Merrill Markoe was born in New York City but by the time high school reared its ugly head, the Markoe family had moved five times. They eventually landed on the San Francisco peninsula where, during her sophomore year, Merrill began a decade long tradition of attending the biggest most important cultural events of the sixties and seventies, only to leave them early. “The Human Be-In in Golden Gate Park,” “The Ken Kesey Acid Test” in San Francisco, “The People’s Park Protest,” and “The Black Power Conference” in Berkeley, as well as the famous Rolling Stone’s Concert at Altamont are just a few of the famous events that Merrill Markoe showed up for but didn't have the patience to sit through because, according to her still unpublished childhood diaries, she either found them “too smoky” or “too stinky from all the incense and free form dancing.” Eventually Merrill graduated from University of California, Berkeley with a Masters Degree in Art, having decided to spend an additional two years listening to graduate school discussions about “the crystallization of ambiguity,” while drinking enormous quantities of inexpensive alcohol, and making detailed paintings using a brush with one hair. This culminated in a couple of art shows and a one year Assistant Professor of Art position at the University of Southern California where, while teaching Freshman Life Drawing, Merrill Markoe tried as hard as she could to talk sorority girls in to taking time out of their busy tanning schedules to attempt a couple of charcoal sketches of nude models. When this turned out to be futile, Merrill herself began auditing all kinds of classes at the USC Film School, just to insure that, under her watch, someone was learning something. A year later she abandoned her art teaching career and, much to the surprise of everyone she knew, began writing for television.By 1980 she had begun writing and creating shows with David Letterman, who she knew from doing stand up comedy at the Comedy Store in the late seventies. Together Merrill Markoe and Mr. Letterman designed the beloved NBC talk show, Late Night with David Letterman, after the cancellation of The David Letterman Show. The Emmy award winning NBC morning talk show, had, among it's highlights, an episode during which the television studio caught fire, live on network TV, due to a shower of flammable, igniting rose petals meant to enhance the fiftieth wedding anniversary celebration of an obscure couple from Long Island. By 1989, Merrill Markoe had decided to leave talk shows in her dust. In the years that followed, she dabbled in sit-coms, and screenwriting, worked as a talk radio host,and an on-air reporter for a number of magazine shows,( including Michael Moore’s TV Nation and HBO’s satirical hit ‘Not Necessarily the News’) wrote columns as well as freelance for numerous print publications (Rolling Stone, Time, New York Woman, New Woman, The New York Times and Los Angeles Times, Buzz, Los Angeles magazine, Real Simple, Glamour, etc.etc.), She also authored three books of humorous essays and three novels. She presently lives in Los Angeles, California with one man and four dogs. Much of her free time is spent worrying that things around her will catch fire. In addition to just finishing another novel, she has been filming and editing a lot of strange short films.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr., Lynda Barry, Robert Benchley, S.J. Perelman, Anne Tyler, David Foster Wallace, James Thurber, Mark Twain, 123 Greetings.com, Mike Judge.
NOSE DOWN, EYES UP. Dec,2008
Melanie Jackson Agency, New York City
Villard Books at Random House
Everything except golf. Or hunting.
1. The Jane Goodall Institute 2. Tailsofjoy.com 3. Best Friends Animal Rescue 4. The Humane Society 5. PETA
6. The Sam Simon Foundation
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