Tonight at the end of Saturday Night Live, we saw the show pay tribute to Joe Dicso. In this piece, we have more information on his life.
Dicso worked for the NBC series as a stage manager for more than twenty years, starting in the 1970’s (basically the show’s onset) and running through the nineties. This wasn’t the only show in which he had the gig, either, as he also managed to have it for such shows as To Tell the Truth and then also The Late Show with David Letterman at one point. Being a stage manager is essential to making sure that a live set or taping goes off without a hitch. They make life smoother for everyone else, and it’s one of those jobs within the TV industry that never gets anywhere near the respect or attention that it deserves.
Joe Dicso did rarely have an on-screen presence within the series, largely due to some appearances that he would make during opening monologues — sometimes, these would break the fourth wall and allow you to see Lorne Michaels, or select members of the crew including him. It added to the community atmosphere of SNL and it’s a tradition that continues to this day.
When you receive title cards at the end of an episode, it is an important, powerful tribute to some of your work. Typically, being a part of the SNL community means you are enshrined in an important group, one that is a part of television history. Few shows have the cultural impact or the history that this one does. If you are a part of this family, you are a part of it forever. There are so many people who often do go back and watch some of these old clips and episodes after the fact.
Another thing worth noting about title cards is that they often come following a passing, and given the way that SNL has done them over the years (a picture alongside the person’s name), the clear assumption to make is that Dicso is no longer with us. However, there are no obituaries or any other proof online of his passing. This may actually be a case in which the series itself is confirming the news before anyone else. Given his longtime connection to the show, this would hardly be a surprise.
We offer up our thoughts to everyone who knew Dicso, a man who almost certainly had incredible stories and was a titan in his particular craft. All it takes is looking at his IMDb page to realize how important he was in the history of live television.
If you do have any memories of Dicso you would like to share, be sure to do so below. (Photo: NBC.)