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Will Durst

Will Durst

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Will Durst is an American political satirist
Political satire
Political satire is a significant part of satire that specializes in gaining entertainment from politics; it has also been used with subversive intent where political speech and dissent are forbidden by a regime, as a method of advancing political arguments where such arguments are expressly...

; he considers himself a modern mix of Mort Sahl
Mort Sahl
Morton Lyon "Mort" Sahl is a Canadian-born American comedian and actor. He occasionally wrote jokes for speeches delivered by President John F. Kennedy. He was the first comedian to record a live album and the first to perform on college campuses...

 and Will Rogers
Will Rogers
William "Will" Penn Adair Rogers was an American cowboy, comedian, humorist, social commentator, vaudeville performer, film actor, and one of the world's best-known celebrities in the 1920s and 1930s....

.

Durst co-hosted a daily morning talk radio
Talk radio
Talk radio is a radio format containing discussion about topical issues. Most shows are regularly hosted by a single individual, and often feature interviews with a number of different guests. Talk radio typically includes an element of listener participation, usually by broadcasting live...

 show with former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown on San Francisco's
San Francisco, California
San Francisco , officially the City and County of San Francisco, is the financial, cultural, and transportation center of the San Francisco Bay Area, a region of 7.15 million people which includes San Jose and Oakland...

 progressive talk radio station, KQKE
KQKE
KKGN is a progressive talk radio station licensed to Oakland, California which serves the San Francisco Bay Area. The station is owned by Clear Channel Communications....

.

He has performed at events featuring Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton
William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Inaugurated at age 46, he was the third-youngest president. He took office at the end of the Cold War, and was the first president of the baby boomer generation...

, George H. W. Bush
George H. W. Bush
George Herbert Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 41st President of the United States . He had previously served as the 43rd Vice President of the United States , a congressman, an ambassador, and Director of Central Intelligence.Bush was born in Milton, Massachusetts, to...

, and Al Gore
Al Gore
Albert Arnold "Al" Gore, Jr. served as the 45th Vice President of the United States , under President Bill Clinton. He was the Democratic Party's nominee for President in the 2000 U.S. presidential election....

. He also speaks at many Governors Conferences and various Mayors Conventions. He was a correspondent for The Comedy Channel
The Comedy Channel
The Comedy Channel is an Australian subscription television channel available on Foxtel, Austar and Optus Television.-History:...

 during the 1992 political conventions.

His humor and commentaries emphasize his view of illogical and absurd aspects of politics, leadership, and human behavior. Having had 108 jobs in his lifetime all — listed on his official Web site — Durst claims, "he can relate to the common working man." He once ran for mayor of San Francisco http://www.castproductions.com/willdurst.html to get his name out there. Durst makes an annual return to Milwaukee during Thanksgiving to visit family and perform for his hometown.

Career


He writes several Internet
Internet
The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standard Internet protocol suite to serve billions of users worldwide...

 columns, contributes to Independent Media Institute's Alternet.org on a regular basis, is a former contributing editor to National Lampoon and George
George (magazine)
George was a glossy monthly magazine centered on the theme of politics-as-lifestyle co-founded by John F. Kennedy, Jr. and Michael J. Berman with publisher Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S. in New York City in September 1995...

, and has contributed to various periodicals such as the New York Times, the The Funny Times and his hometown San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
thumb|right|upright|The Chronicle Building following the [[1906 San Francisco earthquake|1906 earthquake]] and fireThe San Francisco Chronicle is a newspaper serving primarily the San Francisco Bay Area of the U.S. state of California, but distributed throughout Northern and Central California,...

. His podcasts can be heard on audible.com.

An Emmy nominee and host/co-producer of the PBS series Livelyhood, he is also a regular commentator on NPR
NPR
NPR, formerly National Public Radio, is a privately and publicly funded non-profit membership media organization that serves as a national syndicator to a network of 900 public radio stations in the United States. NPR was created in 1970, following congressional passage of the Public Broadcasting...

, CNN
CNN
Cable News Network is a U.S. cable news channel founded in 1980 by Ted Turner. Upon its launch, CNN was the first channel to provide 24-hour television news coverage, and the first all-news television channel in the United States...

, and C-SPAN
C-SPAN
C-SPAN , an acronym for Cable-Satellite Public Affairs Network, is an American cable television network that offers coverage of federal government proceedings and other public affairs programming via its three television channels , one radio station and a group of websites that provide streaming...

. He has appeared on Late Night With David Letterman
Late Night with David Letterman
Late Night with David Letterman is a nightly hour-long comedy talk show on NBC that was created and hosted by David Letterman. It premiered in 1982 as the first incarnation of the Late Night franchise and went off the air in 1993, after Letterman left NBC and moved to Late Show on CBS. Late Night...

, Comedy Central
Comedy Central
Comedy Central is an American cable television and satellite television channel that carries comedy programming, both original and syndicated....

, HBO
Home Box Office
HBO, short for Home Box Office, is an American premium cable television network, owned by Time Warner. , HBO's programming reaches 28.2 million subscribers in the United States, making it the second largest premium network in America . In addition to its U.S...

 and Showtime. He received seven consecutive nominations for the American Comedy Awards
American Comedy Awards
The American Comedy Awards were a group of awards presented annually in the United States from 1987 to 2001 recognizing performances and performers in the field of comedy, with an emphasis on television comedy and comedy films...

 Stand Up Comedian of the Year.

Will premiered his one man show "The All-American Sport of BiPartisan Bashing" at the New World Stages
New World Stages
New World Stages, originally Dodger Stages, is an Off-Broadway venue. The architects were Beyer, Blinder, and Belle. The theatre designers were Sachs Morgan, and the interior designer was Klara Zieglerova.It is currently home to 6 shows:* Rent...

 Off Broadway in New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

 August 2007 to rave reviews from both the New York Times and the New York Post
New York Post
The New York Post is the 13th-oldest newspaper published in the United States and is generally acknowledged as the oldest to have been published continuously as a daily, although – as is the case with most other papers – its publication has been periodically interrupted by labor actions...

.

Television


On February 24, 2000, Durst was used as a phone-a-friend lifeline on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire by contestant Rudy Reber. The question, worth $500,000, was "who directed Michael Jackson's music video for the song Bad". After hearing the choices, Durst said "Landis," as in director John Landis
John Landis
John David Landis is an American film director, screenwriter, actor, and producer. He is known for his comedies, his horror films, and his music videos with singer Michael Jackson.-Early life and career:...

. Reber locked it in as his final answer, which was wrong. (Martin Scorsese
Martin Scorsese
Martin Charles Scorsese is an American film director, screenwriter, producer, actor, and film historian. In 1990 he founded The Film Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to film preservation, and in 2007 he founded the World Cinema Foundation...

 was the correct answer). As a result, Reber's winnings plummeted from $250,000 to $32,000, a loss of $218,000. Durst later wrote an article for TV Guide
TV Guide
TV Guide is a weekly American magazine with listings of TV shows.In addition to TV listings, the publication features television-related news, celebrity interviews, gossip and film reviews and crossword puzzles...

on the incident.

External links