Tom Leopold, veteran comedy writer of such hit TV shows as Seinfeld, Cheers, and Will and Grace, has been making audiences laugh for over four decades. As Christopher Guest says, “When it comes to comedy, Tom Leopold has an extra gene. You may not know it, but he has probably made you laugh.” Now he’s keeping audiences entertained as the co-host with Father Leo on Entertaining Truth on the Catholic Channel of Sirius XM. This former secular Jew and recent Catholic convert is a sought-after speaker for his hilariously heartfelt and poignant performance lecture, “A Comedy Writer Finds God: My Journey to Faith, One Laugh at a Time,” in which he tells the story of his crisis of no faith as his daughter battled anorexia to his discovery of and conversion to the Catholic faith. Leopold has spoken at Catholic parishes, Knights of Columbus, Catholic universities, Catholic conferences, libraries, and JCCs. He also speaks to parenting groups about raising children with severe illnesses (especially anorexia).
Leopold’s funny and moving Catholic conversion story has been featured in The Catholic Herald, Our Sunday Visitor, Catholic News Service, National Catholic Reporter, American Catholic, The Lay Catholic, CatholicMom.com, and on America: National Catholic Review Podcast, EWTN, Global Catholic Network radio, American Catholic Radio, Relevant Radio, and Hail Satire.
Leopold’s journey to faith was a circuitous one with plenty of pain and laughs along the way. He grew up a secular Jew on the edge of a Florida golf course that restricted people like him. His parents worshiped showbiz, especially musical comedy. They only joined the local synagogue when open auditions for Guys and Dolls were held. That value system formed a solid launching pad for the success of Leopold’s showbiz ambitions, but left him rudderless when tragedy struck.
When his youngest daughter Gussie was stricken with a life-threatening eating disorder, Leopold and his wife did everything in their power to help her. After years of therapy and doctors they had no answers. A friend suggested reading Father Jonathan Morris’s book, The Promise: God’s Purpose and Plan for When Life Hurts. He did and started to find some answers. Not long after, Leopold, who was carrying the book, ran into Fr. Morris on the street. “There’s no coincidences,” Fr. Morris said. “The Lord has a plan and there is a super natural reality. Sometime we come to God through suffering. Sometimes we lose God through suffering.” After Leopold assured Fr. Morris that he paid full price for the book and Fr. Morris mentioned that his favorite episode of Seinfeld was one that Leopold just happened to have written, Leopold, unwittingly, was on the path to conversion. But how was he going to break it to his mother? He told her that the church had offered him the role of Riff in West Side Story and there was an opening for a more mature Maria. How was he going to explain it to his coterie of mostly secular Jew showbiz friends? Ultimately he knew that it didn’t matter what anyone else thought. He found his faith and God.
From writing episodes of Seinfeld, Cheers, and Will and Grace, to working with such comedic legends as Steve Allen, Bob Hope, Lucille Ball, Billy Crystal, Chevy Chase, and Christopher Guest, Leopold has been at the epicenter of comedy for nearly 40 years. Leopold’s career as a comedy writer has moved beyond television in recent years. His novel Milt & Marty: The Longest Lasting & Least Successful Comedy Writing Duo in Show Biz History was praised by Catherine O’Hara, Martin Short, Paul Shaffer, Martin Mull, and Fred Willard, among many others. He wrote The Mark Twain Awards Honoring Tina Fey and The Mark Twain Awards Honoring Will Ferrell, and has also been writing comedy speeches for such political folk as Retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, and Governor Mark Pence of Indiana. Leopold has produced episodes of Explosion Bus that he co-created with Jonathan Katz and Tom Snyder of “Doctor Katz Professional Therapist” fame.
Leopold lives in New York City with his wife Barbara and their two daughters.
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Please Note: All American Speakers Bureau is a full-service talent booking agency providing information on booking Tom Leopold for speaking engagements, personal appearances and corporate events. Contact an All American Speakers Bureau booking agent for more information on Tom Leopold speaking fees, availability, speech topics and cost to hire for your next live or virtual event.
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