life and how he is doing with the alimony. And also the status between him and Kimberlee.
I was born in 1982, the two things I can bring up of Joe Piscopo in my era is the movie Sidekicks in where he fights Chuck Norris himself, boy that was an awful movie. And the movie Demolition Day in where the kid who played Donkey Lips in Salute Your Shorts and two others steal a bomb from terrorists and make their own demands (It’s a comedy), Piscopo played a school Principal.
I told three people in their fifties (a family member and two co-workers) about how O&A went after Joe Piscopo's little special and how golden it was to listen to.
They all said the same thing: "Joe Piscopo? I haven't heard about that guy in years."
If you have listened to the interview above, Joe Piscopo surely was right. Although Opie & Anthony gave him a good beating, he got the publicity he was looking for. I’m very interested in Joe Piscopo. I watched Sidekicks again (skimming through some of it, getting the Joe Piscopo parts) I also watched a little bit of his New Jersey special. But I cannot find a copy of Club Piscopo anywhere. Does anybody have a copy? I really want to watch the special… badly.
Sadly, if I wanted to see Club Piscopo live, well, that won’t happen. Piscopo called the show on his 62nd birthday and one of the things he said is with Club Piscopo, he’s closing shop.
UPDATE: Joe Piscopo can now be heard on the New York/New Jersey radio market. 970 AM The Answer which seems to be a Conservative Christian-based radio network, has Joe on Monday thru Friday at 6-9am. Don't live in the area? Well, these days, you can listen to radio in a semi-free country in Africa, with that being said, get your tune-in app and get going to The Answer if you wish to hear Joe.