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Ep. 285 | Peter Tolan


Two-time Emmy winning Writer/Producer/Director Peter Tolan (Rescue Me, Analyze This, Analyze That, The Larry Sanders Show...) joins us on The Matthew Aaron Show this Thursday (4/9) as we broadcast from Chicago.

Peter joins us to discuss his career, the TV business in the era of COVID-19, dealing with self-isolation, as well as his upcoming Broadway-bound play THE WAR OF THE ROSES, which Peter wrote and will be directed by Jason Alexander (Seinfeld.)


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PETER TOLAN is a writer, producer, director (and sometime actor) with a lengthy list of television and film credits. He created, produced and wrote The Job and Rescue Me with longtime partner Denis Leary, and was recognized with an Emmy nomination for his direction of the Rescue Me pilot. Tolan was also honored by the Producer's Guild of America when Rescue Me was presented with that organization's Visionary Award. Props, costumes and scripts from Rescue Me are now part of the permanent collection of Washington's Smithsonian Institute. Recent credits include Charter's successful reboot of "Mad About You" with Paul Reiser and Helen Hunt; the NBC pilot "Guess Who Died?" (co-written with television legend Norman Lear); WGN America's "Outsiders"; Fox's "Rake" starring Greg Kinnear; and TV Land's "The Jim Gaffigan Show," which Mr. Tolan co-created with Mr. Gaffigan. A Massachusetts native, Tolan's passion for writing and acting led him to study theater at UMass ­Amherst. After failing to graduate, Mr. Tolan moved to Minneapolis where he worked as a performer and writer at Dudley Riggs Brave New Workshop, a Twin Cities institution and one of the most esteemed improvisational theaters in the country. He then moved to New York City where he wrote and performed Off-Broadway with comedy partner Linda Wallem in their two-person comedy evening Laughing Matters. (Tolan wrote the music and lyrics for the show as well.) During this time, he also wrote a well-received series of one-act comedies that were produced Off-Off-Broadway: Best Half Foot Forward, Pillow Talk, and Stay Carl Stay (published by Dramatists Play Service). The plays came to the attention of television producers - and Tolan was off to Los Angeles. He joined the writing staff of the Carol Burnett series "Carol & Company" in 1990, then landed writing and producing gigs on three of the most popular and revered comedies of the 1990's: "Home Improvement," "Murphy Brown" and "The Larry Sanders Show." For his work on "Murphy Brown," Tolan was nominated twice for Emmy Awards, with one win; for "The Larry Sanders Show," he took home one Emmy from his six nominations. In addition to his impressive television work, Tolan boasts an extensive film resume. He wrote and directed the film Finding Amanda, which starred Matthew Broderick, Brittany Snow and Steve Coogan. He co-wrote and produced the feature film America's Sweethearts, and wrote the films My Fellow Americans, Just Like Heaven, and Guess Who. He co-wrote the screenplays for Analyze This, Analyze That, and Bedazzled, all with comedy legend Harold Ramis.