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Josh Lieb

Josh Lieb is the former Producer and Show Runner of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. His credits include stints as Executive Producer of NewsRadio and The Daily Show with[…]

Josh Lieb is a bit underwhelmed by Bob Mankoff’s prolific New Yorker cartooning.

Question: Do you agree with Bob Mankoff that coming up with cartoon idea is hard?

Josh Lieb: Well first, let me address Bob Mankoff. I could write that every day. And so you tell bob Mankoff, no big deal. I have lots of cartoon ideas and I don’t see what he’s bitching about. Actually, not the New Yorker cartoonist, what they write one like once every three years or something, right?

Question: Mankoff has published 900 New Yorker cartoons over 30 years.

Josh Lieb: Big deal. That’s like; they’re one sentence apiece. Give me a break. Well, for one, I can’t draw at all, but I was trying to teach myself how to draw. I got a book. Because I was going to draw my own cartoons, but then I got lazy and then I really can’t draw. So, I have a friend, Tom Gamble out in LA who is a wonderful cartoonist and I sometimes send him suggestions for cartoons, which he never makes. But, I just had a great one. You tell Bob Mankoff there’s a man with a stomachache, he’s very unhappy, and his wife walks in with Al Capone, and he says, “You idiot, I told you to bring home Alka Seltzer.” That’s a prize-winning cartoon right there. I just thought of that one the other day. Similarly though, and in all seriousness, yeah, it’s that ability to do it everyday and it’s that ability to – it’s not just perseverance, it’s talent and it’s treating it like a job. Anytime you have a writer who says he’s waiting for inspiration and I say that’s not a writer. It is absolutely – it’s a job, it’s a career. You can not feel like writing, you can be dry as a bone and you have to sit down and start writing. You can’t tolerate something like writer’s block, especially in TV, but I suppose when you are writing a book at home you can give yourself a couple of days like that, but its being able to dredge it up every day and produce. It’s not just this romantic pure creation. It’s a job.

Recorded on: October 9, 2009. Interviewed by Paul Hoffman.

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