What do you believe?
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 Jon Stewart. He won 7 Prime Time Emmys as a producer and writer for The Daily Show. In 2009, he published a young adult novel, I Am A Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I Want to Be Your Class President, which was a New York Times Bestseller.
Lieb was raised in Columbia, South Carolina, and graduated from Harvard, where he was an editor of The Lampoon, the college humor magazine. After graduation, he found work writing for Twisted Puppet Theater, The Jon Stewart Show, and NewsRadio. He subsequently worked as a producer or consultant on shows including The Simpsons, Drawn Together, Sirens, Nikki, I Hate My Teenage Daughter, and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.
Lieb's tenure at The Daily Show lasted from 2006 to 2010, during which he also served as Executive Producer of “The Rally to Restore Sanity And/Or Fear” and as co-editor and co-author of Earth: The Book.
In 2013, he wrote and directed a series of comedic shorts to raise money and awareness for the charity Water.Org. Stars featured in the shorts included Matt Damon, Jessica Biel, Sir Richard Branson, and Bono.
Penguin/ Random House released Lieb's second novel, Ratscalibur, in 2015.
In October 2016, NBCUniversal announced an exclusive writing deal with Lieb.
Question: Do you have a personal philosophy?
Josh Lieb: You know I had one, and then I started taking Prozac. And now I’m just bulling forward. I’m just getting through day-by-day. I don’t know. You know that’s a joke, but I really am just bulling forward. It is such an impossibly complicated and depressing world, that unless you just sort of keep your eye on the small things – keeping your wife happy; you know, doing a good job at work; going home and feeding the dogs – you will go crazy. You know I guess looking back at some of the things I said. Like I don’t think I’m making the world a better place, and I don’t think I’m contributing to anything. So that’s really depressing. That’s a very sad philosophy. Okay, so maybe I’m making the world a little better place. You know I’m making my wife happy, and I really like her, so that’s nice. You know I’ve done something there. And my dogs rely on me. And so I don’t know.
I guess my philosophy is the most important things you can do are for your family and for your friends. I think everything else is kind of meaningless. And if you devote yourself to a cause above your friends and family, you’re just kidding yourself. I think everything, every government, every world is fleeting. It’s not going to last forever. The only really permanent things in your life are your family and friends. You know the lowest circle in hell was for Brutus because he betrayed his friend. And he did it for his country, but you know screw your country. Because Rome is gone now, but Cesar has always betrayed. So I think you can really only, in a way, care and do good. And hopefully your friends are good people, and your family is good people. But you can really just try to make the world a better place for them and that’s it.
Recorded on December 11, 2007
Prozac to cure a personal philosophy.
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