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Discussing the Serious Business of Comedy with Doug Herzog ‘81

two men and one woman chat on Zoom screen
Doug Herzog ’81, upper left, hosts South Park and Book of Mormon producers Anne Garefino, upper left, and Matt Stone, bottom, in the first episode of All Joking Aside with Doug Herzog.

By Anna Currell

There’s no shortage of successful Emerson alumni in the funny business, and among them is legendary comedy executive and Emerson Trustee Doug Herzog, ’81. All Joking Aside with Doug Herzog is an exciting new interview series that gives viewers an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at the comedy business.

Similar to Inside the Actor’s Studio, Herzog will explore the careers of incredible players – stand-up comics, actors, producers, writers, and directors — in the comedy industry. Hosted by the Center for Comedic Arts at Emerson College and Emerson Los Angeles, the series will be launched virtually to provide access to students, faculty, and alumni from wherever they are until it’s safe to host the conversations in person. 

The first interview featured co-creator and producers of the hit show South Park and musical The Book of Mormon, Matt Stone and Anne Garefino, on Thursday, April 22.

The two prolific comedic voices reflected on how South Park and The Book of Mormon came to be, their journeys to successful careers, and the tenacity required to continue on the path toward art.

“It’s a marathon, not a sprint,” Stone said, as the two producers provided insight and inspiration to students who are hoping to become showrunners, producers, directors, and writers.

“[…] I think you just keep doing it. You just can’t give up,” said Garefino. 

The interviews will be conducted via Zoom Webinar, followed by a brief Q&A with Emerson students and alumni in attendance. All interviews will be donated to The American Comedy Archives, a curated collection of oral histories and artifacts, housed at Emerson College.

What do you get when you put incredible comedic talents together at Emerson? A can’t-miss interview series. All joking aside, we can’t wait to see you there, next time.

Anna Currell is a graduate assistant in the Center for Comedic Arts.

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