Who: Alan Zweibel, Lewis Black, Susie Essman, Mary Karr
What: Online book launch with special guests
Where: 92nd St. Y online
When: Monday, May 25, $20, 7:30
Why: When television writer, playwright, screenwriter, and comic genius Alan Zweibel first announced his book launch for Laugh Lines: My Life Helping Funny People Be Funnier (Abrams, April 2020, $27), it was going to be at the 92nd St. Y, titled “Alan Zweibel and Friends.” With the coronavirus pandemic shutting down public gatherings, the event is now taking place online, and the friends have been announced. On May 25 at 7:30, the Brooklyn-born, Long Island-raised Zweibel will be joined for a virtual reading and discussion with the inimitable Lewis Black, Susie Essman, and Mary Karr. In the book, Zweibel, who turned sixty-nine on May 20, takes a look back at his long career, working at Saturday Night Live, cocreating It’s Garry Shandling’s Show, collaborating with Billy Crystal on the Tony-winning 700 Sundays, and penning such novels as North and The Other Shulman. “I write. This is what I’m wired to do,” Zweibel notes in chapter eight, “Crashing and Burning in Another Genre.” He continues, “To awaken at 5:30 every morning, sit down with my vocabulary, choose words, and arrange them in an order that would not only hold a viewer or reader’s interest, but also afford them a laugh or two along the way. And if I succeed, well, mission accomplished. There’s no greater feeling. But if I fail, well, I’m sorry, but it’s not a war crime. I swear, I tried my best.” Crystal wrote the foreword for the book, which also includes interviews with Richard Lewis, Eric Idle, Bob Saget, Mike Birbiglia, Sarah Silverman, Judd Apatow, Dave Barry, and Carl Reiner. Tickets are $20, with proceeds benefiting 92Y.