Emily Levine began her career with an improvisational comedy group called “The New York City Stickball Team”. Several television appearances, a few college tours and innumerable fights later, the group broke up and Levine went on to co-write and perform a series of Emmy-award winning commercial satire segments for WNET’s “Fifty-First State”. Using the same unique combination of humor and real information that was fast becoming her trademark, Levine provided consumer information as a weekly feature of WNBC’s News Center 4 (in New York City).
Though her real ambition was to become an oracle, Levine settled for a career as a stand-up comedian, headlining in comedy clubs and making television appearances on shows such as David Letterman’s “Late Night”. The Los Angeles Times called her “a stand-out as a stand-up.” Newsweek called her “one of the new queens of comedy.” Her mother called her every week.
In the 80’s, Levine became a television writer/producer, working on shows such as “Designing Women”, “Love and War” and “Dangerous Minds”. Under overall deals at Universal Studios and The Walt Disney Company, she created and produced pilots for new situation comedies for CBS, NBC, ABC and HBO.
During Levine’s two years at Disney, she found herself becoming more and more interested in Chaos Theory and the Dynamics of Change but found no studio executives, let alone Mickey and Goofy, willing and/or able to discuss these issues. Serendipitously, she was invited to speak at two think tanks: for the first, sponsored by USC’s Institute for the Study of Women and Men, she spoke on “Beyond Either/Or”. For the second, a physicists’ think tank in La Jolla, Levine read up on physics and discovered the quantum logic of And-And. This was her first big Aha-ha! Moment. Levine realized she didn’t have to make an Either/Or choice — she could be smart and funny. Entertaining and enlightening. She could be a comedian and a philosopher — a Philosopher/Comedian!
The marriage of Levine’s brain with her funny-bone has resulted in a new career as a corporate speaker and as a radio commentator for WNYC in New York. She also has created two one-woman shows: “It’s Not You, It’s the Universe: How to Have Your Cake and Eat It Too and Lose Weight”; and the prematurely-titled “How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Free Market”. Her current work-in-progress, “Common Cent$”, brings fresh insights from the field of evolutionary psychology to the subject of intellectual property, turning what would seem dry fodder into a carnival ride.
Performances of Levine’s shows have earned her accolades like “brainy and zany” (Time Out New York), a “mad professor genius comic” (Los Angeles Times) and standing ovations from audiences at the Tiffany Theatre and Theatre 40 in Los Angeles, and the American Place Theatre and the 92nd Street Y in New York. Her appearances at conferences and in corporate venues have also earned ovations, not just for her trenchant and hilarious commentary but also for her ability to leave the audience uplifted. In the words of producer Norman Lear: “Go see Emily Levine at the risk of blowing your mind, splitting your sides, and exiting a better person.”
Emily Levine is available for corporate events, private shows, milestone celebrations (birthday, anniversary), fundraisers, festivals, and more.