Alan Zweibel’s comedy resume is nothing short of legendary. A member of the original writing team for Saturday Night Live. Co-creator of the groundbreaking Showtime series, ‘It’s Garry Shandling’s Show’. A key collaborator for Billy Crystal’s Tony Award winning 700 Sundays. A consulting producer for Curb Your Enthusiam and a Thurber Prize for American Humor winner for his book, ‘The Other Shulman’.
Zweibel called into the Bennington Show last week to talk about his great new book, ‘Laugh Lines: My Life Helping Funny People Be Funnier’ and, ‘Here Today’, a film that he co-wrote with long time friend Billy Crystal.
Zweibel might be living life under quarantine, but it hasn’t stopped him from having a good time. For the past three Fridays, Zweibel and his wife have been hosting Zoom cocktail parties with what may be the funniest crowd ever to assemble for drinks on a digital messaging platform Billy Crystal, Albert Brooks, Martin Short, Rob Reiner and Barry Levinson. As he told Bennington last week, this gathering of comedy all-stars still has the veteran writer awestruck. ‘Every so often, I’ll step away from it, you know, and I’ll look at my wife and I’ll go ‘Look who we know‘. Look at the talent that’s on on our laptop right now’.
For Zweibel and Crystal, to be a part of this together is equally special. ‘When Billy Crystal and I did the movie (Here Today), we were very well aware of it, because we had started out, 47ish years ago, him giving me rides to Catch A Rising Star in New York City when we were both starting out.’
The basis of their upcoming collaboration, Here Today’ came from their salad days at Catch A Rising Star. ‘Here we are, 45, 47 years later, doing a movie together based on (laughs) as you said, on an incident that happened to me’, Zweibel recalls. ‘He texted me when he saw me do it on the Letterman show and he said ‘Let’s take that scene, make it the first scene in a movie and let’s see where it takes us’.
One can only wonder what being said during these Zoom parties (hopefully, he’s mindful to press the RECORD button), but the moment to host a gathering of comedic royalty isn’t lost on Zweibel. ‘I am aware and very appreciative of the poetry of it all and I consider myself very lucky and very grateful’.
‘Laugh Lines: My Life Helping Funny People Be Funnier’ by Alan Zweibel is available now through Amazon, Barnes and Noble and all major online outlets.
If you missed our talk with @AlanZweibel about his new book, you can hear a clip from the interview explaining the world's funniest zoom party below. And check out the full conversation here. If you love comedy you'll love this! https://t.co/C5p1BhLHXG pic.twitter.com/tQEJnFGVhQ
— Bennington (@BenningtonShow) April 28, 2020