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Carol  Leifer

Carol Leifer

Award-Winning Comedy Writer & Best-Selling Author


An award-winning writer and producer, best-selling author and stand-up comedian, Carol Leifer humbly describes herself as simply “someone who loves making people laugh.” Her warm and humor-filled speaking programs share her views on women’s issues, her Jewish roots, LGBT perspectives, animal advocacy (she has four rescue dogs!) and trailblazing career as a woman in the male-dominated world of comedy. Read More >

Carol’s dazzling, observational style humor won her four Emmy nominations for writing on such acclaimed television shows as Seinfeld, The Larry Sanders Show and Saturday Night Live. She also won the prestigious Writer’s Guild Award for her work on television’s number one comedy show, Modern Family. Carol has written for the Oscars telecast eight times, more than any other female writer to date, spanning 2004’s broadcast with Billy Crystal to 2018’s with Jimmy Kimmel. A comedy icon, Carol was dubbed "the real Elaine" because the series' character, Elaine Benes, was partially based on her.

Carol is currently a Writer/Producer for HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, reuniting with fellow Seinfeld alum Larry David. Previously, she was Co-Executive Producer of the NBC reality travel show, Better Late than Never. She also worked as head writer for comedy legend Carol Burnett’s Netflix series, A Little Help.

Carol is a part of Showtime’s comedy special, More Funny Women of a Certain Age. She is starring alongside Caroline Rhea, Tammy Pescatelli, Thea Vidale, Carole Montgomery and Julia Scotti as one of the funniest women of standup. In addition, she is a writer for Hacks, which is currently the hottest comedy on HBO Max.

Carol has written two best-sellers based on her extraordinary life. When You Lie About Your Age, The Terrorists Win recounts falling in love with a woman at 40, a breast cancer scare and adopting a newborn son at age 50. Her latest, How to Succeed In Business Without Really Crying charts her three decade-long journey through show business. It was lauded by the New York Times as “an unusual and endearing mix of show biz memoir and self-help book.”

Carol has starred in five of her own comedy specials that aired on HBO, Showtime and Comedy Central. She holds the record (an unbelievable 25 times) for the most appearances on Late Show with David Letterman. Still active in stand up comedy, Carol performs at many of the country’s prominent comedy clubs, theaters and universities as a solo artist. She also appears with celebrities such as Paul Reiser, Jay Leno and Jerry Seinfeld. Recently, she was presented by Cyndi Lauper with the prestigious Animal Advocate Award from Farm Sanctuary. She also was nominated for a Writer's Guild Award for writing for The Oscars.

Deeply committed to the Jewish community and her own Jewish upbringing on East Willison, Long Island, Carol is a Lion of Judah, honored by the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles for her active role. Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

More Funny Women of a Certain Age

A Glimpse of Carol Leifer

Speaking Out for Choice

Speaking Reel

Writing for the Oscars

Speech Topics

How to Succeed in Business Without Really Crying

Based on her April 2014 bestseller, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Crying, Carol Leifer discusses her extraordinary three-decade journey through show business, illuminating her many triumphs and some missteps along the way. In a presentation that is a perfect blend of comedy and mentorship, Leifer offers valuable lessons and shares her secrets for success with her witty and hilarious how-to guide for everyone: College graduates just breaking into the job market, women who find themselves frustrated by the “glass ceiling” and for anybody who wants a bigger and better career now. Using priceless insight, she provides audiences with tips and tricks for getting ahead, finding your way and opening locked doors.

Judaism is in My DNA

Carol speaks about how her Jewish roots informed the person that she is today - by the values instilled in her by her hard-working parents, the children of immigrants from Russia and Poland. She shares many personal family stories of how their life lessons shaped her to live a good Jewish life - recollections of Tzedakah and even chutzpah in approaching everyday life. Their Jewish life lessons also helped lead her to pursue her passion for comedy, going back to a time when the field was mostly an old boy network. Their morals and values gave her the strength, tenacity and grit to have, what is now, a thriving 45-year career in the business. Read More >

She talks about how her Jewish upbringing has been a model for her, as a parent herself now, and how important it is to keep our traditions alive for all the generations to come.

Also, as a proud Lion of Judah (Los Angeles chapter), Carol likes to reinforce that she not only talks the talk, but walks the walk in her support of The Federation and its great work. She likes to remind her audiences of the many ways the Federation has impact locally and globally, and encourage them to continue their support, now more than ever! Read Less ^

Comedy Workshop with Carol Leifer

Have you dreamed of becoming a comedy writer, either as a hobby or a profession? Do you think your company, organization, or students could benefit from an infusion of humor in presentations and seminars? Read More >

Then four-time Emmy nominee and best-selling author Carol Leifer is perfect for your group! Book her now for her critically acclaimed writer’s workshop.

You will learn:

  • The basics of joke writing and personal essay writing from the woman who’s written for Billy Crystal, Ellen DeGeneres, Chris Rock, Steve Martin, Alec Baldwin, and Whoopi Goldberg
  • What makes a funny idea for an episode of a sitcom
  • The behind-the-scenes stories of triumph and tragedy from the woman who’s written for Seinfeld, Saturday Night Live, and Modern Family
  • Never-before-shared secrets of breaking into the business
  • The art of “pitching” your comedy ideas—in work and everyday life

You’ll even have the chance to get up on stage and read your joke or personal essay in front of Carol Leifer for on-the-spot encouragement and direction. By bringing simple exercises to her workshops, Leifer unleashes the funny power that lies in everyone! Read Less ^

When You Lie About Your Age, the Terrorists Win: Reflections on Looking in the Mirror

Coming Out: The Guts, the Glory, the Grief

Life on an Everything Bagel: Wisdom & Thoughts on Life from Seinfeld Writer Carol Leifer

How to Handle Everything with the Key Ingredient of Humor

Life, Work & Staying Sane: How Women Find Balance in Today's Chaos

Laughter Really Is the Best Medicine: How Humor Makes You Healthier, Reduces Stress & Helps You Be a Peak Performer