Bill Persky

Five-time Emmy Award-winning Writer, Director and Producer

Bill Persky is a  five-time Emmy Award-winning writer, director, and producer for such hit TV shows as the Dick Van Dyke Show, That Girl, Sid Caesar, Bill Cosby, and Kate & Allie. As funny as the comedy scripts he has written for over four decades, he is a sought after keynote and after dinner speaker. He has spoken at performing arts venues, colleges, libraries, women’s clubs, and charity fund raisers. Persky is the perfect after dinner speaker whose witty and hilarious stories of working in television with comedy legends will delight audiences of all ages. He also performs My Life is a Situation Comedy, his memoir of both professional and personal stories, as a one-man show.

After a start at WNEW radio in the mid 1950s, Persky moved to California and wrote for a variety of shows including, The Steve Allen Show, The Andy Williams Show, Julie Andrews Show, McHales Navy, and The Joey Bishop Show, until he found a home with mentor Carl Reiner on The Dick Van Dyke Show. After three years as a writer, story editor, and two Emmys, Persky – with  his writing partner Sam Denoff – created That Girl for Marlo Thomas.

In the mid 1970s, the successful partnership ended amicably, as Persky sought a new path as a director, specializing in Television pilots. From 1975 to 1982 he directed 22, of which 16 were put on the air as series, the most memorable being Who’s The Boss?. There were also five television films, and the Paramount feature, Serial, before he moved to New York to produce and direct 100 episodes of the series, Kate and Allie, winning an Emmy for directing.

Persky lives with his wife in New York City. He is a guest lecturer at NYU Film School and Yale University, and teaches comedy writing at The New York Film Academy. Persky is also a contributing writer to USA Today.

Praise for My Life is a Situation Comedy

“Bill Persky’s writing is exactly what you would expect from one of the most accomplished comedy writers in show business. BRILLIANT! From his auspicious start producing infomercials to the sitcoms we all love which earned him FIVE EMMYS, Billy takes a hilarious look at success, failure, triumph, divorce, children, marriage, and even death with heart, soul, and humor. Billy is such a descriptive storyteller, I feel like I was there. You will too! Instructions for a good time: READ Bill Persky’s book. LAUGH and REPEAT.”

— Kelly Ripa

“Bill Persky is a great American storyteller. This beautifully written memoir is a treasure chest of memories and observations by a writer/director/producer who worked in the golden age of television through the seismic changes of the women’s movement, chronicling our lives with honesty and hilarity. All the while, he raised three amazing daughters and encouraged the rest of us to aim high and never settle. When he finds true love with Joanna, you will rejoice. To know Bill is to love him, to read him is to savor every word.”

— Adriana Trigiani, New York Times best-selling author