News, Notes & Commentary on the world of HRTS

JHRTS NY Recap: A Conversation with The Comedians

JHRTS New York, A Conversation with the Comedians panel shot

By Bradley Singer, President, JHRTS-NY

JHRTS-NY hosted quite an insightful – and humorous – panel event with some successful New York comedy insiders.  Featured on our panel were UCB artistic director Anthony King, Daily Show with Jon Stewart writer Elliott Kalan, College Humor creative director Ben Joseph, Comedy Central director of development Sam Grossman, and moderated by the incomparable writer/performer Billy Eichner.

On-tap for discussion was everything from the role of women in comedy (after the premiere of the “game changing” film Bridesmaids, to quote Billy Eichner) to the TV comedy development process. We also learned how our panelists started out in the business: Anthony King was a theatrical director, Sam Grossman was an agent’s assistant at UTA, Elliott Kalan worked at Barnes & Noble (where, after a several year-long sabbatical, he still has a standing offer to return, just in case the Daily Show gig doesn’t work out), Ben Joseph worked in production at College Humor, and Billy Eichner studied musical theatre – because he was gay and a little bit overweight. 

One audience member (ok, it was actually me), asked our panelists to name their favorite “embarrassing” TV obsession. Sam Grossman constantly watched Charlie Rose, which, as his fellow panelists remarked, seems respectable rather than embarrassing. Mr. Kalan regularly watches Sixteen & Pregnant (with his wife, or so he claims) and Science Channel’s Oddities. Billy Eichner loves The Judds on O.W.N. When asked by this journalist whether he also watches the lead-in to The Judds, Season 25: Oprah Behind the Scenes, Billy announced that not only is he a fan, but he considers Season 25 the best thing on television, ever – to which I eagerly agreed. 

Also asked: What should someone looking to be involved in both the creative side and the business side of entertainment do? The answer? Go find a job where you can do both!

Panelists for the JHRTS New York event, A Conversation with the Comedians

Elliot Kalan, Ben Joseph, Sam Grossman, Anthony King, Billy Eichner

The audience gathers for the JHRTS NY event, A Conversation with the Comedians

The audience gathers for the JHRTS NY event, A Conversation with the Comedians

Elliot Kalan and Ben Joseph. Panelists for JHRTS NY, A Conversation with the Comedians

Elliot Kalan and Ben Joseph

For these and other photos, visit the JHRTS NY Photo gallery.

Tagged as: ,

Comments are closed.

What is the Hollywood Radio & Television Society?

Since 1947 the HRTS has been the entertainment industry's premier information and networking forum. HRTS events are the only place where leading executives from across the industry gather under one roof, multiple times a year to discuss issues relevant to the ongoing success of our business. HRTS Members and our industry partners represent the best and the brightest in town. Is your company ready to join the ranks of HRTS? There are many ways for individuals and companies to get more involved. To find out how, call (818) 789-1182 or email

HRTS Pages