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Bill Scheft  

Novelist, Comedy Writer, Columnist, Jew

Despite his immense pride in his long-form fiction (he is the author of two novels, Time Won’t Let Me and The Ringer), Bill Scheft is best known for his weekly humor column, The Show, which appeared in Sports Illustrated for three years, and a collection of his columns was published in The Best of The Show. Before coming to Sports Illustrated, Scheft spent two and a half years at ESPN Magazine writing a similar column, called The Monologue.

After 12 years touring as a stand-up comedian, Scheft was hired as a monologue writer for Late Night with David Letterman in 1991. He was with the program for its last two years at NBC, then moved over to CBS in August, 1993 to work on the Late Show with David Letterman. He served as head monologue writer for the Late Show until March, 2004, and during his years with David Letterman was nominated for 13 Emmys. Which, ah, means he never won. (He recently returned to the Late Show after a two-year hiatus.)

A veteran writer on award shows and television specials, Scheft wrote for the 1995 and 2005 Academy Awards, was the head writer for three ESPY Awards, and has contributed special material to the Emmys, Tonys, and Grammys.

Over the last decade, Scheft has contributed humor essays and short pieces to the New Yorker, New York Times, Esquire, TV Guide, George, Talk, Slate, Modern Humorist, the collections Mirth of a Nation, 101 Damnations, May Contain Nuts and a few other places that may or may not exist anymore.

A 1979 graduate of Harvard College, where he majored in Latin because he “thought the church was going to come back,” Scheft worked as a sportswriter for the Albany Times-Union before he came to the realization, “Hey, what the hell am I doing in Albany?” He moved to New York City in December, 1980.

He still lives in Manhattan with his wife, comedian Adrianne Tolsch, and the voices in his head.

How To Write Jokes and Influence People


The Mathematics of Novel Writing


Adapting Your Novel for The Screen


Hilarious but True Horror Stories from a Life of Television Writing


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