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Tufts E-News --Comedy Quest

Tufts E-News --Comedy QuestTufts graduate and comedy writer Mark Treitel is close to realizing his decade-long goal of having his own sitcom.

Medford/Somerville, Mass. [08.29.05] For Tufts graduate Mark Treitel, the situation is getting serious. The “Situation: Comedy,” that is.

The aspiring comedy writer’s script has made it to the final round of competition on Bravo’s new “Situation: Comedy” reality show, which chronicles the making of a sitcom and gives amateur writers a chance launch their Hollywood careers by creating a comedy pilot from start to finish.

“The producers of [the show] have scoured the country looking for the hottest undiscovered writing talent at colleges, in comedy theater groups and even in writing classes,” according to a statement by NBC, which owns Bravo.

After receiving more than 10,000 scripts, network executives approved only two for production - Treitel’s “The Sperm Donor” and its competition “Stephen’s Life.” After weeks of casting calls, script rewrites and rehearsals, the 15-minute pilot presentations of each aired last Friday on the show’s sixth episode and can still be seen on AOL. Viewers will decide this week which one has the potential to become the next great sitcom, and the winners will be announced on Sept. 2.

While this might finally be his big break, Treitel has been scrawling down comedy scripts for years. His first foray into funny writing dates back to elementary school when he penned a school play. At Tufts during the late 1980s and early 1990s, he continued to feed his passion by becoming one of the original writers of the University’s comedy newspaper, “The Zamboni,” which was founded by Entertainment Weekly’s Josh Wolk.

Post-Tufts, while attending Cardozo School of Law in New York City, Treitel co-wrote the school’s Law Revue show and won an American Bar Association award as co-editor-in-chief of the school’s newspaper.

In hopes of furthering his comedy career, Treitel crossed coasts after law school and landed in Los Angeles, where the city attorney was selected for the prestigious Warner Bros. Comedy Writers Workshop and had one of his scripts performed at the HBO Comedy Workspace.

But nothing quite compares with this, according to Treitel.

He says that he and “The Sperm Donor” co-creator Shoe Schuster are “ecstatic” about this opportunity to break into the comedy writing business with guidance from seasoned professionals, like Sean Hayes (“Will & Grace”) and Todd Milliner, who developed “Situation: Comedy,” and Fred Savage (“The Wonder Years”) and Amanda Bearse (“Married with Children”), who are directing the pilots.

“The Sperm Donor,” which Treitel calls a “quintessential ‘Odd Couple,’” stars actors Maggie Wheeler (“Friends”) and David DeLuise (“Third Rock from the Sun”).

After a six week crash course in sitcom production, the friends who met in a writing class think they’ve come up with a quality program that would be a great fit for NBC. Treitel and Schuster are confident that the show has what it takes to become network television’s “family favorite” of tomorrow.












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