Biography

I am founder of the startup GOLD Comedy, the go-to platform for Gen Z women/non-binary folks* who want to be their funniest selves.  Our classes, content, and community help people outside the comedy norm (often a straight white dude named Norm) build skills and explore career pathways in today’s most relevant forms of humor—and help enlarge and diversify today’s pool of comedy creators. 

I am an award-winning journalist/novelist whose writing has measurably shifted perceptions of violence against young women and led to new federal protections for them. I am author of six humorous fiction and non-fiction books, including Death By Chick Lit and Breakup Girl to the Rescue! My writing—on gender, culture, and a range of social issues—has appeared in The New York Times, The New York Times Magazine, Salon, Glamour, and a 25-year career’s worth of national newspapers, magazines, and anthologies.

I am co-creator, with Chris Kalb, of the award-winning Breakup Girl, the superhero who saves the world by saving your love life, and who appeared online (debuting in 1997!), on TV, in books, and on stage. Chris and I (and “Team BG”) built the brand from a character we developed for a book into a multimedia entity with a massive cult following that was acquired by Oxygen (with us as executive producers), where it became the first animated series ever to launch simultaneously online and on TV.

I am former VP of Communications at the global human rights organization Breakthrough; my blend of humor and advocacy drove some of the U.S. program’s most visible and effective programming, including “Be That Guy” animations screened by NASCAR and the Indy 500. I conceived and continue to lead creative strategy and curate talent for Breakthrough’s Dudes Against Violence Against Women: Because DUH, the annual live comedy series that has reached more than 38 million and increased revenue 400% by year three.

I am a co-founder of Persisticon, a venture leveraging comedy, art, and community to raise money to elect progressive women. Our events have raised more than $50K for EMILY’s List, She The People, and Supermajority; have reached thousands via social/earned media; and have featured comedy luminaries including Janeane Garofalo, Bridget Everett, Murray Hill, Aparna Nancherla, Ophira Eisenberg, and more.

A standup comic and storyteller who performed all over the city (and beyond) for more than a decade, I co-produced and starred in Gotham Comedy Club’s longest-running, always sold-out variety show, Breakup Girl LIVE. My two-woman show (with Betsy Fast), Lynn Harris on Ice, sold out its off-off-Broadway run in 2002.

I founded and taught Mediabistro’s class in Humor Writing for Journalists. I have appeared on TV and radio a jillion times, including as a Tonya Harding lookalike, which is a long story.

In my spare time, I serve as a mentor editor for the Op-Ed Project, and raise two legit funny kids, Bess and Sam, with my legit funny husband, Rabbi Dean David Adelson.

*If you are a female-identified or female-adjacent (non-binary, gender-non-conforming, whatever your chosen term) human in your teens or early twenties, GOLD is here especially for you.