Tim Carvell

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Tim Carvell
Carvell at a November 18, 2013 signing for Inside Mad at a Barnes & Noble in Manhattan
Occupation Comedy writer, satirist, op-ed columnist
Alma mater Columbia University (1995)
Genre Comedy, satire
Notable works The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
The New York Times
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
Notable awards 3 consecutive Emmy Awards (2004–06)[1]

Tim Carvell is an American writer and television producer known for his work for the TV comedy news series Last Week Tonight with John Oliver and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, as well as for his print work in publications such as Mad and The New York Times.

Early life[edit]

Tim Carvell is a native of Bloomfield Hills, a suburb of Detroit. He entered Columbia University in 1991, majoring in history. While there, he wrote news and features for Spectator which he described as "as good a journalism education as you could get. It allowed you to learn by making mistakes, without suffering real consequences." He graduated in 1995.[1]


For the first nine years after he graduated from college, Carvell wrote for a number of New York-based publications, including Fortune, Sports Illustrated for Women and Entertainment Weekly. He also contributed humor pieces to McSweeney's Quarterly Concern[1] and the op-ed page of The New York Times.[1][2]

Carvell stumbled into a comedy career "by accident". He heard about an opening on the TV comedy series The Daily Show with Jon Stewart from Steve Bodow, one of the writers on that show. He submitted a writing sample that consisted of the headlines that Jon Stewart reads at the desk and dialogue between Stewart and correspondents. Carvell was then interviewed by the show's head writer and the executive producer. He joined the show in March 2004, just as the 2004 U.S. presidential campaign was becoming a common news topic. Describing the subsequent meeting with Stewart as "surreal", Carvell says, "It felt uncannily like I was suddenly a guest on the show, only without a book or movie to promote."[1]

Carvell eventually became the series' head writer.[3] As a staff writer for the show, he won Emmy Awards in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2009, 2011 and 2012. Since 2005, he has written the "Planet Tad" column for Mad magazine.[4] In 2012, he wrote a book based on the column, also called Planet Tad.[5] In 2014, Carvell followed John Oliver to his new HBO series Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. There he serves as showrunner for the series.[6]


  1. ^ a b c d e Kozanecka, Katarzyna. "Tim Carvell '95 Keeps the Jokes Coming". Columbia College Today. Columbia College, Columbia University (March/April 2007). 
  2. ^ Carvell, Tim (January 11, 2006). "A Million Little Corrections". The New York Times. 
  3. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (January 4, 2011). "'Daily Show' Veteran Staffers Get Promoted While Exec Producer Josh Lieb Departs". Deadline Hollywood. 
  4. ^ "Mad Magazine Contributors". Doug Gilford's Mad Cover Site. Retrieved October 30, 2013. 
  5. ^ Kois, Dan (May 11, 2012). "Boy Blogs World". The New York Times. 
  6. ^ Littleton, Cynthia (December 13, 2013). "'Daily Show's' Tim Carvell Set as Showrunner of John Oliver HBO Series". Variety. Retrieved September 25, 2015. 

External links[edit]