March 23, 1964 |
New York, New York, U.S.
|Genre||Memoir, Literary fiction|
Jonathan Ames (born March 23, 1964) is an American author who has written a number of novels and comic memoirs. He was a columnist for the New York Press for several years, and became known for self-deprecating tales of his sexual misadventures. He also has a long-time interest in boxing, appearing occasionally in the ring as "The Herring Wonder". In 2009, he created the HBO television series Bored to Death.
Ames's novels include I Pass Like Night (1989), The Extra Man (1998), and 2004's Wake Up Sir!, described by The New York Times as "laugh-out-loud funny". In September 2008 Ames released The Alcoholic, his first foray into graphic novels and an excerpt was included in The Best American Comics 2010. In 2009, he published a new collection of essays and fiction with Scribner, titled The Double Life Is Twice as Good.
While at the New York Press his columns were often recollections of his childhood neuroses and his unusual experiences, written in the gritty tradition of Charles Bukowski. These columns were collected in four nonfiction books, What's Not to Love?: The Adventures of a Mildly Perverted Young Writer (2000), My Less Than Secret Life (2002), I Love You More than You Know (2006), and The Double Life Is Twice As Good: Essays and Fiction (2009). Ames was also responsible for the Most Phallic Building contest which followed an article he wrote for Slate magazine where he claimed that the Williamsburg Bank Building in Brooklyn, New York, was the most phallic building he'd ever seen.
Ames became known as a raconteur in New York City following his 1999 one-man stage show, "Oedipussy," and continues to perform frequently with the New York based storytelling organization The Moth. He has also been a guest on the Late Show with David Letterman several times and played the lead role in the 2001 IFC film The Girl Under the Waves, an on-screen experiment in improvisational acting.
In 2004, Showtime commissioned Ames to develop a pilot based on his writings, titled What's Not to Love? Ames starred as himself, but it was not developed into a series, instead airing as a one time special in the winter of 2007-2008. Ames also appears in The Great Buck Howard, directed by Sean McGinly and starring John Malkovich, which debuted at Sundance in 2008.
Ames created the HBO series Bored to Death, which stars Jason Schwartzman as a struggling Brooklyn novelist named Jonathan Ames who moonlights as an unlicensed private detective. The show debuted on September 20, 2009. He also started to guest-star as Irwin during the second season, appearing fully nude in one scene. On December 20, 2011 it was reported that Bored to Death was cancelled by HBO after airing its third season.
Ames acted as Executive Producer on the ASS Studios horror-comedy Satan, Hold My Hand, written by Reverend Jen Miller and directed by Courtney Fathom Sell. The budget of the project was estimated at $27.00 
Ames is a 1987 graduate of Princeton University and he holds a Master of Fine Arts in Fiction from Columbia University. He has been an infrequent faculty member at Columbia University, The New School, and the Iowa Writers' Workshop.
- I Pass Like Night (1989)
- The Extra Man (1998)
- Wake Up Sir! (2004)
- You Were Never Really Here (2013)
- What's Not to Love?: The Adventures of a Mildly Perverted Young Writer (2000)
- My Less Than Secret Life (2002)
- I Love You More Than You Know (2006)
- The Double Life Is Twice As Good: Essays and Fiction (2009)
- Sexual Metamorphosis: An Anthology of Transsexual Memoirs (2005)
- Bored to Death (Creator/Writer/Producer, 2009–2011; as well as a cameo appearance as "Leonard")
- Drunk History (as Junius Booth, 2013)
- Blunt Talk (Creator/Writer/Executive producer, 2015)
- "Cover Biography for October 2007". 2007. Retrieved 2010-06-06.
- Littlefield, Alex (2007-07-25). Jonathan Ames's Punch-out!. New York Magazine. Retrieved 2008-06-02.
- Alford, Henry (2004-08-01). "Crying Jeeves When There Is No Jeeves". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-06-02.
- "DC Comics: Coming September 2008". 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-01.
- Neil Gaiman, ed., The Best American Comics 2010 (Boston, New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2010), 317
- Ames, Jonathan. "Entry 4" Slate (July 17, 2003)
- Jonathan Ames at the Internet Movie Database
- Profile in the Village Voice (September 23, 2008)
- "For a Grown-Up, a Few Growing Pains"
- The Interrogation of Jonathan Ames, by Mistress Yin