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(Joe Piscopo and his son Joey act it up on stage together)
Excerpt from an Interview with Joe and Joey Piscopo, featured in Dad's Magazine premiere issue.

Joe Piscopo got his big break in show business on Saturday Night Live in 1980, starring with Eddie Murphy. There was a time when you couldn't book Eddie without Joe, or Joe without Eddie. Joe Piscopo's whiner character became a trademark SNL bit, along with his impersonation of Frank Sinatra. After beating thyroid cancer, Joe is back on tour, ironically enough, with his tribute to Old Blue Eyes. And with him, as tour manager and fellow entertainer, is Joe Junior.

DM: I have to talk to you about working with your son, Joey. You probably started singing when he was a baby and singing together when he was a toddler. But when did you start performing together?

JP: On stage? Well that's a good question. He used to sing the lyrics to "New York, New York" when he was about two. He actually hit the keys when he was that young. But when we first went on stage together was probably the "Me and My Shadow" bit. We started banging around doing charity stuff back in Jersey. Then I said, "This is great!" In fact, we're still working that act now.

DM: That was my favorite part of the show tonight, seeing you guys do it together. It's great to see a father and son together. A son following the footsteps of a dad's career.

JP: He's the real talent in the family.

DM: Oh, don't sell yourself short. Come on now!

JP: He's so good, he's with the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and does commercials now. He did get offered the Broadway tour of Beauty and the Beast. About going on a big tour, I didn't say anything as a father; I thought I had to let him spread his wings. But sure enough, he said, "Dad, maybe I'll go out with you on the road." Oh, I was so happy. Because we hang out, we're like buddies. He's a great big brother to his little sister, our new addition to the family, Alexandra, which is so exciting. It's a joy having a kid like him. That's what I'm here for, just the kids.

DM: This is for a magazine called Dad's Magazine.

JP: Great! That's what it's all about.

DM: Life on the road as a performer, how do you stay in touch with your kids?

JP: You take them with you. That's what I did with Joey. I didn't take him with me when he was too young to go to school. As he got older, when I opened on Broadway in Grease, Joey was with me. It's a great story. At that time, 1994, 1995, he was taken away from me in a custody battle. It was awful. The worst thing that ever happened to me in my life. People don't understand. I dropped everything and followed Joey 2200 miles away down to Florida, where his mother was living. So I was down there for birthdays, first day of school, Halloween, we did the whole thing. He was eight years old.

Then at fifteen, his mother said, "You can have him now, he can move in with you." She knew that was what Joey wanted to do. I dropped everything and said, "This is fabulous!" So we went to Jersey, and I scoured the area looking for the best schools. You've got all kinds of schools. Keeping up with the Joneses schools, private schools with attitude, and I couldn't find the right school. So I go to this school way out west Jersey in the country, and the one guy says to me, "Hey, Joe Piscopo, when you went through your divorce and the custody thing, I went through the exact same thing. I followed you, and you gave me inspiration to hang in there, because I knew you hung in there and you stayed with your kid."
I said, "Who are you?" He said, "I'm the Vice Principal of the school, what can I do for you?" He took us under his wing. His name is Roger Shutack. It was Voorhees High School in West Jersey. That guy watched Joey. He knew the situation I was in being a single father. Although I had invaluable help from Kimberly, who is now my wife, my girlfriend at the time. I was making lunches, writing lunch notes, I was "dork dad" and darn proud of it! The next year I was offered a part on Broadway, and again, I didn't want to neglect my child. So I took Joey with me. I made a deal with the school to kind of "home school" him. We faxed the homework back and forth. He went on a big tour all around North America with me. The Broadway company hired him to work for me. That's the way to do it, I think; if you can, take the kid with you.

DM: What's positive about it is that you wanted to be involved. You fought to be involved.

JP: The only thing that matters is your legacy, the children. Now, at my age, having a baby girl, eight months old, Alexandra Claudette. She is just stealing my heart! My son, he's my best friend. They tried to separate us, and they couldn't. That bond between father and son, they couldn't break it. Now I feel that same way with my daughter. But now she's young, and my wife is at home, and she's not with me. That's tough, because I haven't seen her for two weeks. That's really, really tough.
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