Joe Piscopo leads Philly’s Columbus Day parade

A TV star and comic is serving as grand marshal of Philadelphia’s Columbus Day parade.

Joe Piscopo made his name through movies and his impressions of stars such as Frank Sinatra on “Saturday Night Live” in the ’80s. Even though he lives in North Jersey, he said he’s sometimes thought of as a Philadelphia native.

“I love everything about the town, and I don’t mind being adopted,” he said. “People ask me, ‘Are you from Philly?’ I’m in Philly a lot.”

Piscopo said he’s glad to be an example of a proud Italian whose family came to the United States for a better life.

“They went in steerage on this boat, the Moltke, this German freight ship. They left the Gulf of Naples,” said Piscopo. “We can’t imagine the courage … not to know where you were going, jammed together and then making a family and a name for yourself.”

The parade kicks off at noon Sunday at Broad and Morris streets. A festival celebrating Italian culture will take place at Marconi Plaza in Fairmount Park.

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