Wayne Federman

Adjunct Lecturer


Wayne Federman joined the faculty of USC in January 2017. He is an actor, producer, writer, historian, and stand-up comedian. He currently teaches level two stand-up history and performance at USC’s School of Dramatic Arts.

Federman attended NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts where he studied with legendary acting teacher Stella Adler. He has appeared in numerous television programs and films, including Curb Your EnthusiasmCrashingSilicon Valley, ShamelessCommunityTransparentThe X-FilesDocumentary Now!New GirlStep BrothersThe 40-Year-Old VirginKnocked UpLegally BlondeFunny People, 50 First Dates, and The House.

As a thirty-year veteran of stand-up, Federman has his own special on Comedy Central, appeared multiple times on The Tonight Show, tours nationally, and appears locally at The Hollywood Improv, UCB, LARGO, and Dynasty Typewriter. His critically acclaimed three-volume stand-up compilation, The Chronicles of Federman, was released in 2016 on ASpecialThing Records.

Federman is also a comedy and cultural historian, having written articles for Vulture, Splitsider, and The Atlantic. He’s appeared on multiple episodes of CNN’s The History of Comedy and co-produced the the Emmy-winning HBO Documentary The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling. Federman also co-hosts, writes, and produces the popular podcast: The History of StandUp.

Federman is an Emmy-nominated writer and has also received three Writers Guild nominations. He was the head monologue writer on NBC’s Late Night With Jimmy Fallon over its first season. He has also written special comedy material for Seth Rogen, Mel Brooks, Key and Peele, Sarah Silverman, Tig Notaro, Andy Samberg, The Muppets (Statler and Waldorf), Bob Newhart, Megan Mullally, and Fred Armisen.

“Wayne Federman is a beloved legend within the stand-up industry.” – Paste Magazine

“Wayne Federman is perhaps Hollywood’s leading historian of comedy, a walking encyclopedia of lost movements and cliques.” – Richard Rushfield, Vanity Fair

“Every time I have seen him on stage he has been pure joy to watch. We are all so lucky when we get to spend any time with Wayne Federman.” – Judd Apatow