Comedy Writing Panel

Comedy has been under attack recently. Shows like "Seinfeld" and movies like "Tropic Thunder" that once thrived are now met with, "You couldn't make that today!" But is that true? Join us for an amazing Comedy Writing Panel with some comedy heavyweights weighing in on story and comedy, what makes things funny, character development and more!



After graduating from the University of Maryland, Peter Mehlman, a New York native, became a writer for the Washington Post. He slid to television in 1982, writing for “SportsBeat with Howard Cosell.” From 1985-90, he returned to forming full sentences as a writer for numerous national publications including The New York Times Magazine, GQ, Esquire, and a multitude of women's magazines due to his advanced understanding of that gender. In 1989, he moved to Los Angeles, where he bumped into Larry David, whom he’d met twice in New York. David, developing “a little show with Jerry Seinfeld,” invited Mehlman to submit a sample script. Having never written one, Mehlman sent a humor piece he’d written for the Times Magazine and got an assignment, which became the first Seinfeld freelance episode, “The Apartment.”

Over the eight-year run of the show, Mehlman rose to executive producer and coined such Seinfeld-isms as “Yada Yada” “spongeworthy,” “shrinkage,” and “double-dipping.”

In 1997, Mehlman joined DreamWorks and created “It’s like, you know…” a scathing look at Los Angeles. In recent years, he has written screenplays, novels, and humor pieces for NPR, Esquire, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Los Angeles Times, several of which were published in his collection, Mandela Was Late.  He is the author of the short story collection, Mandela Was Late, and the novel, It Won’t Always Be This Great and #MeAsWell.


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Andrew Nicholls is a 4-time Emmy nominee who has written for stage, screen and print.  He has sold 80 pilot scripts, of which 32 were produced and 23 have gone to series.  He and Darrell Vickers were head writers of The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson and have created and produced sitcoms for Bronson Pinchot, Robert Townsend, Courteney Cox, Dabney Coleman and others, besides writing for George Carlin, Mickey Rooney, Garry Shandling, Joan Rivers and Rodney Dangerfield.  Nicholls & Vickers have written over 400 episodes of TV animation, including Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius and The Fairly OddParents. 


His book COMEDY WRITER summarizes the techniques and habits of mind for creating humor for sketch, sitcom, animation, monologue, and print.