Woliner in July 2011.
June 1, 1980
The Bronx, New York, U.S.
|Occupation||Director, Writer, Actor|
Jason Woliner (born June 1, 1980) is an American comedy director and writer, as well as a former child actor. He was the non-performing member of the comedy group "Human Giant" and directed the bulk of their output. The group, which also consisted of comedians Aziz Ansari, Rob Huebel, and Paul Scheer, produced an MTV sketch comedy show that ran for two seasons. Woliner has directed episodes of NBC's Parks and Recreation and Comedy Central's Jon Benjamin Has A Van, and he shot and edited the pilot episode of Jon Glaser's Adult Swim series Delocated. He directed the popular "Designated Driver" and "Slovin & Allen" segments of HBO's Funny or Die Presents, as well as the cult hit "Brett Gelman's One Thousand Cats". Currently, he directs, writes on, and executive produces the Adult Swim series Eagleheart, starring Chris Elliott. The show is in its third season.
Early life and acting career
Woliner was born in The Bronx, NY and began acting when he was four years old, having been discovered performing in a "father/son magician team" (alongside his father, Alan, who did children's birthday parties under the name "Amazing Alan The Magical Rabbit"). He appeared in over thirty television commercials, including those for Kix Cereal, LEGO, Teddy Ruxpin, Apple Jacks, Burger King, Fruit Roll-Ups, and Kool Aid. Woliner also appeared in the commercial parody "McSooshi" on Saturday Night Live and as "Matt", a series regular during the first season of PBS's Shining Time Station. On Broadway, he performed in the play Conversations with My Father and he played the role of "Bratty Kid" in the cult film Weekend at Bernie's.
After leaving school, Woliner began making films and videos, both on his own and with comedians in New York, and screening them at shows like Invite Them Up, the monthly First Sundays film festival, Baltimore's now defunct MicroCineFest, UCB, and others. It was at these shows that he met and began working with the comedians who would become Human Giant. During this period, Woliner also frequently collaborated on short films with Frank Lesser, now a writer for Comedy Central's The Colbert Report.
The first three Human Giant videos ("Shutterbugs", "Illusionators", and the "Shittiest Mixtape Boombox Blast") caught the eyes of executives at MTV, who offered the group a pilot. The resulting pilot got a green light, and the show ran for two seasons. Woliner, in addition to directing the majority of the series, served on the writing staff and wrote or co-wrote sketches such as "Camping Weekend", "Car Accident (a.k.a. Gay Porn Ghost)", "Bruce Willis Lookalike", "Sci-Fi Makeup", "Foley Artist", "Rollerblading", and others. He also served as an executive producer and lead editor on the series.
Woliner is currently working with Red Hour Films on an untitled Human Giant feature project and directing television projects for HBO, Comedy Central, Adult Swim, PBS, and SpikeTV. He has directed several episodes of the NBC comedy series Parks and Recreation, including "Beauty Pageant", "Woman of the Year", and the second season finale, "Freddy Spaghetti".
Working with frequent collaborator Aziz Ansari, Woliner directed and co-wrote the mockumentary shorts series RAAAAAAAANDY, based on Ansari's character in Judd Apatow's Funny People. After the success of those shorts, Apatow and Universal signed a deal with Woliner and Ansari to write three movies. The pair are currently working on the first of those screenplays, a comedy about a disgraced astronaut (Ansari) who must figure out a way to return to the moon and clear his name. Woliner has also directed Ansari's stand-up specials, as well as the recent specials of comedian Patton Oswalt.
In October 2010, The New York Times announced that Woliner was collaborating with Ben Stiller on a project titled Billy Glimmer: Entertainer of the Century, which is expected to shoot later this year. Woliner is set to write and direct; Stiller will star.
Recently, Woliner also directed and co-wrote the live-action version of Robert Smigel's Ambiguously Gay Duo starring Jon Hamm, Jimmy Fallon, Steve Carell, and Stephen Colbert for NBC's Saturday Night Live.