Along with Lenny Bruce and Mort Sahl, Shelley was instrumental in shaping the world of solo comedy. A member of the Compass Players, Shelley has worked in film, television, and the theatre. But he is best known for a series of highly successful comic albums. Shelley continues to entertain on the stage today.
Shelley Berman started as a straight actor, receiving his training at the Goodman Theater in Chicago, honing his acting skills in stock companies in and around Chicago and New York. In the mid-fifties he became a member of Chicago*s Compass Players, the group today known as The Second City. Here he developed his skill as an improvisationist.
In 1957, Berman, with his improvised monologues auditioned at Mr. Kelly's in Chicago, landing his first job as a comedian. His comedy albums would earn him three gold records and he*d be the winner of a GRAMMY for a non-musical recording. He was the first standup comedian to appear in Carnegie Hall. He continues performing in concert throughout the country and internationally in his one-man comedy show. With the release of his 1995 CD recording úSHELLEY BERMAN - LIVE AGAIN!î Shelley crossed another career milestone. Honored in the June, 2000 Chicago Festival of Comedy with his úShelley Berman, A Body of Workî, a one-man theatrical performance.
Starred on Broadway in the musical "A Family Affair", in his one-man show "Insideoutsideandallaround Shelley Berman". Starred in national tour of musical "Two By Two"; Neil Simon*s úThe Prisoner Of Second Avenueî. His work in the Chicago production of "I'm Not Rappaport" earned him a best actor nomination for the Jefferson Award. He has won two LA Dramalogue Best Actor Awards for his work in úKuni Lemlî and úLove, Dreams and Lost Unclesî.
Early in Berman's career, he appeared regularly on the Ed Sullivan Show, The Jack Paar Show, other major variety shows. TV guest star credits include NIGHTCOURT; MACGYVER; CIVIL WARS; recurring character Albert on NBC sitcom WALTER AND EMILY; recurring character Ben Flicker on L.A. LAW. Guest star: FRIENDS; CHICAGO SONS; LIVING IN CAPTIVITY; ARLISS. LA DOCTORS. Spring of 2000, guest star úPROVIDENCEî. Fall 2000, guest star úWALKER, TEXAS RANGERî. Spring 2001 Guest Star åTHAT*S MY BUSHî.
Films include THE BEST MAN with Henry Fonda; EVERY HOME SHOULD HAVE ONE co-star with Marty Feldman; DIVORCE AMERICAN STYLE; RENTED LIPS; TEEN WITCH; ELLIOT FAUMAN PHD; After School Special THE KID WHO WOULDN*T QUIT; Burt Reynolds* THE LAST PRODUCER in 1999.
Authored three books: CLEANS AND DIRTYS; A HOTEL IS A FUNNY PLACE; UP IN THE AIR WITH SHELLEY BERMAN. Written two plays: FIRST IS SUPPER, first produced in Chicago in 1990; SILVER SONATA performed in San Diego, 1996. He has written TV pilots for CBS, Screen Gems, Desilu and NBC.
Shelley is presently in his sixteenth year of teaching at USC in the Master of Professional Writing Program. His subject is Humor Writing.
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