Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS
On StageAt The Kennedy Center
The Mark Twain Prize for American Humor
Arts in the Capital
Government in the Arts
Past Performances
Feedback

From the Ceremony
Behind the Curtain
More About Bob
About the Prize
For Teachers

Behind the Curtain


Richard Belzer

Richard Belzer.  Photo by WireImage: Michael Caulfield.
View a clip from the show:
Select your connection speed:
  LOW     HIGH


Richard Belzer, the veteran stand-up comic, actor, talk-show host and author, was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut. An irrepressible comic, the young Richard drove his teachers wild with his uncontrollable wit and was thrown out of classroom after classroom. He has since parlayed his comedic talents into a career spanning two decades.

Widely known for his astute political observations and insatiable appetite for news, Belzer has worked as a reporter for the Bridgeport Post and several other newspapers, an interest directly traceable to his days as a paperboy. He honed his experiences into barbed comedic material drawn from former jobs as a teacher, census taker, jewelry salesman, dockworker, and other, less mentionable occupations.

Belzer began his professional show business career in the cult classic film Groove Tube before moving on to every show business medium from The National Lampoon Show (off-Broadway with Bill Murray, Gilda Radner, and John Belushi) and Brink and Belzer (a morning WNBC radio show) to major films including Fame; Author, Author; Night Shift; and Scarface.

On the small screen Belzer made television history when his Homicide, Life on the Streets character, Detective John Munch, appeared in Homicide, Law & Order, and The X-Files in the same week. Belzer starred in his own HBO comedy special, Another Lone Nut (also released on CD), hosted Comedy Central's 1997 year-end Town Meeting special, the ABC special When Cars Attack and the talk show Hot Properties. He also appeared in Elmopalooza ABC's primetime special commemorating Sesame Street's 30th anniversary.

Belzer is the author of UFOs, JFK and Elvis: Conspiracies You Don't Have to Be Crazy to Believe and co-author of How to Be a Stand-Up Comic. He has been a frequent guest on The Tonight Show, Late Night with Conan O'Brien, Late Night with David Letterman and Saturday Night Live. He starred in The Richard Belzer Show, a comedy series for Cinemax. Current projects include co-writing and co-producing two feature films in which Belzer will star, Standup Guy and Noose, hosting a series of conspiracy-theory prime time specials for the Sci-Fi Channel and providing interstitial comedy features for XM Satellite Radio.