Genius?” you ask.
Yes, perhaps this word is tossed around too often these days — except for when it was used above, to describe the author of this tribute to Peter Principato — who is (also) a genius.
Peter Principato was born on Long Island — I’m guessing some time in the very late ’60s. Or possibly 1970. I know Peter better than anyone on Earth, although I can’t say for certain how old he is. If we can judge a person’s age by how much they love Christmas — then Peter Principato is 5 years old and holding.
Peter is a true self-made man. Who would have thought that one of Long Island’s most unreliable paperboys would grow up to reign over a fairly large section of the alternative comedy world? Nobody. Nobody would have thought that.
Peter got into show business the way a lot of us did: by sneaking into the funeral of a partner at the William Morris Agency and introducing himself to everybody. At this point you may say, “That seems a bit unseemly — at a funeral, really?” Well here’s what I say about a man who sneaks into a stranger’s funeral to get a leg up:
THAT’S THE GUY I WANT REPRESENTING ME.
… And he has been. For the past 18 years. Peter has been there for me as my commercial agent, manager, friend — my trusted confidante through it all: everything from my decision to appear in the film “Boat Trip,” to recently, the idea of doing a multi-camera sitcom pilot for NBC.
He’s also had many good ideas along the way.
Nowadays, Peter, along with his wonderful Mormon partner Paul Young, produce most Lennon/Garant projects, many of which have been nominated for major awards.*
To say that Peter is likable is an understatement — he is simply one of the kindest, funniest people you’re likely to meet, especially in the entertainment industry, where, let’s face it, most of us are icky.
I suspect if you were to ask all of the “B-list” and the (couple of) “A-list” comedy stars Peter represents, you wouldn’t find one of them who doesn’t also consider him a good friend. His loyalty is rivaled only by his incredible falsetto singing voice.
Peter’s laugh is contagious, and he has literally turned his sense of humor into a small industry. To hear him pronounce the word “prosciutto” is like letting your ears take a stroll down Mulberry Street on a warm summer night.
Peter’s clients are his life, his passion. His taste in comedy is impeccable.
There is nobody I trust more.
*Actually, no Lennon/Garant project has ever been nominated for an any award. Except for a GLAAD nomination for “Reno 911!,” which we did not win.
Lennon’s writing credits include “Night at the Museum” and “Reno 911!”