Alan Zweibel, whose writing credits include television, movies, the Broadway stage, and award winning books, moderates a diverse panel of some of New York’s most prominent comedy writers. Participants will include writers Bill Scheft from “Late Show With David Letterman”, J.R. Havlan from “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart”, Chris Henchy from “Funny Or Die”, and Lisa Birnbach, author of “The Official Preppy Handbook”, she’s written for the New Yorker, Parade, New York, etc. Topics to be discussed range from how everyone got into the business, the writers rooms, and the differences of discipline and process in their respective fields.
J.R. Havlan is an 8-time Emmy Award winning writer for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and a stand-up comedian. He has appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman and Late Night with Conan O’Brien as well as making numerous other television appearances that didn’t matter nearly as much. J.R. shares his passion for comedy writing on his bi-weekly podcast “Writers’ Bloc” where he interviews other television comedy writers about their craft and finds out whether or not they had sex before the age of 26. (WritersBlocPodcast.com). Mr. Havlan splits his time between Manhattan where he lives with his wife and two young children, and Toronto where he lives a secret life with a second family. Shhhhh…
Bill Scheft has been a writer for David Letterman since 1991 at both Late Night and The Late Show. During that time, he has been nominated for 15 Emmys, which means he’s, uh, never won. He is also the author of four novels. The latest, SHRINK THYSELF, will be published this May. His second novel, TIME WON’T LET ME, was runner-up for the 2006 Thurber Prize for American Humor to panel moderator Alan Zweibel’s “The Other Shulman,” which is why Alan gets to moderate the panel. Originally a sportswriter, Scheft’s humor column, “The Show,” ran weekly for three years in Sports Illustrated. He has also contributed humor pieces to The New Yorker, The New York Times, Esquire, George, TV Guide, numerous anthologies and is a regular contributor to the New York Times Sunday Book Review. He lives in New York with his wife, comedian Adrianne Tolsch, and the voices in his head.
Chris Henchy runs Gary Sanchez Productions, co-founded by comediansWill Ferrell and Adam McKay, which partnered with Sequoia Capital tolaunch www.funnyordie.com. Henchy was involved in the creation of thewebsite and is integral in its ongoing commitment to showcase the bestcomedy on the web. Henchy has been a writer and producer on suchshows as “Entourage”, “Spin City” and “I’m With Her”. He is a producer of the HBO comedy series “Eastbound and Down” and recently produced the feature film “Tammy”, written by and starring Melissa McCarthy. In addition, Henchy wrote the feature films “Land of the Lost” for Universal Pictures, Sony’s “The Other Guys” starring Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg, and “The Campaign” for Warner Brothers, staring Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis. Born in New York City, Henchy resides in Los Angeles with his wife, actress Brooke Shields, and their two daughters. For more on Chris’ career: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0376260/
Lisa Birnbach’s first book was The Official Preppy Handbook (1980), which was on the New York Times Bestseller list for 2 years, 38 weeks at #1. Since then she’s published 21 other books, including the best-selling True Prep (2010). Her work has been translated into a dozen languages. She’s written for the New Yorker, Parade, New York, and other magazines. She’s written for and appeared on television. She was a correspondent for CBS’ “The Early Show” for three years. Birnbach was a long time contributing editor at Parade magazine and served as the deputy editor of Spy magazine. She is co–creator and co–host of Zero Hour on ABC–TV and co–writer of the off–Broadway revue, Loose Lips, starring Harry Shearer, Bebe Neuwirth, Peter Boyle, and Andy Richter. She was co–writer and co–executive producer of Me Me Me, a comedy pilot for UPN and 20th Century Fox, and co–writer for the HBO pilot, Uptown, Down There. Until 2007, she hosted the syndicated daily radio program, ”The Lisa Birnbach Show,” which won the 2007 Gracie awards for ”Outstanding Talk Show” and ”Outstanding Comedy Show.” She was known as “the best dressed woman in radio.” Her book True Prep, published by Knopf in 2010 was excerpted in Vanity Fair magazine. The New York Times bestseller landed Birnbach on “The Colbert Report,” “Nightline”, “The Today Show,” and a 28-city tour. Birnbach has spoken at hundreds of colleges and universities. She collaborated with Kenneth Cole on his This Is A Kenneth Cole Production, published by Rizzoli on October 1, 2013. Her three children didn’t raise themselves, either. She tweets at@LisaBirnbach.