THE FIRST CLUE that Joe Dionisio was destined to be a writer? When his third-grade teacher awarded him a ribbon as her classroom’s “Best Poet.” [See caveat]
Her vision for his future came true. Now Joltin’ Joe is an award-wanting journalist, screenwriter, author, book editor, comedy writer, media/PR strategist, magazine writer, political journalist, and writing professor.
For graduate school, Dionisio earned a full scholarship to Pepperdine University’s Seaver College. His acceptance was due to the snarkiest, most sarcastic letter of recommendation in the history of academia… penned by David Letterman.
In an epically dumb move, Joe rejected an MFA at the spectacular, sun-drenched, oceanfront campus in Malibu, to pursue a better academic fit
Dionisio lived a charmed youth in the South of France, mastering Cubist art by age 4. [Correction: he was reared on the South Shore of Long Island and learned to rollerblade by age 15.]
at Stony Brook University’s Master’s program in screenwriting.
The Media Maven’s byline has been published in Newsday, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, Chicago Tribune, USA Today, New York Daily News, and a host of others.
When not slaving at a keyboard, he’s toiled at two wineries, which may explain why his last name derives from “Dionysus,” the Greek god of wine. (FYI, Dionysus is also the god of fertility and religious ecstasy, yet Joe has no kids, and might be struck by lightning if he set foot in a church).
Despite roaming Los Angeles, the Hamptons, West Hollywood, midtown Manhattan, Hermosa Beach, the Upper West Side, Union Square, Rhode Island, Connecticut, upstate NY, New Orleans, and Florida, the Long Island native has yet to lose his accent.
He earned a B.A. from Syracuse University, studying Journalism, Public Relations and Film History at its Utica College campus.
To echo our pandemic-era odes to teachers and professors, we’d be remiss to not cite a few for whom Joe is supremely grateful. Special thanks to Mary Arslanian, Judy Bouer, Scott MacDonald, Bill Hennessey, Kim Landon, John Behrens, Paul Breschard, and all others he tortured during his schooldays.
AS A PUBLIC RELATIONS DIRECTOR at Long Island University's Southampton College, Joe Dionisio helped oversee the wildest commencement speech stunt of all time.
Media mogul Robert F.X. Sillerman, the school’s chancellor, brainstormed the idea of having a Muppet address the graduating seniors. Joe’s publicity actions led to Kermit the Frog’s speech going viral, generating worldwide headlines for the school.
Another highlight was Joe’s marketing work on “All For The Sea,” an annual charity concert that raised millions of dollars for the college’s environmental pursuits.
Each summer, thousands flocked to the Hamptons to hear top-name acts such as Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Tom Petty, Tina Turner, Crosby, Stills & Nash, the Allman Brothers, Brian Wilson, Jimmy Buffet, Rod Stewart, and more.
Dionisio also served as a Southampton College professor, teaching graduate and undergraduate courses in writing, as well as public relations. He’s fairly confident that his faculty salary, albeit
Billy Joel, below, receives an honorary degree from Southampton College
paltry, was the final straw in
submerging the college into
SHOWING YOUNG KIDS THE ROPES
YOU’RE PROBABLY thinking, how sweet of Joe Dionisio’s teacher at Nathaniel Woodhull Elementary School to cultivate him with a “Best Poet” ribbon!
Surely, Mrs. P’s blessing reflected the support of a kind, friendly teacher, right? Try again. Take her endorsement of Joe’s literary future with a grain of salt.
Remember those titles — hall monitor, line leader, light monitor, etc. — handed to young kids to instill responsibility?
Well, Mrs. P concocted the title “Rope Master” ... whose task it was to punish the ostensibly naughty David D by binding the 8-year-old’s torso and legs to a chair with rope and knots, for hours each day. Yes, child bondage.
We often wonder how many therapists David D told that story to.
The Evolution Of Media Tools . . . Or De-Evolution?
It Ain’t Easy
Kermit the Frog, who earned an Honorary Doctorate of Amphibious Letters from Southampton College, told students: “I never even knew there was such a thing as ‘Amphibious’ letters. After all those years on Sesame Street, you’d think I would know my alphabet.”
WORDS TO THE WISE
“Kermit the Frog delivered the commencement address at Southampton College yesterday.
The theme of his speech was how to get ahead in life with somebody’s hand up your ass.”