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'Daily Show' writer discusses his CSUEB years and comedy career May 27


Alumnus J.R. Havlan, second from left, on the set with his "Daily Show" colleagues, from left, Aasif Mandvi, Wyatt Cenac, Jason Jones, Samantha Bee and Olivia Munn. (Photo: Jesse Cantley)

  • May 13, 2011

Emmy Award-winning comedy writer J.R. Havlan ’87 will make a special appearance May 27 at the Hayward Campus for a panel discussion and brunch, Breakfast with J.R., co-sponsored by the Alumni Association and ASI Presents.

Havlan, who earned his CSUEB bachelor’s degree in business with an emphasis in finance, will make the trek to the Bay Area from New York City, where he writes for “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.” Havlan has received six Emmys as a 15-year veteran of the writing team for the “Daily Show,” a mock news program broadcast daily on the Comedy Central TV network.

“We are delighted that J.R. Havlan is reaching out to his alma mater and taking the time to connect with students and faculty,” said Kate Shaheed, director of Alumni Relations.

Organizers encourage CSUEB students, alumni, and members of the University community to attend the event scheduled in the new University Union Bay View room. Breakfast service will begin at 10:30 a.m., followed by the presentation at 11 a.m.

During the event, Havlan will discuss what led him to become a writer, his immediate post-graduation experience in a struggling economy, his early days as a comedian, how he got started at Comedy Central and his career success, including writing for books and television. The CSUEB program will include an interview with a student moderator and an audience question-and-answer session.

“J.R. is a man of many talents,” Shaheed said. “He is funny and also amazingly candid. Our students are really poised to learn a lot from him about big dreams and what it takes to fulfill them.”

Havlan also has contributed to “Daily Show” publications, including “Earth (The Book): A Visitor’s Guide to the Human Race” and “America the Book: A Citizen’s Guide to Democracy Inaction” with fellow “Daily Show” writers.

Read more about Havlan’s experiences at Cal State East Bay and at "The Daily Show" in the fall edition of "Cal State East Bay Magazine."

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