Humorist and Emmy Award-Winning Writer
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Fowler Hall, Stewart Center
Randy Cohen was born in Charleston, South Carolina. He attended graduate school at the California Institute of the Arts as a music major studying composition. He is unable to account for either of these circumstances.
His first professional work was writing humor pieces, essays, and stories for newspapers and magazines (The New York Times Magazine, the New Yorker, Harpers, the Atlantic, Young Love Comics). A collection of these pieces, Diary of a Flying Man, was published by Knopf. For several years, he wrote "The News Quiz," a regular column of topical comedy, for Slate, the on-line magazine.
His first television work was writing for Late Night With David Letterman, where his segments included Monkey Cam, Late Night in Tokyo, the 360˚ Rotation Show, and The Overdub Show. He won three Emmys for his work on the program. He fourth Emmy was for his writing on TV Nation where he also served as co-executive producer. He received a fifth Emmy as a result of a clerical error, and he kept it. He was the head writer on The Rosie O’Donnell Show for the start-up and the first six months of shows, where he also co- wrote the theme music. Most recently, his play The Punishing Blow: An Illustrated Lecture Delivered by Order of the Orange County Criminal Court, was produced in New York.
Currently, he writes "The Ethicist," a weekly column for the New York Times Magazine that also appears in 40 papers in the US and Canada, as well as “Moral of the Story” for the Times online.
The Good, the Bad and the Difference, a book based upon the column, is available in paperback from Broadway Books.