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Bruce Vilanch

Six-Time Emmy Award-Winning Comedy Writer, Songwriter & Actor

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 Bruce Vilanch Biography

One of the most sought-after jokesmiths in the entertainment industry, Bruce Vilanch has become a recognizable face in his own right, thanks to the feature-length documentary "Get Bruce!" (1999) and his one-time stint as a regular on "Hollywood Squares" (1998 ), for which he also served as head writer.

Mr. Vilanch was born in New York on November 23, 1948, but was adopted by the Vilanch's--his late father, Jonas, an optometrist and his mother, Henne, a former Broadway show girl--and then grew up in Patterson, New Jersey. He has a very special bond with Henne and according to him, gets a lot of his show biz humour from her.

"She’s as obsessed with image as famous people," Vilanch says of his mother, his hands making the kind of hyper motions that indicate adoration of the stage veteran. "When I was little, the house had what she called the showcase room. The furniture was all wrapped in plastic and nobody except company could go into it. Of course she took the plastic off then. A few years ago, the dog discovered the room, ripped through the plastic and ruined the upholstery. She called me and said she was going to redecorate it. And when I asked her what excuse she would use, she said, ‘I’m telling people it’s because Sonny Bono died."

Known for his eclectic eyewear and collection of unique T-shirts, he began as a child model for Lane Bryant, but when his initial efforts as an actor came to naught, he became an entertainment writer for the Chicago Tribune instead. Impressed by his review of her cabaret performance in 1970, Bette Midler hired him to punch up her act where he gave birth to Midler’s famed Sophie Tucker jokes. He later moved to Los Angeles where he wrote for variety shows like the original "Donny and Marie" and "The Brady Bunch Hour" (both ABC) and provided material for Richard Pryor, Lily Tomlin and Joan Rivers. He has maintained his connection with Midler through the years, working on such projects as the feature "Divine Madness" (1980) and the TV special "Bette Midler--Diva Las Vegas" (HBO, 1997), as well as writing for her short-lived but lively sitcom, "Bette!" (CBS, 2000 ).

He made his feature debut as a dress manufacturer in "Mahogany' (1975), starring Diana Ross, and also contributed material to her live act. Mr. Vilanch put his Muppet-like persona to excellent use as Santa's number one helper in the syndicated TV-movie "It Nearly Wasn't Christmas" (1989). On the heels of "Get Bruce!", Vilanch performed his comedy stylings Off-Broadway in "Bruce Vilanch: Almost Famous" (2000). After a first act reminiscing on his odd path to almost famousness, he opened up the floor to questions in Act II, displaying his amazing ability for off-the-cuff one-liners. As he told US WEEKLY (June 12, 2000), there is a downside to celebrity: "Now, I get knocked if someone tries something that doesn't work. Before it was the fault of these anonymous people, 'the writers.'"

Vilanch began contributing to Academy Awards telecasts in 1989, collaborating with the likes of Billy Crystal, Whoopi Goldberg and David Letterman, and graduated to head writer in 2000. He has roasted celebrities like Elizabeth Taylor and President Clinton. The Whoopi connection led to his providing the notorious material Ted Danson performed in blackface at a certain 1993 Friars Club roast of his then-girlfriend Goldberg, but his resume also includes "You Made Me Watch You", the touching Emmy-winning valedictory Midler crooned as a send-off to Johnny Carson.

He scripted most of the Academy Awards telecasts over the last decade, two of which won Emmys, including the one featuring Billy Crystal’s Hannibal Lecter entrance. Mr. Vilanch has also written for The Tony's, The Grammy's, The Emmy's, and just about every other award show to brighten your television screen. He also participates and volunteers at almost every charity function, especially those dealing with GLBT issues.

Mr. Vilanch capped off his 14th writing gig for the Oscars in 2003. He wrote for Bette Midler's 2003 Fall Tour and debuted in the popular Broadway hit, "Hairspray."

For the part of Edna Turnblad, Mr. Vilanch shaved off his famous 30-year-old beard.

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FAQs
  • HOW TO BOOK Bruce Vilanch?

    Our booking agents have successfully helped clients around the world secure talent like Bruce Vilanch for speaking engagements, personal appearances, product endorsements, or corporate entertainment for over 15 years. The team at All American Entertainment represents and listens to the needs of organizations and corporations seeking to hire keynote speakers, celebrities or entertainers. Fill out a booking request form for Bruce Vilanch, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to discuss your upcoming event. One of our experienced agents will be happy to help you get pricing information and check availability for Bruce Vilanch or any other celebrity of your choice.
  • HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO BOOK Bruce Vilanch?

    Booking fees for Bruce Vilanch, or any other speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. Pricing often varies according to the circumstances, including the talent's schedule, market conditions, length of presentation, and the location of the event. Speaker fees listed on this website are intended to serve as a guideline only. In some cases, the actual quote may be above or below the stated range. For the most current fee to hire Bruce Vilanch, please fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak with an experienced booking agent.
  • WHO IS THE AGENT FOR Bruce Vilanch?

    All American Entertainment has successfully secured celebrity talent like Bruce Vilanch for clients worldwide for more than 15 years. As a full-service talent booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book Bruce Vilanch for your next private or corporate function.
  • WHAT IS A FULL-SERVICE TALENT BOOKING AGENCY?

    All American Speakers is a "buyers agent" and exclusively represents talent buyers, meeting planners and event professionals, who are looking to secure celebrities and speakers for personal appearances, speaking engagements, corporate entertainment, public relations campaigns, commercials, or endorsements. We do not exclusively represent Bruce Vilanch or claim ourselves as the exclusive booking agency, business manager, publicist, speakers bureau or management for Bruce Vilanch or any other speaker or celebrity on this website. For more information on how we work and what makes us unique, please read the AAE Advantage.
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This website is a resource for event professionals and strives to provide the most comprehensive catalog of thought leaders and industry experts to consider for speaking engagements. A listing or profile on this website does not imply an agency affiliation or endorsement by the talent.

All American Entertainment (AAE) exclusively represents the interests of talent buyers, and does not claim to be the agency or management for any speaker or artist on this site. AAE is a talent booking agency for paid events only. We do not handle requests for donation of time or media requests for interviews, and cannot provide celebrity contact information.

If you are the talent, and wish to request removal from this catalog or report an issue with your profile, please click here.

Bruce Vilanch

Six-Time Emmy Award-Winning Comedy Writer, Songwriter & Actor

Speaking Fee:
Categories:

Bruce Vilanch Biography

One of the most sought-after jokesmiths in the entertainment industry, Bruce Vilanch has become a recognizable face in his own right, thanks to the feature-length documentary "Get Bruce!" (1999) and his one-time stint as a regular on "Hollywood Squares" (1998 ), for which he also served as head writer.

Mr. Vilanch was born in New York on November 23, 1948, but was adopted by the Vilanch's--his late father, Jonas, an optometrist and his mother, Henne, a former Broadway show girl--and then grew up in Patterson, New Jersey. He has a very special bond with Henne and according to him, gets a lot of his show biz humour from her.

"She’s as obsessed with image as famous people," Vilanch says of his mother, his hands making the kind of hyper motions that indicate adoration of the stage veteran. "When I was little, the house had what she called the showcase room. The furniture was all wrapped in plastic and nobody except company could go into it. Of course she took the plastic off then. A few years ago, the dog discovered the room, ripped through the plastic and ruined the upholstery. She called me and said she was going to redecorate it. And when I asked her what excuse she would use, she said, ‘I’m telling people it’s because Sonny Bono died."

Known for his eclectic eyewear and collection of unique T-shirts, he began as a child model for Lane Bryant, but when his initial efforts as an actor came to naught, he became an entertainment writer for the Chicago Tribune instead. Impressed by his review of her cabaret performance in 1970, Bette Midler hired him to punch up her act where he gave birth to Midler’s famed Sophie Tucker jokes. He later moved to Los Angeles where he wrote for variety shows like the original "Donny and Marie" and "The Brady Bunch Hour" (both ABC) and provided material for Richard Pryor, Lily Tomlin and Joan Rivers. He has maintained his connection with Midler through the years, working on such projects as the feature "Divine Madness" (1980) and the TV special "Bette Midler--Diva Las Vegas" (HBO, 1997), as well as writing for her short-lived but lively sitcom, "Bette!" (CBS, 2000 ).

He made his feature debut as a dress manufacturer in "Mahogany' (1975), starring Diana Ross, and also contributed material to her live act. Mr. Vilanch put his Muppet-like persona to excellent use as Santa's number one helper in the syndicated TV-movie "It Nearly Wasn't Christmas" (1989). On the heels of "Get Bruce!", Vilanch performed his comedy stylings Off-Broadway in "Bruce Vilanch: Almost Famous" (2000). After a first act reminiscing on his odd path to almost famousness, he opened up the floor to questions in Act II, displaying his amazing ability for off-the-cuff one-liners. As he told US WEEKLY (June 12, 2000), there is a downside to celebrity: "Now, I get knocked if someone tries something that doesn't work. Before it was the fault of these anonymous people, 'the writers.'"

Vilanch began contributing to Academy Awards telecasts in 1989, collaborating with the likes of Billy Crystal, Whoopi Goldberg and David Letterman, and graduated to head writer in 2000. He has roasted celebrities like Elizabeth Taylor and President Clinton. The Whoopi connection led to his providing the notorious material Ted Danson performed in blackface at a certain 1993 Friars Club roast of his then-girlfriend Goldberg, but his resume also includes "You Made Me Watch You", the touching Emmy-winning valedictory Midler crooned as a send-off to Johnny Carson.

He scripted most of the Academy Awards telecasts over the last decade, two of which won Emmys, including the one featuring Billy Crystal’s Hannibal Lecter entrance. Mr. Vilanch has also written for The Tony's, The Grammy's, The Emmy's, and just about every other award show to brighten your television screen. He also participates and volunteers at almost every charity function, especially those dealing with GLBT issues.

Mr. Vilanch capped off his 14th writing gig for the Oscars in 2003. He wrote for Bette Midler's 2003 Fall Tour and debuted in the popular Broadway hit, "Hairspray."

For the part of Edna Turnblad, Mr. Vilanch shaved off his famous 30-year-old beard.

FAQs on booking Bruce Vilanch

  • How to book Bruce Vilanch?

    Our booking agents have successfully helped clients around the world secure talent like Bruce Vilanch for speaking engagements, personal appearances, product endorsements, or corporate entertainment for over 15 years. The team at All American Entertainment represents and listens to the needs of organizations and corporations seeking to hire keynote speakers, celebrities or entertainers. Fill out a booking request form for Bruce Vilanch, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to discuss your upcoming event. One of our experienced agents will be happy to help you get pricing information and check availability for Bruce Vilanch or any other celebrity of your choice.
  • How much does it cost to book Bruce Vilanch?

    Booking fees for Bruce Vilanch, or any other speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. Pricing often varies according to the circumstances, including the talent's schedule, market conditions, length of presentation, and the location of the event. Speaker fees listed on this website are intended to serve as a guideline only. In some cases, the actual quote may be above or below the stated range. For the most current fee to hire Bruce Vilanch, please fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak with an experienced booking agent.
  • Who is the agent for Bruce Vilanch?

    All American Entertainment has successfully secured celebrity talent like Bruce Vilanch for clients worldwide for more than 15 years. As a full-service talent booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book Bruce Vilanch for your next private or corporate function.
  • What is a full-service talent booking agency?

    All American Speakers is a "buyers agent" and exclusively represents talent buyers, meeting planners and event professionals, who are looking to secure celebrities and speakers for personal appearances, speaking engagements, corporate entertainment, public relations campaigns, commercials, or endorsements. We do not exclusively represent Bruce Vilanch or claim ourselves as the exclusive booking agency, business manager, publicist, speakers bureau or management for Bruce Vilanch or any other speaker or celebrity on this website. For more information on how we work and what makes us unique, please read the AAE Advantage.

Bruce Vilanch is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics . The estimated speaking fee range to book Bruce Vilanch for your event is $10,000 - $20,000. Bruce Vilanch generally travels from and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. Similar motivational celebrity speakers are Ezra Miller, Steve Martin, Nick Swardson, Billy Crystal and Bianca Del Rio. Contact All American Speakers for ratings, reviews, videos and information on scheduling Bruce Vilanch for an upcoming event.

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Speakers Similar to Bruce Vilanch

This website is a resource for event professionals and strives to provide the most comprehensive catalog of thought leaders and industry experts to consider for speaking engagements. A listing or profile on this website does not imply an agency affiliation or endorsement by the talent.

All American Entertainment (AAE) exclusively represents the interests of talent buyers, and does not claim to be the agency or management for any speaker or artist on this site. AAE is a talent booking agency for paid events only. We do not handle requests for donation of time or media requests for interviews, and cannot provide celebrity contact information.

If you are the talent, and wish to request removal from this catalog or report an issue with your profile, please click here.

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