“Managing Genius: 43 Years with Robin Williams” – David Steinberg and Lewis Black interviewed by Ron Bennington

Thursday, August 01, 2019

Location Amphitheater

Gate pass required. Purchase at our Main Gate Welcome Center, (716) 357-6250

General Admission $25

David Steinberg, Robin Williams’ longtime manager

David Steinberg managed Robin Williams’ career for 43 years, and served as executive producer for the 2018 HBO documentary “Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind” to critical acclaim. 

Steinberg describes Williams as his “brother from another mother,” and is quoted in TIME-LIFE’s “Comic Genius” saying, “I watched him perform for 80,000 people, and for 50 people. His audiences ranged from heavily armed soldiers in the hills of Afghanistan, to injured soldiers in Munich, Germany … from the Queen of England by day, to her rowdy subjects by night. He lifted spirits, brought joy, and was loved by everyone, everywhere he went.”

Steinberg began his career in public relations representing Sammy Davis, Jr. and Peter Sellers, among others, before eventually forming Morra Brezner Steinberg & Tenenbaum Entertainment, representing artists including Billy Crystal, David Letterman, Martin Short, Robert Klein and Woody Allen, specializing in the world of comedy. Steinberg also developed the feature films “Good Morning Vietnam,” and “Throw Momma From the Train,” and created the HBO stand-up comedy series, “Women of the Night” starring Ellen Degeneres, Paula Poundstone, Rita Rudner, and future “Daily Show” creator Lizz Winstead.

Writing and producing hours of programming for variety television such as the Oscars, ESPYs, and comedy specials, his work has garnered recognition with Cable Ace, Emmy, Writers Guild and Grammy awards. Steinberg is currently involved with producing the Stand-Up Hall of Fame special for Netflix, the physical home of which will be the National Comedy Center in Jamestown, New York.

Lewis Black, Comedian and Williams’ longtime friend

Lewis Black is a writer, social critic, comedian, and Robin Williams’ longtime friend. The author of three books and more than 40 plays, in the 1980s, Black was playwright-in-residence at the West Bank Café’s Downstairs Theatre Bar, where he oversaw the development of more than 1,000 plays, including works by Aaron Sorkin, Alan Ball, as well as his own original works.

In 1996, he was tapped to create a weekly segment for Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show.” That segment evolved into Back in Black, becoming one of the most popular and longest-running segments on the show. Additionally, Black has released nine albums, received five Grammy nominations and two wins for his work. Black’s prolific television work includes appearing on CNN and MSNBC, “Inside the NFL,” (for which he earned a Sports Emmy) and acting in the ABC mini-series “Madoff.” He has also taped four specials for the “Comedy Central Presents” series and filmed two specials for HBO, including “Red, White and Screwed,” which was nominated for an Emmy.

Black is involved in numerous charities and nonprofits, and was honored by The Brady Center for his commitment to ending gun violence. In 2012, he was honored by the ACLU of Georgia with their National Civil Liberties Award. At the Williamstown Theatre Festival, he established the William Foeller Fellowship. Additionally, Black also has performed in three tours with the USO, visiting several Middle Eastern and European military bases.

He is a graduate of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the Yale Drama School.

Ron Bennington has been called the best interviewer in the business. In addition to hosting “Bennington” daily with his daughter, he hosts two critically acclaimed interview shows, “Ron Bennington Interviews” and “Unmasked,” talking with the greatest creative minds of our time. The “Unmasked” series has taped over 200 episodes, documenting the careers of the most interesting comedy writers, directors, filmmakers, actors, screenwriters, satirists, political comedians, comedic musicians and of course, stand up comedians in the business including Amy Schumer, Dan Aykroyd, Simon Pegg, Paul Feig, Jim Jefferies, Tracy Ullman, Gilbert Gottfried, Chris Elliott, Sandra Bernhard, Bobcat Goldthwait, Louis C.K., David Brenner, Judd Apatow, Brian Regan, Joan Rivers, and over 150 more comedy greats.He is also a headlining comedian and just returned from Just for Laughs Comedy Festival in Montreal where he debuted his new show, “Kreeps With Kids,” on tour  this fall with Robert Kelly, Rich Vos and Jim Florentine.