108 
Marc Jaffe
Appreciative Reflection Comedy Writer, Entrepreneur and
Philanthropist
Marc and I met when a mutual friend, Ayad Rahim (another Migrant Creative participant),
invited us to a Cleveland Indians baseball game. Marc and his family lived in the same
neighborhood and our paths would occasionally cross. He has worked as a writer for many
well-known comedians including Jerry Seinfeld, Paul Reiser, Gary Shandling and Tim Allen.
Ayad suggested that I invite Marc to my screenwriting class at Cleveland State University.
Although that never transpired, I had a wonderful opportunity to have a conversation with
him about his freelance career.
He completed his undergraduate degree in business at Emory University where he was
also in an improvisation group that happened right around the time “Saturday Night Live”
was getting started and notes, “It was an improv and skit group and occasionally people
did standup and I did both. Then I went on to graduate school at the University of
Michigan there wasn’t a place to do skits but there was a place to do standup at the
university every week. I enjoyed it was successful at it and spent some time between
graduate school in Chicago performing in the clubs at night.” Marc says, “I have two sides
to me. I enjoy business and it has helped me somewhat in my career path to have an
understanding of business. I was working at the Board of Trade in Chicago during the day
and pursuing my hobby at the time in the evenings doing standup. When I started being
successful in Chicago I realized that it was something I was okay at and could pursue.
So when I finished my second year at school and I was pretty young I decided that I
would pursue the standup and postpone any entrance into the corporate world. I went
out to L.A. and did standup.”
Marc was in Los Angeles from about 1982 to 1984. He comments, “There’s a lot of
competition out there. I was marginally successful. The best thing about being out there
was the other people I met like Gary Shandling, Paul Reiser and different people who had
become pretty successful.“ Marc is driven more as a writer than a performer and has been
a writer for about 20 years.
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