If Joe Piscopo Doesn’t End up Going for Guv, Someone Should Steal this Idea

In the mostly forgotten movie Dead Heat, Joe Piscopo and Treat Williams play dead cops who come back to life to fight crime, and now, in a twist of fate, Piscopo finds himself in the strange position of locking and loading to reanimate a New Jersey Republican Party mostly ravaged by Chris Christie.
In the anything goes era of Donald J. Trump, Piscopo, who also breathed life into the Ralph Cramden character when he joined forces with Eddie Murphy to create “The Honeymooners Rap,” Piscopo is mulling a guv run as an “extreme outsider.”
It’s heady stuff for the NJ diehard, now a radio host, whose big toe dip into the roiling tide of New Jersey gubernatorial politics already prompted a Coast Guard sea captain to offer to take Piscopo out on a coastal boat ride “to show me where we could be vulnerable on the high seas.”
A Fairleigh Dickinson Poll last week gave Piscopo freaks some hope. It showed him in second place in a GOP Primary.
From Krista Jenkins’ treatment of her poll:
On the Republican side, two term Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno comes in first with 18 percent support. But not far behind her is former Saturday Night Live cast member Joe Piscopo with 12 percent. “Someone else” is preferred by 13 percent, and lesser knowns Steve Rogers and Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli each earn the support of two percent. As with Democrats, registered Republicans are largely unsure about the current field, with 52 percent who say they don’t know who among the named candidates they currently support.
Committed to playing the role of outsider in an era that yielded Trump, Piscopo nonetheless doesn’t come across as a flame-throwing hell-raiser bent on exposing those in office as worthless bums.  “What’s happening now in Washington is childish,” the musing Passaic native told InsiderNJ. “I tick off half the audience when I say that, but it’s true. Look, Cory Booker is a friend.”
So what’s the point of running if he can’t bust heads?
“It is time for the citizen politician,” he said.  “It’s time for someone who’s not so partisan that they can’t see a way to bring people together. The way I see it, we need to take care of cops, teachers and firefighters first, then everyone else. I’m a Republican – and I’m pro union!”
As recently as three years ago, Piscopo self-identified as a Democrat, roaming a carpeted antechamber at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center while doing his Sinatra act at former Governor Brendan Byrne’s 90th Birthday Bash. But he just doesn’t see the likes of front-running Democrat Phil Murphy as a viable option right now.
“The two worst words you can say in New Jersey are Goldman Sachs,” Piscopo said, drawing a bead on Murphy’s former employer, which was also the professional home of the last Democratic governor, one-termer Jon Corzine.
Part of his Hamlet-like hesitancy to this point seems to be his discomfort with identifying as a Democrat or Republican, even though he’s currently registered R and contemplates shaking up the race. But his passion for New Jersey and lifetime in entertainment forge an extraordinary crossroads in a conversation when he talks about creating “rapid deployment” opportunities for Atlantic City to be a movie-making capital and incentivizing a private, worldwide New Jersey television station.
“People should be able to watch us around the world,” Piscopo told InsiderNJ, musing about the Garden State’s cultural cornucopia. “Imagine sitting in your hotel room in the Middle East and turning on New Jersey Television.”
What a great idea. Imagine. Sitting in Beirut, Lebanon, for example, and watching a movie about jazz piano giant Bill Evans from Plainfield, or tuning into Ryan O’Neill’s Tough Guys Don’t Dance by Long Branch native Norman Mailer. Imagine a live feed on Election Day in the City of Passaic.  Or what about a poetry reading of the works of Dorothy Parker from Morristown? By the way, how about reminding the planet that New Jersey was the crossroads of the American revolution, and making the late great John T. Cunningham global required reading?
It’s exportable grandeur, and long, long overdue.
In the meantime, Piscopo cracked that he hasn’t checked to see if his old sidekick Eddie Murphy is available to saddle up again for a “Honeymooners Rap” renuion and a possible LG candidacy on a ticket with Piscopo. But whether or not he runs for governor in 2017, to paraphrase the last line from a lost cult classic called Dead Heat, hopefully when it comes to Piscopo and the notion of a New Jersey network worldwide, it won’t be “the end of a beautiful friendship.”
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