Joe Pesci is set to make his return to the screen after a prolonged absence. Universal Television announced that Pesci will play Pete Davidson‘s grandfather on the upcoming Peacock series Bupkis.
Bupkis is loosely based on Davidson‘s real life, akin to Larry David‘s long-running HBO series Curb Your Enthusiasm. Davidson will play himself; The Sopranos’ Edie Falco will play his mother. It will be the second recent project to depict a version of Davidson‘s life after the 2020 Judd Apatow-directed feature The King of Staten Island. Bupkis will be Pesci‘s first regular TV role since his turn as crime-solving Hollywood bodyguard Rocky Nelson on the short-lived 1985 NBC detective show Half Nelson.
Pesci‘s career in the entertainment industry has been an unusual one; he started out as a singer, and was one half of a comedy duo with frequent co-star Frank Vincent before getting into acting. His role in Martin Scorsese‘s Jake LaMotta biopic, Raging Bull, as LaMotta’s long-suffering brother, was his big break, and led to two decades of movie stardom. Equally deft at drama and comedy, Pesci starred as a variety of hot-headed characters in critically-acclaimed films like Goodfellas, Casino, and My Cousin Vinny, as well as crowd-pleasers like the Home Alone movies and the Lethal Weapon sequels. He unexpectedly announced his retirement from acting in 1999, and has appeared only sparingly since, in a cameo in longtime collaborator Robert De Niro‘s 2006 directorial debut The Good Shepherd, in Taylor Hackford‘s 2006 brothel drama Love Ranch, and in Scorsese‘s 2019 gangster epic The Irishman.
Pesci is a three-time Oscar nominee for Best Supporting Actor, for Raging Bull, Goodfellas, and The Irishman. He won for Goodfellas, giving one of the shortest acceptance speeches in Oscar history: “It’s my privilege, thank you”. Pesci has continued to release music during his acting career and beyond, even releasing an album in character as My Cousin Vinny‘s Vincent Gambini in 1998; his most recent album, Pesci…Still Singing, came out in 2019.
Bupkis will be executive produced by Davidson‘s longtime SNL boss Lorne Michaels for Broadway Video, as will Broadway Video executives Andrew Singer and Erin David. In addition to starring in the project, Davidson will write and produce; also writing and producing are Davidson‘s longtime friend and collaborator Dave Sirus and comedy veteran Judah Miller. Jason Orley, director of recent romantic comedy I Want You Back, will direct and co-executive produce. No premiere date for the series has been set.
Bupkis will stream exclusively on Peacock.