Only in New York City could Jim Pietsch have been a Broadway musician, published a monthly comic strip, driven a taxi, gotten a book deal in his cab, turned a book deal into a career in the television industry, and met his wife on the subway.
He finally did make it to Broadway, playing drums in the orchestra pit, and performing the onstage drum solo in Bob Fosse’s “Dancin.’ ” Jim also traveled to 101 cities with the touring company of Neil Simon and Marvin Hamlish’s “They’re Playing Our Song.”
While transitioning to a career in graphic art, Mr. Pietsch supplemented his income by driving a taxi in New York City. He started asking everyone who got into his cab for jokes, and heard so many great ones that he decided to write a book.
After a year of scribbling notes in traffic jams and at stoplights, an editor forWarner Books got into his cab. Two weeks later, a book deal was in place and “The New York City Cab Driver’s Joke Book” was born, illustrated with cartoons by Jim himself. The book sold so well that Warner Books published his second book, “The New York City Cab Driver’s Joke Book, Volume 2.” To date, both books have combined for sales of over 250,000 copies worldwide.
Mr. Pietsch also published “How to Remember and Tell Jokes,” with Avon Books, which was translated into Chinese. During his career as a graphic artist, Jim created his own monthly comic strip, “Hackin’ It,” which was published in New York’s “Taxi Talk” newspaper, and in the “Toronto Taxi News.”
After co-producing “Comic Cabby,” an hour-long comedy video based on his first book, Mr. Pietsch transitioned into the television industry. He is presently a video editor, where he combines all his writing, graphic art, music, film, and television experience into one medium. As a video editor, Jim has worked for CBS, NBC, HBO, Showtime, MTV, Vh1, Sony Pictures Television, and A&E.
Mr. Pietsch’s latest book “The New York City Cab Driver’s BEST JOKE BOOK EVER!” was published by Amazon CreateSpace in June of 2015. It contains over 40 of his cartoon illustrations, and has been referred to as the “Greatest Hits” of jokes. In 2016, it was published on Amazon Kindle, and for the first time ever, one of Jim’s books has become an eBook.
Jim lives within blocks of the Empire State Building with his wife, Mary Lou (they met on the Downtown #1 subway–but that’s a whole other New York story), and their son, Miles. Even though Mr. Pietsch now makes his living in the television industry, he still keeps a file of all the new jokes he hears, and new joke projects are always in the works.
Those close to Jim know that he proudly carries a tattered, black and white photo in his wallet of Albert Einstein holding a four-month-old baby boy in his arms. It is not at all surprising to learn that the young boy in the picture is Jim, taken in his birthplace of Princeton, New Jersey, where Albert Einstein also lived. One might say that Jim has truly been touched by genius.
If you would like to see the archived pages of my old website, click here: http://nyccabdriversjokes.com/archive/