How to Avoid Comedy Burnout

Josh Lieb is an Emmy-winning producer for The Simpsons and The Daily Show and author of I Am a Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I Want to be Your Class President.  He has also been a writer for the popular 1990s television series "NewsRadio" and for The Jon Stewart Show.  

  • Transcript


Question: What is a big mistake you’ve made in your career?

Josh Lieb: Yeah. No, I’ve made any number of mistakes. In my career, I think one thing you don't realize – I had success early on, I obtained some rather exalted positions pretty quickly and entertainment, and I don't know if this is true in other fields but there's a quantity called heat and if people think you're the hot thing, then they are very eager to work with you but that she does dissipate and it dissipates quickly. Because I sort of jumped into the game with a great deal of heat, I thought I would have it eternally. Then I spent about five years with a show called News Radio and really burned myself out. There was no more exhausting show in the history of television and when I was done with it I said I was going to take a year off from TV and I'm going to – I have some script ideas I want to write but I'm going to just keep away from that. Which was great psychologically but I did not realize how quickly Josh Lieb, young man on the rise could be ‘oh yeah, that guy.’ So I had to learn to strike while the iron is hot. And it's a lot tougher to get your name out there once you've let the heat dissipate.

Recorded on:  October 9, 2009