Ross Shafer

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Ross Shafer
Ross Alan Shafer [1][2]

(1954-12-10) December 10, 1954 (age 64)
ResidenceDenver, Colorado, U.S.
OccupationTV Show Host, Comedian, Motivational Speaker/consultant
Years active1983-present
Childrensons Adam and Ryan, with Penny Nelson, daughter Lauren Rae, with Leah Shafer

Ross Shafer (born Ross Alan Shafer December 10, 1954), is an American comedian and network television host-turned-motivational and leadership speaker/consultant, based in Denver, Colorado.


Born and raised in McMinnville, Oregon, Shafer graduated from Federal Way High School in Federal Way, Washington. As a high school All Conference football player, he received a scholarship to play linebacker for the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington, where he earned a business marketing degree.

Shafer began his career as a small-town pet-store manager-turned-stand-up comic in Seattle, Washington, after winning the Showtime cable network's 1983 Showtime Comedy Laugh-Off. The following year, he created and hosted a late-night comedy series called Almost Live! on TV station KING Channel 5. After four and a half years and nearly 40 Emmy Awards,[citation needed] Shafer moved to Los Angeles to host the Fox Network's The Late Show. Shafer's first national TV show was the USA Network's Love Me, Love Me Not, taped in Vancouver, British Columbia. The show ran for 130 episodes and aired in Italy under the name Mama No Mama.

In 1985, Shafer spearheaded an effort to replace Washington, My Home by Helen Davis with Louie Louie as Washington's official state song.[3]

Picking up on this initially prankish effort, Whatcom County Councilman Craig Cole introduced Resolution No. 85-12 in the state legislature, citing the need for a "contemporary theme song that can be used to engender a sense of pride and community, and in the enhancement of tourism and economic development." His resolution also called for the creation of a new "Louie Louie County". While the House did not pass it, the Senate's Resolution 1985-37 declared April 12, 1985, "Louie Louie Day." A crowd of 4,000, estimated by press reports, convened on the state capital that day for speeches, singalongs and performances by the Wailers, the Kingsmen, and Paul Revere and the Raiders. Three days later, a Seattle event commemorated the occasion with the premiere performance of a new, Washington-centric version of the song written by Richard Berry.[4]

In 1988, Shafer succeeded Arsenio Hall as host of the Fox Network talk show The Late Show, which had originally starred Joan Rivers. The stint lasted one year, but included some memorable episodes, including what would be a final reunion of all seven cast members from Gilligan's Island, among others. Afterwards Shafer co-hosted the ABC network magazine show Days End with rotating hosts Spencer Christian, Matt Lauer, and Hannah Storm. From 1990 to 1991, Shafer hosted a revival of Match Game on ABC Daytime.[citation needed]

In 1994, Ross began writing and producing a series of 14 human resource training films, distributed worldwide in nine languages. He also wrote and produced the comedy album Inside the First Family, about the travails and rumors surrounding the Clinton Administration.[citation needed]

Today, Ross is in high demand as a keynote speaker and leadership coach in the areas of market share growth, customer friction, and workforce motivator. He coined the phrase "customer empathy," created the Customer Empathy Institute at California State University, Monterey Bay, speaks at over 90 corporate events each year, and has written books including Nobody Moved Your Cheese: How to Ignore the Experts and Trust Your Gut, The Customer Shouts Back!, Customer Empathy, Grab More Market Share, Absolutely Necessary, Behave Like A Startup, Success: It's on You, and No More Customer Friction. Separately, he wrote the comedy-cookbook-for-men, Cook Like A Stud. Ross and author Garry Poole founded the Other-Focused Certified Service program for front office medical and dental team members. That program has spread nationwide.

Personal life[edit]

Shafer is married to country singer Leah Shafer, Leah is also a renowned National Anthem Singer who has sung for the Denver Broncos; including the AFC Championship football game. Leah has also been the Anthem singer for teams in the NBA, and MLB. They have an adopted daughter, LaurenRae ("Lolo").[5] He has two sons, Adam and Ryan, with his first wife, Penny Nelson.


  1. ^ "Birth reference Results for: Ross Alan Shafer". Retrieved May 5, 2018.
  2. ^ Birth reference results taken from & IMDB lists his year of birth as 1954.
  3. ^ Seattle Weekly (October 27, 1999) Music: "The State I'm In" Archived 2006-08-21 at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ Liner notes, The Best Of Louie Louie Volume 2 (Rhino R1 70515); accessed January 26, 2018.
  5. ^ Doody, Ben (17 April 2015). "Leah Shafer: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know".
Preceded by
Gene Rayburn
Host of Match Game
Succeeded by
Michael Burger

External links[edit]