March 18, 1952 |
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States
|Medium||Stand-up, television, radio, writing|
|Genres||Observational comedy, satire, political satire, black comedy, surreal humor, sarcasm|
|Subject(s)||American culture, everyday life, human behavior, American politics, pop culture|
|Influences||Mort Sahl, Will Rogers|
Life and career
Durst was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Durst writes a weekly political humor column that is syndicated by Cagle Cartoons. he also co-hosts a monthly talk radio show with former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown called The Will and Willie Show which was formerly on San Francisco's progressive talk radio station, KQKE.
He has performed at events featuring Bill Clinton, George H. W. Bush, and Al Gore. He also performs stand up comedy at many events as a keynote speaker including a Governors Conference and a Mayors Convention. He was a correspondent for The Comedy Channel during the 1992 political conventions. His humor and commentaries emphasize his view of illogical and absurd aspects of politics, leadership, and human behavior. Having had 108 jobs in his lifetime all — listed on his official Web site — Durst claims, "he can relate to the common working man." He once ran for mayor of San Francisco to get his name out there. Durst makes an annual return to Milwaukee during Thanksgiving to visit family and perform for his hometown.
He writes several Internet columns, contributes to Independent Media Institute's Alternet.org and the Huffington Post on a regular basis, is a former contributing editor to National Lampoon and George, and has contributed to various periodicals such as the New York Times, the The Funny Times and his hometown San Francisco Chronicle. His weekly podcasts can be heard on various radio stations and his website, willdurst.com.
A 5 time Emmy nominee and host/co-producer of the PBS series Livelyhood, he is also a regular commentator on NPR, CNN, and C-SPAN. He has appeared on television over 800 times including Late Night with David Letterman, Comedy Central, HBO and Showtime. He received seven consecutive nominations for the American Comedy Awards Stand Up Comedian of the Year.
Will premiered his one man show "The All-American Sport of BiPartisan Bashing" at the New World Stages Off Broadway in New York City August 2007 to rave reviews from both the New York Times and the New York Post. In 2012 he premiered his one man show focused on the presidential election "Elect to Laugh" which ran for 41 weeks at the San Francisco Marsh Theater. In 2013, Durst wrote a show based on being an aging baby boomer called "BoomeRaging: From LSD to OMG." Since then, he has performed it in over 30 different cities, mostly in Northern California.
Durst has written 3 books, including "Elect to Laugh" and "The All- American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing." He has also released 5 audio recordings, "None of the Above," "You Can't Make Stuff Up Like This," "Warning," "Raging Moderate" and "Elect to Laugh" the last 2 on the Stand- Up Records label.
Durst has been fired by the San Francisco Examiner twice and PBS canceled 3 of his shows, 2 of which he hosted and created, "The Durst Amendment," & "Citizen Durst."
His pilot "A Year's Worth with Will Durst" was nominated for a Cable Ace Award after airing on the A&E network on New Year's Eve in 1994, but was never picked up.
On February 24, 2000, Durst was used as a phone-a-friend lifeline on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire by contestant Rudy Reber. The question, worth $500,000, was "who directed Michael Jackson's music video for the song Bad". After hearing the choices, Durst said "Landis," as in director John Landis. Reber locked it in as his final answer, which was wrong. (Martin Scorsese was the correct answer). As a result, Reber's winnings plummeted from $250,000 to $32,000, a loss of $218,000. Durst later wrote an article for TV Guide on the incident.
- Official website
- Will Durst on Facebook
- Will Durst's weekly radio feature "Durst on The Drive" on the popular radio show The Drive on KSRO.
- Will Durst at AlterNet
- Will Durst @ Audible.com
- Talk show blog
- Will Durst at the Internet Movie Database
- VIDEO: Will Durst — The All-American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing: Common Sense Rantings from a Raging Moderate, from the recent book tour, Portland, Oregon, May 16, 2008.
- Durst on FOX News Radio