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Comedian Mark Schiff's Done it All: Seinfeld, Carson, Letterman and Leno - Now What?

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storycon.org H3'ed 11/5/13
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MS: We hope to get it on its feet. That means getting the money to get it going. Show Business is two words. Show and Business. We have the show, now we need to do the business. It's also called a play which means it's supposed to play somewhere. Otherwise it would be called "a sit in the drawer." We really believe in this play. We think it has a great message you don't see enough of. The message is that marriage is a good thing and that people can go through all kinds of things and make it work. We live in a world where people think that everything is disposable. From tossing out TV sets to throwing newborns into garbage cans.  After 23 years of being married, my marriage is not so hard anymore.


JB: Lucky you!


MS: We've learned how to live together.  There's a saying, "Don't leave before the miracle." Switching spouses is like switching chairs on the Titanic. Good luck not going down.


JB: Got it. Beyond getting this play produced, what other professional goals are up your sleeve? After opening for Seinfeld and appearing on Carson, Leno and Letterman, what's left undone?


MS: I wrote a show called VERONA with another writer by the name of Brian Ross. We're in the process of trying to sell it now. One company has already stepped up to the plate and made us an offer to option the show. An option is money they give you for permission to sell the show to a network. And if they sell it, you're in business with them.  VERONA is also about marriage but this one involves a young couple not yet 20.  

Marriage is a big theme with me. I think about it all the time. I'm fascinated by people trying to get along. I'm also very good at interviewing people. Everyone [except my wife and my kids] tells me I'm a good listener. I would like to do interviews sort of like Studs Terkel did. I love interviewing regular people about their everyday lives. Especially married couples. When you get a married couple talking, there is nothing better.  I would also like to sing The Star Spangled Banner at a baseball game.  And  last but not least. I would like to do two hours of standup comedy onstage.  Bill Cosby does two hours or more every show. I would like to see how that feels.


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Schiff again by courtesy of the author

JB: You and I have a lot in common. I loved Studs and enjoy interviewing regular people, too! Everybody's got a story. What haven't we talked about yet?


MS: We haven't covered my teeth. I need close to 50,000 dollars worth of dental work. So, this play better be a hit.


JB: In that case, it'd better be a big hit! Can't wait to see MARRIAGE IS A BOUT, the finished product. Good luck with it. And thanks so much for talking with me, Mark. It's been a lot of fun.


***


Schiff's website


His performance schedule


Promo video  featuring comments by Seinfeld and Paul Reiser as well as performances by Schiff

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