Brian Volk-Weiss

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Brian Volk-Weiss
Born (1976-05-28) May 28, 1976 (age 43)
Alma materUniversity of Iowa
Occupation
Known forCEO of The Nacelle Company and Comedy Dynamics

Brian Volk-Weiss (born May 28, 1976) is an American film and television producer and director. He is the founder and current CEO of The Nacelle Company and Comedy Dynamics (a Nacelle subsidiary). He is also the creator, producer, and occasional director of the current Netflix series, The Toys That Made Us along with the television specials Kevin Hart's Guide to Black History (also Netflix) and Discontinued (originally on The CW). Through Comedy Dynamics, he has produced and directed numerous stand-up specials and comedy albums for comedians like Kevin Hart, Jim Gaffigan, Ali Wong, Tiffany Haddish, Ilana Glazer, and many others. Volk-Weiss has also produced several television shows including Join or Die with Craig Ferguson, Stevie TV, and Animal Nation with Anthony Anderson. He also serves as executive producer on the upcoming revival of the 1992 TV series, Mad About You.

Early life and education[edit]

Volk-Weiss was born and grew up in Queens, New York.[1][2] He has described himself as coming from "a family of dentists and lawyers."[3] He attended the University of Iowa and graduated in 1998. Soon after graduation, he moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in film and television.[2][4]

Career[edit]

Volk-Weiss began his career as a production assistant and worked in the wardrobe department for the 2000 film, Cast Away.[5] He later took a job as an assistant at the Barry Katz Entertainment Group (BKEG), a talent management company. While at the company, he eventually began managing comedians, like Whitney Cummings, Jeff Ross, and Dane Cook. In 2003, he was promoted to senior vice president. In the position, he was responsible for producing film and television projects.[2][6][7] BKEG was acquired by New Wave Entertainment in October 2003[8] and it became the new company's talent management and production division.[2]

Volk-Weiss continued to manage comedians and produce films and television shows with Barry Katz as part of New Wave. He was a producer on the Dane Cook films, Employee of the Month,[9] Good Luck Chuck,[10], and My Best Friend's Girl.[11] He also produced the Dane Cook-led HBO documentary series, Tourgasm.[5] During that time, he also began producing comedy specials. In 2007, he produced the first stand-up special for New Wave.[2] In 2008, he founded New Wave Dynamics (which would later become Comedy Dynamics) as a production and distribution company of New Wave Entertainment.[12][13] By 2009, he had become the head of production for New Wave Entertainment.[14]

By 2012, Volk-Weiss had produced HBO, Comedy Central, Showtime, and Netflix stand-up specials for numerous comedians, including Aziz Ansari, Whitney Cummings, D.L. Hughley, Jim Gaffigan, Tom Papa, Bill Burr, and others.[15][16][17][18] He had also served as a producer on shows like VH1's Stevie TV and Investigation Discovery's True Grime: Crime Scene Clean Up.[15][17] In July 2013, he was named president of production at New Wave.[17] At that time, New Wave Dynamics was renamed "Comedy Dynamics" and Volk-Weiss became a partner in the company. It was producing around 20 to 30 stand-up specials per year at that point.[2]

In 2014, two Volk-Weiss-produced comedy albums (That's What I'm Talkin' About by Bob Saget and I'm Here to Help by Craig Ferguson) were nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Comedy Album. He had also produced a range of other new stand-up specials that year for comedians like Kathleen Madigan, Marc Maron, Mike Birbiglia, Doug Stanhope, and Brian Posehn.[2][19] By July 2014, Comedy Dynamics had produced over 100 stand-up specials and 125 comedy albums. That month, the company also launched its own comedy channel on Hulu, Roku, and Amazon platforms.[2][20] In 2015, Volk-Weiss produced Louis C.K.'s album, Live at Madison Square Garden, which would go on to win the Grammy Award for Best Comedy Album.[21]

In 2016, he produced several television series through Comedy Dynamics, including History's Join Or Die with Craig Ferguson and Kevin Hart Presents: The Black Man's Guide to History, MTV's Spooning...With Zac Efron, Hulu's Coming to the Stage, and Animal Planet's Animal Nation with Anthony Anderson.[2][21][22] He also produced stand-up specials for Tom Segura and Ali Wong, among others.[2][3][23] In January 2017, Volk-Weiss spun Comedy Dynamics off into a stand-alone company owned by the newly created Nacelle Company (of which Volk-Weiss is also CEO).[24][25]

In December 2017, his Netflix series, The Toys That Made Us premiered. A second season of the show premiered in May 2018. Volk-Weiss has directed some of the episodes.[1][26] Also in 2018, Dave Chappelle's Volk-Weiss-produced Netflix Records double album, The Age of Spin & Deep in the Heart of Texas, won the Grammy Award for Best Comedy Album.[27] Volk-Weiss also produced Chappelle's follow-up, Equanimity & The Bird Revelation, which again won the Grammy the following year.[28][29] In December 2018, Discontinued, a television special about discontinued products created by Volk-Weiss, premiered on The CW.[30] Volk-Weiss also created and produced[31] another Kevin Hart television special entitled Kevin Hart's Guide to Black History which began streaming on Netflix in February 2019.[32]

In March 2019, it was announced that Volk-Weiss would serve as an executive producer with Sony Pictures Television on the revival of Mad About You, the NBC series that aired from 1992 to 1999.[33] The revival will air on Spectrum Originals later in 2019 with Paul Reiser and Helen Hunt reprising their roles from the original.[34]

Filmography and discography[edit]

Nominations and awards[edit]

Year Award Category Nominee(s) Result
2012 Grammy Award Best Comedy Album "Weird Al" Yankovic's Alpocalypse Nominated
2013 Jim Gaffigan: Mr. Universe Nominated
2014 Bob Saget's That's What I'm Talkin' About Nominated
Craig Ferguson's I'm Here to Help Nominated
2015 Jim Gaffigan's Obsessed Nominated
2016 Louis C.K.: Live at Madison Square Garden Won
Craig Ferguson's Just Being Honest Nominated
Lisa Lampanelli's Back to the Drawing Board Nominated
2018 Jerry Seinfeld's Jerry Before Seinfeld Nominated
Jim Gaffigan's Cinco Nominated
Sarah Silverman's A Speck of Dust Nominated
Dave Chappelle's The Age of Spin & Deep in the Heart of Texas Won
2019 Patton Oswalt's Annihilation Nominated
Dave Chappelle's Equanimity & The Bird Revelation Won
Jim Gaffigan's Noble Ape Nominated
Fred Armisen's Standup for Dummies Nominated
Chris Rock's Tamborine Nominated

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Sheridan, Michael (19 May 2018). "Netflix toy series returns to school you on Transformers, LEGO, Hello Kitty and Star Trek". Daily News. Retrieved 2 December 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Frieswick, Kris (October 2016). "Why Kevin Hart and Zac Efron Are Working With This Showbiz Upstart". Inc. Retrieved 2 December 2018.
  3. ^ a b Darnell, Felicia (24 March 2017). "Career Path: Comedy producer revels in dream Hollywood job". Crain's. Retrieved 2 December 2018. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  4. ^ Sichel, Jared (24 November 2015). "How one man's funny business is fueling the growth of streaming comedy specials". Jewish Journal. Retrieved 2 December 2018. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  5. ^ a b Garris, Blake (21 December 2014). "Artist Obsessed: The Laugh Button interview with Comedy Dynamics' Brian Volk-Weiss". The Laugh Button. Retrieved 2 December 2018. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  6. ^ "Brian Volk-Weiss". Variety. 10 March 2003. Retrieved 2 December 2018.
  7. ^ Harris, Dana (9 February 2003). "Potente has beat on Rofe's 'Street'". Variety. Retrieved 2 December 2018.
  8. ^ Martin, Denise (9 November 2003). "New Wave rides tide to laffers with Katz buy". Variety. Retrieved 2 December 2018.
  9. ^ Koehler, Robert (29 September 2006). "Employee of the Month". Variety. Retrieved 2 December 2018.
  10. ^ Lowry, Brian (20 September 2007). "Good Luck Chuck". Variety. Retrieved 2 December 2018.
  11. ^ Kern, Laura (19 September 2008). "Triangle With Crude Sides". The New York Times. Retrieved 2 December 2018.
  12. ^ Uzialko, Adam C. (27 April 2016). "Behind the Business Plan: Comedy Dynamics". Business News Daily. Retrieved 2 December 2018. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  13. ^ Gurian, Jeffrey (1 February 2015). "My Three Hours With Brian Volk-Weiss, President of Comedy Dynamics". The Interrobang. Retrieved 2 December 2018. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  14. ^ Carroll, Lisa (9 December 2009). "Dealmakers Up Next". Variety. Retrieved 2 December 2018.
  15. ^ a b Levine, Stuart (26 October 2011). "Handy hired at New Wave". Variety. Retrieved 2 December 2018.
  16. ^ Tulich, Katherine (15 November 2012). "Volk-Weiss: Secret ingredient spices comedy specials". Variety. Retrieved 2 December 2018.
  17. ^ a b c "New Wave Ups Brian Volk-Weiss To Production President". Deadline. 17 July 2013. Retrieved 2 December 2018.
  18. ^ Luckerson, Victor (20 March 2017). "Laughing All the Way to the Bank". The Ringer. Retrieved 2 December 2018. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  19. ^ "New Wave Entertainment: Producing great stand-up while producing Grammy nominations". The Laugh Button. 24 January 2014. Retrieved 2 December 2018. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  20. ^ Procida, Billy (23 July 2014). "Hulu Plus launching comedy channel from Comedy Dynamics". LaughSpin. Retrieved 2 December 2018. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  21. ^ a b Wojciechowski, Michele (31 January 2017). "Brian Volk-Weiss on Comedy Dynamics and What He Loves About Comedians". Parade. Retrieved 2 December 2018. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  22. ^ McCarthy, Sean L. (17 January 2017). "Comedy Dynamics spun off from New Wave Entertainment and into new Nacelle Company". The Comics Comic. Retrieved 2 December 2018. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  23. ^ Fleishman, Jeffrey (8 December 2018). "How comedy impressario [sic] Brian Volk-Weiss navigates the nexus of big-money stand-up, streaming and #MeToo". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 12 December 2018.
  24. ^ Pedersen, Erik (17 January 2017). "New Wave Entertainment Spins Off Comedy Dynamics Into Stand-Alone Company". Deadline. Retrieved 2 December 2018.
  25. ^ Mekkes, Ryan (16 July 2018). "Interview: Meet Comedy Dynamics CEO, Brian Volk-Weiss, the man driving comedy". Hidden Remote. Retrieved 2 December 2018. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  26. ^ Britt, Ryan (5 July 2018). "Own Valuable 1980s Toys? Selling Now Might Be a Good Idea". Fatherly. Retrieved 2 December 2018. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  27. ^ Husband, Andrew (31 May 2018). "Netflix Stand-Up Comedy Killed In May, But What About June?". Forbes. Retrieved 2 December 2018.
  28. ^ Hertweck, Nate (10 February 2019). "Dave Chappelle Wins Best Comedy Album For 'Equanimity & The Bird Revelation'". Grammys. Retrieved 1 March 2019.
  29. ^ Nadeau, Meredith (10 February 2019). "The Orchard's Artists & Labels Earn 14 GRAMMY Awards". The Rind. Retrieved 1 March 2019. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  30. ^ Paltrowitz, Darren (20 December 2018). "Online Exclusive: Writer, Director, Producer Brian Volk-Weiss Discusses 'Discontinued'". Jewish Journal. Retrieved 16 June 2019. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  31. ^ Montes, Patrick (7 February 2019). "Kevin Hart to Debut New 'Guide to Black History' Special on Netflix". HypeBeast. Retrieved 16 June 2019. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  32. ^ McClellan, Jennifer (8 February 2019). "Kevin Hart is less funny, more educational on Netflix special 'Guide to Black History'". USA Today. Retrieved 16 June 2019.
  33. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (6 March 2019). "'Mad About You' Revival Starring Paul Reiser & Helen Hunt Picked Up By Spectrum Originals". Deadline. Retrieved 11 July 2019.
  34. ^ Levin, Gary (6 March 2019). "'Mad About You' revival is finally happening, but only Spectrum cable subscribers can watch". USA Today. Retrieved 11 July 2019.

External links[edit]