In a career spanning four decades, Joe Raiola has not established himself as a comedian, comedy writer, speaker, or producer. He keeps doing all that stuff anyway.
For an embarrassing 33 years, Joe has been a member of “The Usual Gang of Idiots” at MAD Magazine, churning out a steady stream of pointed political satire and pure silliness. As MAD Senior Editor, he continues to make funny noises in the hallway, which isn’t a problem he insists, “since I work at the only place in America where if you mature, you get fired.”
As a performer, Joe continues to appear around the country in The Joy of Censorship, his un-acclaimed first amendment lecture program. Since 1993, he has somehow managed to present "Joy" at countless professional conferences, public libraries, colleges, and regional theaters in 44 states. Still to go: Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, New Mexico, Wisconsin, Wyoming, and Washington, D.C.
On stage at Symphony Space in 2015.
On stage at Tottenville High School in 1972.
In addition, Joe toured extensively through 2008 in Almost Obscene, his outspoken post 9-11 stand-up rant, which generated glowing reviews from critics with low standards from coast to coast. His latest solo show, Still Ignorant After All These Years, chronicles what Joe calls his “spiritual journey to Nowheresville,” while comically reflecting on religion, God and plaque psoriasis.
As a producer, Joe is the driving creative force behind the Annual John Lennon Tribute charity concert in New York City. Now in its 37th year, it is the only ongoing Lennon Tribute concert in North America or Europe officially sanctioned by Yoko Ono. Joe produces the Tribute through Theatre Within, a grassroots non-profit he established in 2006, which provides music and meditation workshops to children who have lost a parent to cancer and adult cancer survivors.
Joe’s long and unsuccessful radio career began in college. For many years he was a frequent guest on the Alan Colmes Show on the Fox News Radio Network. For over 15 years, through 2016, Joe was the co-host of the Woodstock Roundable, heard Sunday morning on Woodstock Radio WDST.
Joe has hiked over 1,600 miles of the Appalachian Trail, been whacked with a stick by a monk while meditating at the Zen Mountain Monastery, and had tomatoes, salad greens and a chair thrown at him during a stand-up performance. He often wonders, “When a moment turns romantic, why pause to take a pill?”