‘SNL’ Writer Got Revenge on Joe Piscopo By Making Him the Butt of ‘Married… With Children’ Jokes

Revenge is a dish best served over seven sitcom seasons
‘SNL’ Writer Got Revenge on Joe Piscopo By Making Him the Butt of ‘Married… With Children’ Jokes

By any measure, the eighth season of Saturday Night Live wasn’t one of the show’s all-time greats. Lorne Michaels was in exile, Weekend Update became the clumsy Saturday Night News and the cast was so-so. Eddie Murphy and Joe Piscopo were the undisputed stars, but supporting comics like Gary Kroger, Robin Duke and Tim Kazurinsky weren’t inspiring catchphrases. Even young Julia Louis-Dreyfus couldn’t score with viewers.

Piscopo wasn’t happy about it. From the beginning of his SNL tenure, he had gripes about the experience. “I could never describe to you in words how painful those first 10 months really were,” Piscopo groaned in oral history Live From New York: The Complete, Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live. “Saturday night, after the show, it was pretty much like a funeral, like you were mourning.”

As Murphy and Piscopo got more laughs, Piscopo somehow got more insufferable. Multiple people interviewed for Live From New York provided remarks along the lines of, “Eddie Murphy’s success went to Joe Piscopo’s head.”

One SNL scribe who didn’t appreciate Piscopo’s pomposity was Ellen L. Fogle. In her single season on the show, she says Piscopo often complained about the show’s lackluster writing. Fogle never forgot the comic’s whining and got her revenge once she landed a job on the raunchy sitcom Married… With Children. Over seven seasons, Fogle made Piscopo and his flailing career a running joke on the show. 

Here, then, are eight times the ex-SNL writer turned Joe into a walking punchline… 

  • In Season Three’s “The House That Peg Lost,” Al watches a fake TV show about The Luckiest Men on Earth, a club that included Piscopo. 
  • The show must have gotten a sequel, because in “Peggy Made A Little Lamb,” she watches Battle of the Luckiest Men Alive featuring Gavin MacLeod squaring off against Piscopo.
  • “Looking for a Desk in All the Wrong Places” features the Bundys brainstorming the worst names for a baby. After suggestions of “Shark Bait” and “Hemlock,” Al throws out “Piscopo.” Bud and Kelly protest that would be too cruel, even for an unwanted child.
  • In Season Six, Al pitches TV show concepts to a Hollywood producer. They’re all rejected, but when Al returns home, he learns that his Shoe Trek idea was made into a terrible TV show starring you-know-who. 
  • In Season Seven’s “Mr. Empty Pants,” Peg creates a comic strip based on Al. When he protests that people will laugh at him on the streets, Peg tells him to get over it. “If Martha Raye and Joe Piscopo can live with it, so can you.”
  • A Season Eight episode finds Al and Peg at a basketball game. Peg thinks she sees Piscopo but Al insists he’s only an usher. Turns out they were both right — it was Piscopo reduced to working as an usher. 
  • On another Season Eight show, Al is rejected as a game show contestant despite winning the audition. Why was he sent packing? Audience research didn’t like Al’s personality. ”It was somewhere between Joe Piscopo and the fat kid who played on Head of the Class.” (For those of you keeping score at home, that kid grew up to be Quiet on Set’s Nickolodeon villain, Dan Schneider.)
  • The last Piscopo jab came in Season Nine as a security guard stops the Bundys. How did they get through to the TV studio? Al explains the other security guards were busy searching Piscopo. ”Piscopo’s here?!” screamed the guard, grabbing his baton and running to join the beatdown. 


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