Raised in Colonia, New Jersey, Palumbo gained his first exposure to acting from his father, a diehard fan of classic movies. However, he pursued journalism as a major at Rutgers University, after which he supported himself by working at a computer store in Princeton, New Jersey. While there, he met a woman who encouraged him to try out for an improvisational comedy show she was directing. The positive reviews he received from that show gave Palumbo the impetus to try his hand at acting. He began auditioning for local theater shows, and made his first screen appearance as a bartender on a 1996 episode of "Spin City" (ABC, 1996-2002). With comedian Artie Lange, he appeared in and co-produced a short film, "Gameday," about a hapless group of amateur softball players who attempt to make to the championship round. From there, Palumbo worked steadily in minor roles in film and on television, playing salt-of-the-earth types on "ER" (NBC, 1994-2009), "Friends" and numerous episodes of "Law & Order" (NBC, 1990-2010), among numerous other series. In 2006, Palumbo reteamed with Lange for "Beer League," a feature-length version of "Gameday" which found a sizable cult audience on home video. From there, his acting career continued unabated, gradually expanding to include recurring roles on "Rescue Me" (FX, 2004-2011) and "30 Rock," as well as more screen time, including a memorable exchange with Larry David on a 2004 episode of "Curb Your Enthusiasm." His feature film work also grew exponentially, with minor roles in "Sex and the City 2" (2010), "Something Borrowed" (2011) and a supporting turn as an FBI agent assigned to watch a Mob family, led by Robert De Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer, during their relocation to France under witness protection, in Luc Besson's "The Family" (2013).