Top comedy writers meet in Big Apple

Mike Sacks is an American author, humour writer and editor for Vanity Fair. Sacks currently resides in America and teaches comedy writing at Humber during the fall season. Photo Courtesy of Mike Sacks. Mike Sacks is an American author, humour writer and editor for Vanity Fair. Sacks currently resides in America and teaches comedy writing at Humber during the fall season. Photo Courtesy of Mike Sacks.

Amanda Tuzi
A&E Reporter


Distinguished agents, editors and writers will be gathering together in New York City to talk about the domain of comedy writing at The Peoples Improv Theater (The Pit) for Humber Humour Print Workshop Oct. 18 and 19.

Designed by Humber Comedy Writing and Performance director Andrew Clark and associate professor Mike Sacks, the debut workshop aims to give aspiring comedy writers the opportunity to learn from some of the leading writers in the industry.

“Its a very practical workshop for people who are already getting published or who want to be published,” Clark said.

Aspiring writers will get tips such as how to pitch to editors and how to write funny. It’s to be an intense and practical workshop instead of all theory, Clark said.

“It will be a very nuts and bolts seminar,” Sacks said. “Usually, these types of seminars are taught by writers who don’t make a career in comedy writing. Everyone involved in this seminar have all made a living, often a great living, in the realm of comedy writing. So the information will be very applicable to a young writer: how to get published, how to get an agent, how to sell a comedy piece to a magazine.”

Participants will attend question-and-answer sessions and panel discussions from numerous writers, such as Larry Doyle (The Simpsons) and Steve Heisler (The A.V. Club).

“Everyone who’ll be at the seminar is a big name, so no one in particular stands out more than the others. But the list is incredible across the board. I just feel very lucky that everyone whom I wanted involved said yes,” said Sacks.

Danny Dillabough, 22, Humber Comedy Writing and Performance graduate will be among those attending the workshop.

“There’s a great roster of people lined up and I’m just really excited to listen to them talk about their craft,” Dillabough said. “It’s always interesting to listen to people who are good at what they do, talk about how they do it and what the process is.”

Going to New York is no problem for Clark.

“This is the first time that there’s been a print humour conference and I think that it will also get Humber’s name and reputation out there as well,” Clark said.

“It made sense to do it in New York because that where the people live and work, so we’re able to go to New York and they can just hop on the subway or take a cab over and do the event as opposed to trying to bring them all to Toronto.”

Humber Print Humor Workshop will take place on Oct. 18 and 19 from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at The Peoples Improv Theater (The Pit), 123 E. 24th Street, New York, NY.


The Line Up:

Saturday October 18

Writing Magazine/Newspaper Humor

Teddy Wayne – New Yorker, Vanity Fair, New York Times, The Love Song of Jonny Valentine
Larry Doyle – New Yorker, The Simpsons, I Love You Beth Cooper, Deliriously Happy (and Other Thoughts)

Humor Book Editors and Agents

Byrd Leavell – Co-head of Waxman Leavell, represents Justin Halpern (Shit My Dad Says), Tucker Max, and Mike Sacks

Jeremie Ruby Strauss – Senior Editor at Simon & Schuster, edits Tucker Max and Oliver Stone

Writing with Humor About Humor

Brian Raftery – Contributor to GQ and Wired, and author of 2013’s High-Status Characters: How the Upright Citizens Brigade Stormed a City, Started a Scene, and Changed Comedy Forever


Adam Frucci – Editor-in-chief of Splitsider

Steve Heisler – Writes about comedy for Onion’s AV Club, Variety, GQ, Fast Company and Rolling Stone

Author Q and A

Sloane Crosley – Author of the best-selling I Was Told There’d Be Cake: Essays and How Did You Get This Number? Adjunct professor at Columbia University

Sunday October 19

Writing Non-Fiction Humor

Henry Alford – Contributor to Spy, Vanity Fair, and The New York Times. Thurber Prize winner

Sarah Ball- Senior Editor at GQ

Online humor

Dan O’Brien – Contributor to and editor of

Christopher Monks – Editor-in-chief of McSweeney’s

Susanna Wolff – Editor-in-chief of College Humor

Author Q and A

Sam Lipsyte – Venus Drive, The Subject Steve, Home Land, The Ask, The Fun Parts. Creative Writing Professor at Columbia


The cost for this two-day event is $255 CAD excluding travel and hotel accommodations. To register, go to: