Comedy Manager & Producer Lenny Sisselman
Over the past several months I have interviewed several seasoned comedians connected to the Apostles of Comedy project.
Repeatedly the name Lenny Sisselman surfaced. If so many comics speak so highly of him, he’s must be worth getting to know!
My instincts were correct: Lenny Sisselman is a very interesting guy indeed. He’s in management, directing, and producing—indeed, all avenues of Comedic Entertainment. He is President of LSA Entertainment; they manage talent, TV, and film production. Lenny Sisselman has produced shows for many world class and very famous comedians The Amazing Johnathan, Bill Hicks, Jeff Foxworthy, Brian Reagan and, one of my personal favorites, Adam Sandler.
Lenny’s managed, booked, produced, and promoted comedy talent at the concert, college, corporate, church, and club levels!
His TV production credits include The Apostles of Comedy series, Jeff Allen’s Happy Wife, Happy Life sitcom pilot, and long time running TV series Bananas Comedy in addition to being the talent consultant and coordinator for A&E’s Comedy on the Road. Lenny was gracious enough to offer me some valuable time from his busy schedule.
What exactly is your role in the Clean Comedic Entertainment industry?
After 30 plus years in the comedy business, I have always been more impressed with comedians that could work clean rather than dirty because it is more difficult; plus you can have a longer career because there are many more venues one can perform (e.g. corporate events, fundraisers, cruise ships, churches, etc.). My role has been to produce shows, produce and direct video projects, manage comedians’ careers, and continue to find new and unique opportunities in this ever-changing entertainment landscape.
Have you performed stand-up before?
For a “minute” and couldn’t cut it.
Tell us how you got involved with Apostles of Comedy?
My partner, Mitchell Galin, and I brainstormed back in ’06 about building something around my client, Jeff Allen, not dissimilar to Blue Collar Comedy built around Jeff Foxworthy. It ultimately didn’t turn out that way but that was the brainchild. The first film was more of a “docu-comedy,” focusing on four comedians, where we shot a couple of tour shows and then shot 18 hours of documentary footage (edited down to about 18 minutes in the actual film). We wanted it to be funny with the guys doing their acts on stage but also to get behind the scenes and develop what makes them work clean, what their values are, family life, their wives, etc. Mitchell and I were very proud of the finished product. We then toured around the country with all four comedians (Jeff Allen, Brad Stine, Anthony Griffin and Ron Pearson).
Who are some of your favorite comedians?
Besides the four comedians that I manage (Jeff Allen, James Gregory, Keith Alberstadt, Daren Streblow)?
Brian Regan, Jerry Seinfeld, Richard Jeni (no longer with us), Jay Leno (when he was working the clubs, there was no one better on the planet). I grew up listening to Richard Pryor, George Carlin, Alan King on the Ed Sullivan Show. We as a family could watch the show, and it probably shaped my future.
What other projects are you involved in now? Are they Christian based?
Just finished Apostles of Comedy—Onwards and Upwards; distributed by XLRator Media, Inc. and available at Wal-Mart, Amazon, Video on Demand. In pre-production of Jeff Allen’s new one man show The America I Grew Up In. Most of my projects are not necessarily “faith-based”; I like to focus on comedy that three generations can enjoy.
If a comedian or entertainer wanted to have you represent them what would they have to do to get a meeting with you?
Send me a YouTube video link of a tight comedy set. 15-20 minutes performed in a club with the audience miked. However, I haven’t signed a new act in many years. I have my hands full with the four acts I represent.
What is your best advice for someone wanting to get into the entertainment industry?
Find a stage and perform as many live shows in front of any type of audience as much as possible. One must be committed, passionate, and understand that it is a BUSINESS. You must conduct yourself in a business fashion both on and off stage.