Spike Feresten was raised in West Bridgewater, MA, where he attended public school and got his first job as a bag boy at the local supermarket. With a dream to be the next Jimi Hendrix, Feresten attended Berklee College of Music in Boston.
One night, disillusioned with his career choice, Feresten thought he might feel better if he dropped four-foot fluorescent light bulbs out the window of his dorm room – just to watch them shatter on the sidewalk eight stories below. He got caught and was evicted. Soon after, Feresten saw David Letterman performing the exact same stunt on his late-night talk show, and a real light bulb went on: If network television encouraged this sort of behavior, he might have a future after all. Thus, a career in TV comedy was born.
Feresten came up through the ranks of television, working first as an intern at NBC in New York. His career took on a Hollywood fable quality when his job as the receptionist for Saturday Night Live led him to pass jokes he had written to Weekend Update’s Dennis Miller. Eventually, Feresten’s full-time job at SNL led to a staff-writing position in 1990 at Late Night with David Letterman, where he wrote for five years and earned five Emmy nominations.
In 1995, Feresten left the late-night realm to join the writing staff of the groundbreaking sitcom Seinfeld, where he wrote for three seasons, becoming supervising producer in 1998. During his Seinfeld tenure, Feresten garnered an additional three Emmy nominations, including one for his famed “Soup Nazi” episode, which remains part of the pop-culture vernacular.
In 2006 FOX selected Feresten to host his own late night series, Talkshow with Spike Feresten, which Feresten also executive produced and co-wrote. Several of the show’s many viral videos made HULU’s all-time most viewed list beating out Family Guy and Tina Fey’s Sarah Palin sketches.
In addition to Seinfeld and Letterman, Feresten has written and developed other television comedy, penning episodes of The Simpsons, Space Ghost Coast to Coast and The Jamie Kennedy Experiment. Continuing to work with Jerry Seinfeld, Feresten co-wrote the screenplay for the animated feature Bee Movie, and the 2012 Acura NSX Superbowl Commercial.
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