Ritch Shydner

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Ritch Shydner
Shydner performing on stage in Montreal, Canada in 1989
Birth nameRitchie A. Shidner
Born (1952-12-03) December 3, 1952 (age 70)
Pennsville, New Jersey, U.S.
MediumStand-up, television, film
Years active1977–present
GenresImprovisational comedy, observational comedy
(m. 1981; div. 1987)
Websitewww.ritchshydner.com Edit this at Wikidata

Ritchie A. "Ritch" Shydner (born December 3, 1952) is an American stand-up comedian, comic writer, and actor.[1][2][3][4]

Early life[edit]

Ritch Shydner was born in the small town of Pennsville Township, New Jersey and attended Pennsville Memorial High School.[5] He studied business and sociology at Gettysburg College, where he and sidekick, Camillo "Mad-Dog" Melchiorre, wrote, produced and starred in comedy skits for parents' weekends and fraternity events. Carmen "Honest-Abe" Volpecelli and Pluto "Fenderhead" Dombrosky also contributed to their "Used Car Salesman" skit. After graduation, Shydner was a substitute teacher in Pennsville, and managed a band. He began to work for a congressman, which sparked his interest in law school. As a student at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, he decided to become a stand-up comedian. He began writing, and sent material to Mad magazine, and National Lampoon but found little success. Shortly thereafter, Shydner started performing stand-up comedy.

In the mid-1970s, Shydner went to open mic nights at local coffeehouses, and began opening for bands in Washington, D.C. and New York City. In 1982, he brought his act to Los Angeles. Slowly he started getting called in to audition for casting directors. Shydner studied acting for about four years, and landed a regular role on Married... with Children.


As a stand-up comedian, Shydner appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, Late Night with David Letterman and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno numerous times. He performed a HBO half-hour special called One Night Stand, as well as was a guest on Comics Unleashed.[6] Shydner, along with comedian Mark Schiff, compiled stories of comedians on the road in a 2006 book entitled I Killed.[7]

Shydner was featured in the 2010 documentary I Am Comic, in which he traveled around the country interviewing various comedians, a process that ultimately led to his return to stand-up by going on the stage again after 13 years of retirement.[8]

As an actor, Shydner played Al Bundy's co-worker and friend Luke Ventura on Married... with Children and made guest appearances on other TV shows such as Designing Women, Roseanne and Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist. His film roles include Beverly Hills Cop II and Roxanne.[2]

Shydner was a staff writer on such sitcoms as Roseanne, The Jeff Foxworthy Show and Titus. He also wrote scripts for the sitcom Becker. Additionally, he wrote for singers Kenny Rogers and Pam Tillis, as well as ventriloquist David Strassman.

Shydner's influences are Art Carney, Lenny Bruce, Red Skelton and George Carlin.[9]


  1. ^ "Ritch Shydner". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times. 2015. Archived from the original on November 5, 2015.
  2. ^ a b Strauss, Duncan (December 27, 1988). "Ritch Shydner Capitalizes on the Comedy of the Sexes". Los Angeles Times.
  3. ^ Strauss, Duncan (November 26, 1987). "If Name Ritch Shydner Doesn't Ring a Bell, His Comedy Routine Does". Los Angeles Times.
  4. ^ Smith, Mark Chalon (October 25, 1990). "Shydner Makes His Own Mark on Familiar Comic Terrain". Los Angeles Times.
  5. ^ "Entertaining afternoon planned at PTHS Farm House Museum", NJ Advance Media for NJ.com, March 21, 2017. Accessed February 26, 2023. "On April 1, the Pennsville Township Historical Society will reopen their Farm House Museum for the 2017 season with a special guest speaker, Pennsville native son, Ritch Shydner.... Shydner graduated from Pennsville Memorial High School and Gettysburg College."
  6. ^ "Ritch Shydner". Ritchshydner.com.
  7. ^ Keepnews, Peter (October 8, 2006). "Errors of Comedy". The New York Times.
  8. ^ Harvey, Dennis (August 22, 2010). "I Am Comic". Variety.
  9. ^ "Ritch Shyder". Patterson and Associates.

External links[edit]