Exclusive Portrait: In Memory of Comedian John Pinette

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly versionE-mail page to friendE-mail page to friendPDF versionPDF version
Average: 5 (2 votes)

CHICAGO – Comedian John Pinette passed away on April 5th, at the age of 50. The rotund jester was named Stand-Up Comedian of the Year at the American Comedy Awards in 1999, and appeared in the films “Duet,” “Dear God” and “The Punisher.” He is probably best remembered as the hapless portly man who gets harassed by the cast of “Seinfeld,” which led to the courtroom sequence of the final episode in 1998.

Pinette was born in Boston, and after college pursued a career in accounting. Friends advised him to go into stand-up comedy, and he broke in as a warm-up act while touring with a late career Frank Sinatra. In 2004, he played Edna Turnblad in the touring cast of the musical “Hairspray,” and eventually took over the role on Broadway. He continued his stand-up act around the country, and passed away in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on April 5th, 2014, while on tour.

HollywoodChicago.com photographer Joe Arce took this Exclusive Portrait of John Pinette on June 18, 2009, at the “Just for Laughs Chicago” Festival. It is published here for the first time.

John Pinette
John Pinette at ‘Just for Laughs Chicago’ in 2009
Photo credit: Joe Arce of Starstruck Foto for HollywoodChicago.com

Source material for this article from Wikipedia. John Pinette, 1964-2014.

HollywoodChicago.com senior staff writer Patrick McDonald

Senior Staff Writer

© 2014 Patrick McDonald, HollywoodChicago.com

nzski69's picture

Such a Sad Passing...

That is an outstanding picture of John Pinette…it really, really captures his true personality! His smile just radiates through. Thanks for posting it…I’m going to cut it out and frame it as a remembrance of a man who never failed to make me laugh so hard that I cried and always made me smile just seeing him smile.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

User Login

Free Giveaway Mailing


  • It's NOT ALL About You John Michael

    CHICAGO – John Michael epitomizes the art of the monologue. The Chicago transplant, by way of Dallas, is moving on (he says temporarily) from the city that inspired his last show, “Meatball Seance,” after notorious and successful runs of his other one-man shows, “John Michael and the Order of the Penix” and “Dementia Me.” His farewell performance is his latest, another laugh riot, “It’s NOT ALL About You John Michael,” and will take place at Mary’s Attic in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood on March 1st, 2019. Click here for details, including ticket information.

  • Soccer Player in the Closet, The 2

    CHICAGO – Connecting to the theater collective Nothing Without a Company means a couple of things. One, you may visit parts of Chicago you’ve never seen before – in this case a plant store in an industrial area south of Humboldt Park – and two, you will see some daring and outside-the-box stagings. “The Soccer Player in the Closet” is their latest production – a World Premiere – and it provides what the title implies and beyond. The play runs through March 17th, 2019. Click here for more details, including ticket information.


HollywoodChicago.com on Twitter


HollywoodChicago.com Top Ten Discussions