‘SNL’ alum Joe Piscopo: I could win NJ governor race

He’s played Frank Sinatra, Jerry Lewis and countless others on “Saturday Night Live,” but Joe Piscopo says his next role may be as New Jersey’s real -life governor.

“I know who’s running on the left. I know who’s running on the right. Good guys,” Piscopo recently told ITK. “I shouldn’t be saying this, but I’m going to tell you anyway: We think we could beat them.”

Calling himself a “lifelong Kennedy/Reagan Democrat” who believes in being “strong on civil rights, strong on defense,” Piscopo says, “The party kind of left me.”


Democratic administrations, he says, are allowing cities such as Baltimore, Chicago and Ferguson, Mo., “to crumble.”

“I walk the streets, and I see the beauty in the stars and the strength of the inner cities, and these people have just been neglected,” laments Piscopo, 64. “So I just got frustrated. So do I go and run for governor like in 2017 when [Gov. Chris Christie] leaves? Maybe. Maybe I’d go in as an independent.

“I left the party because the Democrats are totally messing it up. But listen, the Republicans are no better, don’t get me wrong,” says Piscopo. “I’m going to stay right down the middle. Socially, I lean left. Politically, I go right a little bit.”

It’s not the first time Piscopo, a radio host for AM 970 The Answer in New York, has flirted with a gubernatorial run. When asked in a 2004 CNN interview whether he wanted the job, the fast-talking comedian replied, “You know what? I love the state enough to do it.”

The entertainer also weighed in on a less-hypothetical race, rating some of the 2016 GOP White House hopefuls.

“Don’t ever underestimate Chris Christie. Don’t underestimate Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpGeraldo Rivera on Trump sowing election result doubts: 'Enough is enough now' Murkowski: Trump should concede White House race Scott Atlas resigns as coronavirus adviser to Trump MORE. Donald can win this thing, I know from the listeners,” says Piscopo. Calling Trump, the current Republican front-runner, a friend, Piscopo adds, “Donald’s a good, decent man. If you know him, he’s a good guy. And believe it or not, he’s a humble guy. But you only know it if you hang with him.”


Piscopo also heaped praise on some of the other presidential candidates, saying he loves Carly Fiorina and likes the way “Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Mastercard - Coast-to-coast fears about post-holiday COVID-19 spread Potential 2024 Republicans flock to Georgia amid Senate runoffs Voters elected a record number of Black women to Congress this year — none were Republican MORE’s handling himself.”

“And don’t leave out John Kasich either,” he warns.

“It’s a great time” to be a radio host, according to Piscopo. “You can’t make this up. If you went in every morning and said what’s going on in the news, no one would believe what we’re doing.”