An Interview with “Big” Peter Bisuito, Comedian

By Fred Pollard

Marketing entrepreneur. Bodybuilder. Gay man. Dancer. Stand up comedian.

Does Peter Bisuito think he is one in a million?

“Well I have searched and searched, and as far as I know, I am the only 40-something, openly gay, bodybuilding stand up comedian out there,” he said with a laugh.

At the age of 40, the former video editor and marketing director decided it was time to make a fresh start, putting his reputation as class clown to work as a professional comedian… and “My Big Funny Peter” was born.

“I didn’t want to do comedy clubs,” the 43-year-old told me during our chat. “I know that is how most comedians start their careers, but many of them begin in their teens and early twenties. I didn’t have that kind of time. I just decided to make myself an instant celebrity.

“I figure I’ll just pretend I have already done all of the hard stuff.”


On May 18, Bisuito performed his first predominately gay-themed comedy act at the Hamlin House in Buffalo, wearing a shirt that reads, “I’m so gay, I shit rainbows.”

“I am really trying to set myself apart from other stand up comedians,” he said. “It has really taken off. I have been getting calls right and left; I am traveling, doing cruises. What I have done over the past two-and-a-half years, other comedians take a decade to achieve.”

Want to see a taste of the act? Check it out here:
Peter Bisuito Promo Video from Peter Bisuito on Vimeo.

Talking to Bisuito keeps you on your toes. You find yourself needing to stay alert… is he on the verge of turning serious and profound, or is he setting you up for a one-liner? And just when some remark makes you think, “Wow, what is with this guy?” it is immediately followed with a laugh and some self-depreciating humor that brings him back down to earth, pulling you right along with him.

bigfunnypeter_peterbisuito_jun13Some would say that is exactly what makes a comic genius.

“Honestly, I have been wanting to do stand up my entire life,” he said. “I was always the funny kid; I just never had the courage to try something like this. Two years ago, I was invited to host an awards benefit. I asked if I could do a little bit of stand up, and they said sure. I got a standing ovation.

“Right then, I told (my partner) Mark, ‘This is where I need to be.’”

In November of 2011, Bisuito rented a banquet facility and transformed it into his own theater, elaborate stage and all. The sold-out, 350-capacity crowd was treated to a full-length comedy routine, professionally filmed in high-definition.

“I wanted it to look like an HBO special,” he said. “I’ve had so many years of theatrical training, I knew what would work. We had six cameras filming, and the editing really looks great.”

Growing up in a nondescript suburb of Rochester, the native New Yorker got his first taste of showbiz at the age of 19, when he was cast as a lead dancer in a stage production of Hello Dolly.

“I had dropped out of college and I was bored, so I auditioned for a community theater in Rochester. I didn’t realize it was a main theater in Rochester, with seating for 3,000. Here I was, my very first time stepping on stage in my life, and you know what? I was totally comfortable.

“Give me 80,000 people and a microphone and I become Liza Minnelli.”


And then the real world came calling. Bisuito spent the next decade or so in advertising, marketing and promotion, where the focus was bringing attention to others. In 1997, he relocated to L.A. and worked as marketing director for well-known pianist Jim Brickman.

A stint as Regional Marketing Director for Borders Books and Music followed, as did the creation of his own companies, Bisuito Media Design and The Wedding Producer.

But the other side of the camera continued to whisper in his ear, and when Oprah Winfrey held a nationwide contest to find the “next great talk show host” in 2010, it was too much for Bisuito to resist.

“I found out about the contest two days before deadline,” he said. “Luckily, thanks to my career I had the equipment and I was able to throw it together. I figured they were looking for personality, so I just turned the camera on and away I went.”

bigfunnypeter_playvideo_jun13Bisuito’s submission was one of 20 chosen out of 25,000 entries, and clips from his entry were shown on the Dec. 30, 2010 episode of Oprah.

“So, technically, I was on Oprah,” he said. “Don’t think I won’t milk THAT ’til the cows come home!”

Check out his audition here!

Bisuito’s entry did not make the top ten, but it did lay the foundation for a new career… and an entirely new set of challenges.

When talking about his goals, Bisuito exudes a palpable, “never-say-die” assurance. As he reveals more of his past and his outlook, the positive attitude and inspirational vibe are immediately contagious.

Sometimes the happiest people come from the darkest of circumstances, and this comedian is no exception. His sister, Margaret, died from cervical cancer in 2002 at the age of 35, in Peter’s arms. He says that Margaret shapes the way he looks at the world around him each morning.

“(Her) death had such an impact in my life. It taught me not to take life so seriously-especially when bill collectors call. I actually have fun with them now. When they call, I tell them how wonderful it is to hear from them and also ask how their family is doing. Sometimes I even discuss politics. They don’t appreciate the off-topic small talk, but I get a good giggle.”

When it comes to his take on life, Bisuito also credits a serious commitment to bodybuilding.

“Growing up, I was the skinny kid,” he confesses. “During my teens and 20s, I was 145 pounds soaking wet, and I was picked on a lot. My best friend was a gymnast, and he had a perfect body and got all kinds of attention, and that caused some real self-esteem issues for me.

“I moved to L.A. when I was 27, and I got a gym membership because, well, that is just what you are obligated to do there. Right away, I became good friends with a competitive bodybuilder, and he kind of took me under his wing. Within two years, I went from 150 to 180 pounds.”

Currently running 240 pounds, Bisuito says the key to his physical fitness lies primarily in a consistent, active routine.


“I’m a junk food junkie,” he says without a touch of guilt in his voice. “I eat that stuff all the time, but I work it off. I work out five times a week, and what it does for my mood really is amazing.

“I wouldn’t be doing what I am doing today if it wasn’t for the bodybuilding. I really feel like I could conquer the world. For years, I felt that the whole world was better than I was and that I was inferior to everyone. I don’t think that way anymore.

“Bodybuilding gave me confidence.”


Today, he is happy to be back where he started, a tried and true New Yorker, making a home with his longtime partner. He met Mark, an engineer, four weeks after his sister’s death and firmly believes Mark was Margaret’s parting gift to Peter.

“We have been together for 11 years,” he said. “I figure in straight years that equals four kids, three fathers, and two restraining orders.”

Rounding out the family unit is Mr. Pickles, a half-lab, half-Shepherd mix who rules the roost.

“When we first met, Mark bought me a stuffed animal and its name was Mr. Pickles,” Bisuito said. “I thought, ‘That would be the perfect name for a dog.’ So when I got a dog, I knew it would either have to be a boy or a lesbian.

“If we ever have a child, we will still love the dog more. If we take them out, the kid will stay in the car and we’ll bring the dog inside the store with us.”

bigfunnypeter_dvdcase_jun13So whether it is success or tragedy, Bisuito says each day is a choice…and it is up to you to make the most of it.

“Not too many people give up their livelihood at the age of 40 to start a new career,” he said. “I am proud how I have transformed from being afraid of the world to being ready to conquer it. There is nothing like people saying you can’t do something to make you want to do it.

“People think I’m crazy, but I’m having a good time.”

(By the way, if you find yourself wanting to look Peter up online and without access to this article, I have found an easy way to remember his last name….just think of Peter as a “hot little BISCUIT”… take out the “C”, close it up as you would a piece of body jewelry, and stick it on the end… voila!)

To learn more about Peter and purchase his DVDs, check out his website at

(Originally published in HIM Magazine, June 2013)



Written by Fred Pollard

Fred Pollard

Fred Pollard is a writer and editor for The Telegraph, a newspaper in the St. Louis area. In addition to the variety of human interest, business, and entertainment stories he writes for the paper, he maintains his own pop culture blog, Freditorials. Fred also is in the process of writing two books, one about Charles Manson’s Family and the other about Paul Lynde.

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