in conversation with Peter Tolan
discussing his upcoming book,
Why We Don’t Suck: And How All of Us Need to Stop Being Such Partisan Little Bitches
The Bootleg Theatre
2220 Beverly Blvd,
Los Angeles, CA 90057
$43 General Admission seating + Book*
$53 Reserved Section seating + Book*
$20 General Admission Seating (on sale Nov 6)
Denis Leary is a five-time loser at the Emmy Awards. And the Golden Globes. He hopes to one day also lose an Oscar, a Grammy, and a Tony. His first literary foray Why We Suck: A Feel Good Guide to Staying Fat, Loud, Lazy and Stupid was a New York Times bestseller but not nominated for the National Book Award. In his long and storied entertainment career, Leary has also never won The Stanley Cup, The Nobel Peace Prize, or an argument with his wife. He looks forward to playing Kellyanne Conway in the President Trump biopic..
Denis Leary refutes the current highly partisan Right Wing Nutjob versus Left Wing Snowflake approach to American politics—where you’re either one or the other, with no gray areas in between. Leading a new protest movement called Gray Lives Matter, he takes equal opportunity aim at the screaming heads we see arguing every night on CNN and Fox — or as he calls them “Clinton News Network” and “Fair and Balanced Republican Report.” With a devoted mission to Make America Laugh Again, Denis tackles the topics we all hold close to our American hearts: Twitter, Instagram, and the seemingly endless search for fame and diet vodka.
“In a country so gluten-free that a box of jelly donuts is now a bigger threat than Vladimir Putin—where college kids are more afraid of Ann Coulter than HIV—it’s time for someone to stand up and stop the insanity. Or at least defend the double cheeseburger. With a side order of free porn.” And Denis feels he is the guy.
He’ll answer such burning questions as: when will Hillary run out of pantsuits? And why wasn’t her campaign motto Hey America—It’s My Turn!? And why does Beyoncé think he’s Bryan Adams? And why doesn’t Denis follow the millennial lead and post pictures of his food on social media? As Denis says in the book “Trump’s election gave me faith that even I could be president. Look at his track record: canceled TV show, thin skin, angry tweets and an attractive wife. According to that formula, I’m one bad combover away from living in The White House.” We’re all in this together and Denis Leary is here to remind us what makes America #7 on the list of Best Countries To Live In—which may sound bad, but means at least we still make the playoffs.
Peter Tolan is a writer, producer, director and sometime actor with a lengthy list of television and film credits. He created, produced and wrote The Job and Rescue Me with longtime partner Denis Leary, and he was recognized with an Emmy nomination for his direction of the Rescue Me pilot. Tolan was also honored by the Producer’s Guild of America when Rescue Me was presented with that organization’s Visionary Award. Additionally, props, costumes and scripts from Rescue Me are now part of the permanent collection of Washington’s Smithsonian Institute.
More recent writing and producing credits include WGN America’s Outsiders, Fox’s Rake starring Greg Kinnear, and TV Land’s The Jim Gaffigan Show, which Mr. Tolan co-created with Mr. Gaffigan. He is currently working on Guess Who Died for NBC, a script he co-wrote with television legend Norman Lear.
He studied theater at UMass Amherst. After failing to graduate, he moved to Minneapolis where he worked as a performer and writer at Dudley Riggs Brave New Workshop, a Twin Cities institution and one of the most esteemed improvisational theaters in the country. He moved to New York City where he wrote and performed Off-Broadway with comedy partner Linda Wallem in their two-person comedy evening Laughing Matters. He also wrote a successful series of one-act comedies during this time; they came to the attention of television producers, and Tolan was off to Los Angeles.
He joined the writing staff of the Carol Burnett series Carol & Company in 1990, then landed writing and producing gigs on three of the most popular and revered comedies of the 1990’s: Home Improvement, Murphy Brown and The Larry Sanders Show. For his work on Murphy Brown, Tolan was nominated twice for Emmy Awards, with one win; for The Larry Sanders Show, he took home one Emmy from his six nominations.
In addition to his impressive television work, Tolan boasts an extensive film resume. He wrote and directed the film Finding Amanda, which starred Matthew Broderick, Brittany Snow and Steve Coogan. He co-wrote and produced the feature film America’s Sweethearts, and wrote the films My Fellow Americans, Just Like Heaven, and Guess Who. He co-wrote the screenplays for Analyze This, Analyze That, and Bedazzled, all with comedy legend Harold Ramis.