I am founder of the early-stage startup GOLD Comedy, the go-to platform for young women* who want to be funnier. We turn comedy norms (often straight white dudes named Norm) on their head by putting females first. Our classes, content, and community help young women 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.