Comedy writer comes back to UB to share experiences with Arts students


AMHERST, NY (WIVB) A University at Buffalo graduate who went on to a successful career in comedy writing is back for a three part workshop at his alma mater to share his experiences with current Arts & Science students at UB.

“The reason I’m here is that when I was a student here, I wish somebody like me would’ve come,” said Alan Zweibel, who graduated from UB in 1972 and went on to become one of the writers for the original Saturday Night Live Cast. “While they were on the air doing Weekend Update LIVE, I was under the desk writing jokes and handing it up. So there’s nothing more exciting than that.”

Zweibel left SNL in 1980 and went on to write for comedians like Gary Shandling, Billy Crystal and Larry David. He’s written books and screenplays like Bunny, Bunny, a tribute to the late Gilda Radner.

“Not everything is a sketch. Not everything is a screenplay. Some things are just magazine articles. You let the idea tell you where and how it should live,” said Zeibel.

Nearly fifty years have passed since he went to UB, and TV and technology has changed by leaps and bounds, but when it comes to writing and creativity, he thinks his experience will still hit home to UB Arts students in a three part workshop with began today.

“The synergy of being in a room with other people who’ve got different sensibilities, it’s one and one equaling three,” said Zweibel who hopes his successes and failures can both be learning experiences for the students. “Saying there is life in the arts after college. You can do it.”

Zweibel will teach workshops with students this weekend, on March 27-29 and on May 1 and 2. He is releasing a new book titled “Laughlines: My Life Helping Funny People be Funnier.”

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