Despite many weeks of media pressure and public speculation, former Saturday Night Live performer Joe Piscopo declared today that he has yet to decide whom he will endorse for Tennessee’s Sixth District Congressional Seat this fall.
“I won’t let other people rush me on this” said Piscopo today during a luncheon with former Governor Phil Bredesen. “With people waiting so anxiously for my opinion, that simply emphasizes to me how very important it is that I take my time and be careful about my decision. Tennesseeans are counting on me to make a well-informed endorsement; the entire fate of the Sixth District could hang on this choice, and I don’t treat that kind of responsibility lightly.”
Calls for Piscopo’s opinion have reached a fever-pitch since former Saturday Night Live actress Victoria Jackson officially endorsed Congressional candidate Lou Ann Zelenick today. Jackson, who appeared in the films “UHF”, “Casual Sex?”, and “Stoogemania”, is perhaps best remembered for her 6-year tenure on SNL; Jackson never established a popular recurring character of her own, and spent most of her time playing second fiddle to Weekend Update’s Dennis Miller, The Church Lady, and Toonces, the Driving Cat. Jackson has long been known as a vocal supporter of conservative politics, so it was of little surprise when she endorsed Lou Ann Zelenik’s campaign for Congress earlier today (read about the endorsement here and here). Zelenik, a Republican currently residing in Mt. Juliet, lost her 2010 campaign to fill the Sixth District seat, vacated by Bart Gordon after 26 years, to then-State-Senator Diane Black of Gallatin; she is currently campaigning to unseat Rep. Black in the upcoming August 2nd primary election. Both Zelenik and Victoria Jackson have been outspoken opponents to the building of a new Mosque in Murfreesboro, a town which will no longer belong to the Sixth District this fall due to Census-mandated redistricting.
With Jackson’s endorsement of Zelenik being such a predictable choice, political commentators have been instead focusing in recent weeks on which candidate would secure the endorsement of the elusive Joe Piscopo, an SNL alum from 1980-1984 who could occasionally be spotted lurking in Eddie Murphy’s shadow. “Any analyst who ignores ‘the Piscopo variable’ does so at their own peril” explained pundit Randal Tolbert during an appearance last week on The Phil Valentine Show radio program. “When it comes to obscure, forgettable Saturday Night Live also-ran’s, you just can’t do any better than Piscopo, and like it or not, that’s where Tennesseeans go to find guidance come election day. I mean, let’s face it, do you think Bart Gordon would have lasted all those years without the tacit support of both Mary Gross and Gary Kroeger? And nobody can deny that the only reason Lincoln Davis lost to DesJarlais two years ago is that he totally ignored the Melanie Hutsell vote.”
When contacted for comment, Representative Black’s campaign said that a Piscopo endorsement would definitely be a feather in their cap, but noted that they aren’t overly concerned about securing it. According to Millis Jacoby, a Black campaign intern, “We’ve already got Ellen Cleghorne’s support, so Piscopo would only be icing on the cake. Besides, he’s a Democrat!”
Joe Piscopo picture found at lastfm.com; Diane Black photo found at http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/2012/jun/12/rep-black-says-unemployment-rate-has-been-8-percen/; Lou Ann Zelenik photo found at http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0810/40761.html; Victoria Jackson photo found at http://www.tvguide.com/celebrities/victoria-jackson/178317; Mary Gross photo found at http://www.aveleyman.com/ActorCredit.aspx?ActorID=7089; Gary Kroeger photo found at http://trialx.com/celebrities/2011/07/18/gary-kroeger-photos/; Melanie Hutsell photo found at http://splitsider.com/2012/02/saturday-nights-children-melanie-hutsell-1991-1994/; Ellen Cleghorn photo found at break.com.