is an author
An author is broadly defined as "the person who originates or gives existence to anything" and that authorship determines responsibility for what is created. Narrowly defined, an author is the originator of any written work.-Legal significance:...
and humorist who has previously worked as an editor of National Lampoon
and a columnist for Spy Magazine
. His humor has also appeared in The New Yorker
The New Yorker is an American magazine of reportage, commentary, criticism, essays, fiction, satire, cartoons and poetry published by Condé Nast...
, Paris Review
The Paris Review is a literary quarterly founded in 1953 by Harold L. Humes, Peter Matthiessen and George Plimpton. Plimpton edited the Review from its founding until his death in 2003. In its first five years, The Paris Review published works by Jack Kerouac, Philip Larkin, V. S...
, and the New York Times Magazine
Ellis (known as "Otts" when growing up) was raised in Pikesville, Maryland
Pikesville is a census-designated place in Baltimore County, Maryland, United States. Pikesville is just northwest of the Baltimore city limits. It is the northwestern suburb closest to Baltimore.The population was 29,123 at the 2000 census...
. He attended Wellwood Elementary School, Sudbrook Junior High, Pikesville High School
Pikesville High School is a four-year public high school in Baltimore County, Maryland, United States. It is part of the Baltimore County Public Schools consolidated school district...
and the University of Pennsylvania. His theatrical and literary talent was obvious to all who knew him. In college, he played drums and sang in a rock band called Droylesden Wake.
His first produced work was the 1967 Pikesville High Junior Play, an original parody using music from H.M.S. Pinafore
H.M.S. Pinafore; or, The Lass That Loved a Sailor is a comic opera in two acts, with music by Arthur Sullivan and a libretto by W. S. Gilbert. It opened at the Opera Comique in London, England, on 25 May 1878 and ran for 571 performances, which was the second-longest run of any musical...
and other Gilbert and Sullivan
Gilbert and Sullivan refers to the Victorian-era theatrical partnership of the librettist W. S. Gilbert and the composer Arthur Sullivan . The two men collaborated on fourteen comic operas between 1871 and 1896, of which H.M.S...
Otts has an athletic history as well. He was a split end in the Development Football League from 1961 to 1964 with the Summit Park Colts Association (SPCA).
A novel is a book of long narrative in literary prose. The genre has historical roots both in the fields of the medieval and early modern romance and in the tradition of the novella. The latter supplied the present generic term in the late 18th century....
s and other book
A book is a set or collection of written, printed, illustrated, or blank sheets, made of hot lava, paper, parchment, or other materials, usually fastened together to hinge at one side. A single sheet within a book is called a leaf or leaflet, and each side of a leaf is called a page...
- National Lampoon's Doon
National Lampoon's Doon is a parody of Frank Herbert's 1965 science fiction novel Dune, written by Ellis Weiner and published in 1984 by Pocket Books/Simon & Schuster, Inc. , and by Grafton Books the following year. In 1988 William F. Touponce noted that the only books which National Lampoon has...
- Howard the Duck
Howard the Duck is a comic book character in the Marvel Comics universe created by writer Steve Gerber and artist Val Mayerik. The character first appeared in Adventure into Fear #19 and several subsequent series have chronicled the misadventures of the ill-tempered, anthropomorphic, "funny...
A novelization is a novel that is written based on some other media story form rather than as an original work.Novelizations of films usually add background material not found in the original work to flesh out the story, because novels are generally longer than screenplays...
of the theatrical film)
Howard the Duck is a 1986 American science fiction comedy film directed by Willard Huyck and produced by George Lucas. It is loosely based on the Marvel comic book of the same name, created by Steve Gerber and quoting scripts by Bill Mantlo, the film focuses on Howard, an alien from a planet...
- Yiddish with Dick and Jane
- The Joy of Worry
- Letters from Cicely
- Drop Dead, My Lovely
- The Big Boat to Bye-Bye
- The Northern Exposure Cookbook: A Community Cookbook from the Heart of the Alaskan Riviera
- The Great Muppet Caper!: The Making of the Masterpiece (behind-the-scenes book about the film The Great Muppet Caper
The Great Muppet Caper is a 1981 mystery comedy film directed by Jim Henson. It is the second of a series of live-action musical feature films, starring Jim Henson's Muppets. This film was produced by Henson Associates, ITC Entertainment and Universal Pictures, and premiered on 26 July 1981. The...
- Decade of the Year (a collection of humorous essays)
- Santa Lives!: Five Conclusive Arguments for the Existence of Santa Claus