February 2015 | Joe Toplyn '75, MBA '79

Joe Toplyn '75, MBA '79 (Writer, Late Night with David LettermanTonight Show with Jay Leno, Comedy Writing for Late-Night TV, Winner of four Emmy Awards)

By Terence O'Toole Murnin

Toplyn.jpgAfter Years of Writing Comedy for the Likes of Leno and Letterman, Joe Toplyn Now Shares His Secrets in the First Book Ever on Writing for Late Night TV with His Sights Set on a New TV Show

Photo Copyright: Nate Williams

“As my stockbroker friends might say, ‘You can’t fight the market,’” deadpans Joe Toplyn on his need to write hilarious, topical humor, often skewering Bill Cosby, or Kim Kardashian, or whoever is currently making the news. His Twitter feed (@JoeToplyn) mines the same topical gold that Toplyn has been perfecting for years for comedy heavyweights like Letterman and Leno:

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January 2015 | David Kwong '02

David Kwong '02 (Magician & Puzzler, Now You See MeThe Imitation Game)

By Terence O'Toole Murnin

DKGoogle-Plus-Photo.jpgNot a Cruise Ship Magician—Puzzles and prestidigitation can't really begin to describe the genius of David Kwong

Photo to the left by Aaron Epstein

Calling David Kwong a magician is kind of like calling John Harvard a collector of books. It describes one of his many passions, but it only hints at what the man is becoming—and what he will ultimately become. Although not a household name (yet), Kwong has indeed “arrived,” tapping into the Zeitgeist on an enchanted path where highbrow Intelligentsia meets Hollywood spectacle in a tantalizing mix of performance art that both entertains and informs.

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December 2014 | Warren Hsu Leonard HLS '99

Warren Hsu Leonard HLS '99 (Executive Story Editor, How to Get Away with Murder)

By Dayna Wilkinson

“If you want to write as your second or third career, don’t listen to anyone who says you can’t do it."WarrenHsuLeonard.jpg

Warren Hsu Leonard wasn’t sure what he wanted to do after high school but he knew he wasn’t ready for college. "As an eighteen year old from a small town in Maine, I certainly didn't imagine I could end up in Hollywood.”

After taking some time off, Warren sold everything he owned and bought a one-way bus ticket to San Francisco. “The documentary scene there was amazing back then. I went to movies, interned for several politicians and worked for political and environmental causes.”

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November 2014 | Emily Halpern '02 & Sarah Haskins '01

Emily Halpern '02 & Sarah Haskins '01 (Writers & Producers, TROPHY WIFE, BOOKSMART)

By D. Dona Le '05

sarahhaskins.jpg“Writing’s fun,” declares Sarah Haskins AB ‘01.

Emily Halpern AB ‘02, sitting across from her in their adjoining offices at The Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, agrees. “The early brainstorming and outlining stages, we do together, just sitting with coffee and talking—kind of like this.”

“Some light complaining, a little brainstorming,” Sarah quips.Halpern.jpg

This writing duo, co-creators of the ABC show Trophy Wife (2013-2014), met while they were Harvard undergraduates and Emily was dating one of Sarah’s friends. They didn’t know that ten years later, they would be successful writing partners, producers, and showrunners in Hollywood.

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October 2014 | Tinker Lindsay '74

Lindsay.jpgTinker Lindsay '74 (Writer, HECTOR & THE SEARCH FOR HAPPINESS)

By Khurshid Velji

Tinker Lindsay ’74, co-writer of the screenplay for the film Hector and the Search for Happiness, was recently in Toronto for the film’s North American premiere at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival. Although Lindsay had a busy schedule, just before she attended the premiere, she made time to meet with a group of Harvard Alumni from Harvardwood and the Harvard Club of Toronto. It was an honor to meet with her personally and celebrate her accomplishments.

Lindsay graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard with a B.A. in English and American Language and Literature. She was a Phi Beta Kappa member and an editor for the Harvard Crimson. She also completed the Radcliffe Publishing Procedures Course.

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September 2014 | Broderick Fox '96

Broderick Fox '96 (Writer, Director, Editor, & Producer, THE SKIN I'M IN, ZEN & THE ART OF DYING)

By Terence O'Toole Murnin

Fox.jpgAfter boldly tackling the cultural shame of gender, sexuality, addition, body dysmorphia, fantasy, and illness, Broderick Fox '96 takes on the ultimate taboo in ZEN AND THE ART OF DYING.

On a daily basis, Broderick Fox ('96, Lowell House) readily admits that he has the same doubts and fears as any human being. But when it’s time to get down to work, Fox never flinches from the tough issues that many people don’t want to talk about: Taboo and shame. Physical body dysmorphia. Alcoholism, gender and sexuality. This fearless auteur tackles some of our planet’s most difficult subjects with an artistic, poetic approach to visual storytelling.

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August 2014 | Andy Cadiff '77

Andy Cadiff '77 (Director, HOME IMPROVEMENT, SPIN CITY, HOT IN CLEVELAND)

By Dayna Wilkinson

Cadiff.jpgAndy Cadiff ‘77 has directed over 550 episodes of multi-camera television shows, including hit comedies such as Home Improvement and Spin City. He also directed the pilots of such shows as According To Jim and My Wife & Kids and three features. But he says he didn’t watch much TV as a child. “I don’t think I saw a first run network comedy until I was in my twenties.”

During his summers, he went to an all-boys camp in New Hampshire. “They staged Guys and Dolls when I was fourteen. I was a jock, not a theater kid, but we all auditioned—I was cast as the female lead.” Thus began his love affair with theater, particularly musical theater.

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July 2014 | Jesse Zwick '08

Zwick.jpgJesse Zwick '08 (Writer & Director, ABOUT ALEX, PARENTHOOD)

By Stacey Collins

About Alex, opens on August 8th, is writer-director Jesse Zwick’s (08/09) feature film debut. The rookie filmaker managed to pull together an impressive ensamble cast (Jason Ritter, Max Greenfield, Aubrey Plaza, Jane Levy, Maggie Grace, Nate Parker, and Max Minghella). As a firsttime director who took bold moves, Zwick reveals himself as an insightful writer/director with a natural comedic instinct. This poignant dramady tells a story about college friends reunited for the weekend after one of them attempts suicide. Old resentments and romances resurface, as the group discovers new things about each other in a secluded home in the Catskills, despite years staying connected by the ease of social media.

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June 2014 | Josh Brener '07

Josh Brener '07 (Actor, SILICON VALLEY, MARON, THE INTERNSHIP, WORKAHOLICS)

By D. Dona Le '05

Brener.jpg“It’s annoying how supportive my parents are,” actor Josh Brener ‘07 says frankly. “They are effusively, blindly, obnoxiously supportive, and they’ve encouraged me from the very beginning, even when they were sure I’d be poor and begging them for a place to stay.”

But Brener, who plays Nelson “Big Head” Bighetti on HBO’s hit series SILICON VALLEY, is unlikely to return to his hometown of Houston, Texas, looking for a place to stay.

Last year, Brener co-starred in THE INTERNSHIP alongside Vince Vaughan and Owen Wilson, and he’s also appeared in MARON, THE BIG BANG THEORY, WORKAHOLICS, and GLORY DAZE. While this impressive resume might make another young actor feel confident about his future, Brener operates on a baseline state of panic.

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May 2014 | Eve Marson '04

Marson.jpgEve Marson '04 (Producer, FED UP)

By Cristina Slattery '97

Producer Eve Marson '04 was brought on to the team of Fed Up, a new documentary film that is an indictment of the food industry. First shown at Sundance in January, Fed Up premiered internationally at Hot Docs in Toronto this spring. The film, which focuses on the role of hidden sugars in the American obesity epidemic, is narrated and executive produced by Katie Couric. It will be released on May 9th in select theatres and should have a life in the schools after that.

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