Joe Pesci is a funny guy. He would probably be just as happy shooting you in the head as he would by stealing your money at the box office. According to a mini-mob boss named Pauly, Pesci's a "bad seed". But in his favor it should be noted that Pesci is also an award-winning "fuck!" sayer, an actor, a hit-man, an intimidator, a hot-head, a gangster, a comedian, a rap singer, and an all-around 'wise guy'. Pesci once played 'Nicky Santoro' in a famous movie after being discovered by Robert De Niro -- a colossal blunder for which the screen writers, producers, stunt men and artists in Hollywood will never forgive Bobby. Pesci was offered Las Vegas if he would just leave the movie industry, which he took and continued making movies anyway. Nobody dared to say a word. His dramatic and comedic performances were initially panned by movie industry critics and he was nominated for several Raspberries. But Pesci doesn't take kindly to insults or criticism and he demanded respect and awards. Since that time he became a highly praised artist.
Pesci (pronounced Peski) was born Anthony "Tony the Ant" Spilotski in Newark, New Jersey, the son of either a barber, a forklift driver, or a bartender (the only probable ones according to his mother). As a baby Pesci used to take candy from adults and also send his mother to her room. And while such misbehavior gave a clue to him being born a "bad seed", yet the full extent of his cruelty was undeveloped. As a very young boy he began playing "robbers" with the other kids, many of whom made the fatal mistake of laughing at his jokes.
By the time "The Ant" was 6-years-old he was on the run for stabbing his 1st grade teacher in the heart with a pencil then ordering him to the principal's office. Subsequently he changed his name to Joe Pesci using the ID of another unsuspecting victim. By the age of 8 he adopted a bat as his pet. Most young kids sleep with a teddy-bear but Pesci slept with a baseball bat. Later in life Pesci traded in his bat for a snub-nose pistol. From then on he demonstrated that a simple hand gun can be a weapon of mass destruction if used often enough.
In the 1980s Pesci went undercover as an actor, mainly because it was the only other career available to Italian Americans at the time. He quickly got on the good side of Robert De Niro and Martin Scorsese, both of whom were also treading that fine line between filmmaker and dangerous felon.
De Niro and Scorsese wanted to work with Pesci immediately, and convinced him to read for the part of Joey La Motta in their latest film, Raging Bull. Pesci blew everyone away in the audition (not literally, although he would later use this technique when he auditioned for a part in Michael Jackson's Moonwalker) with a stunning piece of improv:
“Perhaps, in all fairness, I should explain to you exactly what it is I do. For instance, tomorrow I'll get up nice and early, take a walk down to the studio, and walk in and see you. And if you don't have the part for me, I’ll crack your fuckin’ head wide open in front of everybody on the set! And just about the time I'm coming out of jail, hopefully, you'll be coming out of your coma. And guess what? I'll split your fuckin' head open again!”
Pesci teamed up with Scorsese and De Niro again for Goodfellas. The film was a huge hit, and is still considered by many to the finest of all their respective careers. Pesci received praise for improvising most of his character's dialogue, although all he really did was pepper Scorsese's pre-written lines with the word "fuck" and occasionally "prick". Don't tell him that though. At the time of its release, Goodfellas contained more fucks than any film in history, largely thanks to Pesci's contribution. That record has since been lost, although Pesci reclaimed it in 2009 with the home movie he made at his grandaughter's Christening.
The success of Goodfellas meant the producers were obliged to greenlight a disappointing sequel; Goodfellas II, later renamed Casino. Casino wasn't as successful as Goodfellas despite a vigorous promotional campaign headed by Pesci. This included constant press conferences, a flurry of trailer screenings and visits to multiplexes where Pesci threatened to kill any projectionist who dared show any other film during its run. He also burned down Steven Spielberg's house, although that didn't actually promote the film in any way and probably wasn't intended to achieve more than intimidation.
Following his work with Scorsese, Pesci moved into more family-oriented work, starting in 1990 with Home Alone. Once again Pesci played a psychotic criminal, although the character wasn't received as well as some of his earlier ones. Many believed his acting talents weren't put to good use in the film, where all he was really required to do was trip over marbles and get hit by paint cans on string. There were accusations that his unique, intense style was wasted on what was essentially a series of Tom-and-Jerryesque stunts, and that someone like the late, great John Candy might have been more appropriate ("late" being the key word here, or at least it was when Pesci was passed over at the initial auditions. If ever confirmed, this murder would be evidence of Pesci's total apathy towards his victims. To kill such a jolly fat man as Candy would indicate true evil. Seriously. He might as well have killed Santa).
Similarly his vicious talent was wasted on a trio of Lethal Weapon movies in which he plays a cross between a wise-ass and Bozo. His part literally bombed in all three films because audiences know better than to laugh at Joe Pesci's jokes.
In 1998, Pesci released a real Gangsta-rap album called Wise Ass that was just recordings of him threatening different people in real life set to a drum beat. Pesci would terrorize those who offered him a part as well as those who did not. He became such a headache in Hollywood that the Screen Writers Guild offered him Vegas if he would just leave. But he insisted that Las Vegas was already his "own fuckin' town", and he carried on as unusual.
In 1999, Pesci lied about his retirement from acting to pursue random murders, gangsta-rap music and to enjoy life. After running out of money and bullets, and too old to do ‘hits’ he returned to acting when he starred in De Niro's 2006 film The Good Bad Guy. He later starred in the 2009 film Blood Ranch, as Dame Helen Mirren's "hot-headed" side-arm. Joe Pesci also began recording his follow-up album in early July of 2009. His project, titled DePesci Mode, is scheduled for release during the holidays of 2010.
How to treat Joe Pesci
Based on past cases it has been seen that there are a number of ways to behave when coming in contact with Joe Pesci. Some of these methods include not telling Joe Pesci, "Why don't you go fuck yourself!", or not asking Joe Pesci to bring his shine box. If you work in a bar always bring Joe Pesci the correct drink, and never bring the bill. Or if you work in a Vegas casino and Joe Pesci says, "hit me!" - DON'T! If Joe Pesci happens to be fucking your wife - never mind! If you disagree with Joe Pesci, always agree anyway. Even if you lose Joe Pesci's money you should still give it back. Another good way to survive Joe Pesci would be to exit the theater, turn off the TV, or leave this page.