Writers


TOP STORY! WEEKLY HEAD WRITERS

Kristina Adelmeyer

Kristina Adelmeyer is a comedy writer and director. She is a head writer and director for Top Story! Weekly and the sketch groups Trouble and Dead Honkey. She graduated from the Second City Sketch Writing Program. She cofounded the Facebook group Women In Comedy LA and the Top Story Weekly Writing Conservatory. In her spare time, she likes watching tv, sleeping, and running. Sometimes all at once!

Watch Kristina’s sketches!

Alicia Bien

Alicia Bien is a comedy writer, performer and a Top Story! Weekly Head Writer. She is the author of the comical wine book Evolution of a Wine Drinker. Her writing has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Yahoo.com, and her blog which chronicles the “joys” of living in a fixer-upper house while fixing it up. Alicia regularly performs sketch comedy with her pals from iO West, Second City and UCB. She has worked in TV production and film marketing. She appeared on Fox’s 24 as a pesky news reporter.

Watch Alicia’s sketches!

Andrew Payne

Andrew Payne is a comedy writer/performer living in Los Angeles. A graduate of the Second City Sketch Writing Program, he’s written sketch comedy for a variety of shows around town, including for his sketch group, Happy Virus Mind People, which perform regularly around Los Angeles. In addition to comedy, he writes snarky ‘American Idol’ and ‘X-Factor’ recaps for Starpulse.com and about all things pop culture for Picktainment.com.

Watch Andrew’s sketches!

Stacy Rumaker

Stacy Rumaker is an improviser, comedy writer and performer. She is a member of several improv teams at iO West, and is also a member of the Top Story! Weekly cast. Before finding a home at iO West in Los Angeles, Stacy studied at UCB (Paul Scheer) and The Magnet (Armando Diaz) in NY, as well as the American Comedy Institute.

Watch Stacy’s sketches!

Sean Tierney

Sean Tierney is a Los Angeles based sketch and screenwriter originally from the Boston area. He has studied both improv and sketch comedy with The Upright Citizens Brigade and his credits include Not Too Shabby, Sketch Cram and Top Story! Weekly. He is under no circumstances fireproof and is unsure how that rumor was started. Please do not attempt to set him on fire.

Watch Sean’s sketches!


TOP STORY! WEEKLY DIRECTORS

Kristina Adelmeyer

Kristina Adelmeyer is a comedy writer and director. She is a head writer and director for Top Story! Weekly and the sketch groups Trouble and Dead Honkey. She graduated from the Second City Sketch Writing Program. She cofounded the Facebook group Women In Comedy LA and the Top Story Weekly Writing Conservatory. In her spare time, she likes watching tv, sleeping, and running. Sometimes all at once!

Watch Kristina’s sketches!

Adam Campbell-Schmitt

Adam Campbell-Schmitt is a writer, director and house-husband based in Los Angeles, CA. He has trained at Second City and UCB, and performed with/written for various improv and sketch teams at iO West. His professional writing credits include a sketch pilot you never heard about and ghostwriting for nationally touring comedians who must remain nameless. In his spare time, he enjoys being vague. Currently, Adam is in the process of writing shorts, sketches, jokes, pilots, specs, and features before his wife kills him. Of course, these days he is most recognized for his portrayal of “Injured Boy” in Fuji-TV’s 1992 installment of the hit Japanese miniseries “From Oregon With Love.” Adam is available for parties and special events. Check out Adam on Twitter @mustbeadam.

Watch Adam’s sketches!

Michael Hughes

Michael Hughes’ duties with Top Story! Weekly include director, writer, actor, executive producer and TS!W Report co-producer. Mike holds degrees from Yale and Harvard, studied acting with Uta Hagen and Howard Fine, and studied improv and sketch with UCB, Second City and the Groundlings. Mike has also performed regularly at Second City with Masi Oka (”Heroes”) and in the sketch group Haja Fresh with Simon Helberg (”Big Bang Theory”), Derek Waters (”Drunk History”) and Ben Hoffman (”The Ben Show”). Film credits include “Factory Girl” opposite Sienna Miller, and “The Man from Elysian Fields” opposite Andy Garcia. Stage work includes productions at the Geffen Playhouse and the Knightsbridge Theatre, and he co-wrote and performed a song for National Lampoon. He writers jokes for the radio prep service The Complete Sheet, which you probably hear while you’re driving to work in the morning.
Commercial: Cris Dennis/Film Artists Assoc./(818) 883-5008

Watch Mike’s sketches!

Derek Jeremiah Reid

Derek Jeremiah Reid is the H.N.I.C. of Dead Honkey. If you don’t know what that means, just ask your black friend (probably Derek). Derek started doing comedy in Austin Texas at Esther’s Follies. Then he hosted the short lived show “The Basement” on the short lived channel Fox Family Channel. Derek is now a cast member of the improv troupe Robert Donwey Jr.Jr. Derek has studied at Groundlings and Upright Citizens Brigade. Derek doesn’t run on C.P.T., and if you don’t know what that means, you’re probably a Honkey.

Watch Derek’s sketches!

TOM REPETTO

Tom Repetto has been writing and directing for Top Story! Weekly since its inception. After graduating from the writing program at Second City Los Angeles, he started writing for the iO West sketch show “Big News” in 2007. Repetto served as a head writer for Top Story! Weekly for two years and currently acts as one of the show’s directors. Repetto has two bachelors degrees from the University of Notre Dame and a Masters in Fine Arts from USC’s prestigious School of Cinema-Television, where he directed a number of short films that have played globally in film festivals. He currently works at Jimmy Kimmel Live as an Associate Producer, putting together video-based content including the show’s signature bit, “This Week in Unnecessary Censorship.”

Watch Tom’s sketches!


TOP STORY! WEEKLY WRITING STAFF

Bennie Arthur

Bennie Arthur is an actor, comedian and writer originally from Rustburg, Virginia. Bennie is a regular on Comedy Central’s Drunk History, and viewers of the network’s The Ben Show know Bennie as “the Mayor of Titty City.” Bennie has written and starred in many videos for Channel 101, including the series “Lone Wolf.” Bennie not only writes for Top Story! Weekly but is a member of the cast as well. Bennie loves you.

Watch Bennie’s sketches!

Kaitlin Beauchemin

Kaitlin Beauchemin is a writer and actress. She was raised in Los Angeles, and you weren’t. She studied at the prestigious Glendale Community College, successfully earning eighteen transfer credits. After dropping out, she began an illustrious career in minimum wage retail jobs where she honed her comedic talents by making fun of customers behind their backs and hating everything. In her downtime, she would work as a freelance writer for various journalistic websites. She began studying sketch comedy at The Upright Citizens Brigade in early 2012, and has had a sketch performed in Sketch Cram, which is something she brings up a lot in conversation. When she was seven, she did the voice of Penny for an episode of Pee Wee’s Playhouse. She also hung out with Bill Murray, once, which is something she brings up a lot in career bios.

Watch Kaitlin’s sketches!

Matt Blitz

Matt Blitz is a writer/comedian/adventurer/friend based out of Los Angeles. He’s written for BET, NickMom, and Broslife (How I Met Your Mother - Barney Stinson’s Official Twitter Account). He’s currently the head writer for whatstrending.com and the LA Field Agent for atlasobscura.com. He has a paralyzing fear of bats.

Watch Matt’s sketches!

Adam Campbell-Schmitt

Adam Campbell-Schmitt is a writer, director and house-husband based in Los Angeles, CA. He has trained at Second City and UCB, and performed with/written for various improv and sketch teams at iO West. His professional writing credits include a sketch pilot you never heard about and ghostwriting for nationally touring comedians who must remain nameless. In his spare time, he enjoys being vague. Currently, Adam is in the process of writing shorts, sketches, jokes, pilots, specs, and features before his wife kills him. Of course, these days he is most recognized for his portrayal of “Injured Boy” in Fuji-TV’s 1992 installment of the hit Japanese miniseries “From Oregon With Love.” Adam is available for parties and special events. Check out Adam on Twitter @mustbeadam.

Watch Adam’s sketches!

Robert Chan

Robert Chan is a writer/performer and a former member of UCB Harold team Delicatessen and sketch show Second City This Week. He currently co-hosts Ruffneck Presents… and Vids Gone Wild at iO West and writes for Yahoo. Bios make him intensely uncomfortable.

Watch Robert’s sketches!

Jeremy Cohen

Jeremy and Cohen are the two groupings (called “words”) of arbitrary symbolic characters (called “letters”) strung together to designate the human being pictured somewhere to the left of this ultra clever leaning heavily toward obnoxious clump of symbol groupings (or “paragraph”). Besides writing bios, Jeremy wrote and directed the award winning short film “The Great Pretenders,” a biting satire of the corporate world, as well as his student short film “The Real Third World” that won awards at alma mater University of Michigan sometime during the Cretaceous era. He worked in development at Spike Lee’s Forty Acres and a Mule Filmworks, took a class at UCB and has written a bunch of other scripts and projects, including the web series “Date-A-Max.” To support his writing/filmmaking/hard drug habit, Jeremy edits together film, tv and web projects featuring folks like PBS’s Bill Moyers, Bobby Flay, Gordon Ramsay, Jay Mohr, Justin Timberlake, Jessica Biel, The President, computer generated dinosaurs, guns, parasites and pregnant women (not all at once) for FOX, Funny or Die, The History Channel, Discovery, Animal Planet, The Food Network, PBS, Obama for America, and so forth. He loves storytelling and is always looking to work on great stories or funny projects (if schedule allows) so hit a brutha up!

Watch Jeremy’s sketches!

Michelle Garcia

Michelle Garcia is a journalist and an editor at The Advocate, the nation’s oldest LGBT news magazine. After performing improv for SUNY Oswego, she came to Los Angeles and studied improv at UCB and screenwriting and producing at UCLA. She completed Top Story! Weekly’s conservatory in summer 2012. Follow her @mzMichGarcia.

Watch Michelle’s sketches!

Jessica Guerra

Jessica Guerra is a producer, writer and improviser. Originally from Colorado, she came to Los Angeles to study at USC film school and stayed here because the entertainment industry is here and stuff. In addition to making weird short films on her own she’s written sketches and performed at the Upright Citizens Brigade and iO West. She’s currently working as a producer on a documentary series for TNT, but has tons of totally random experience working on some seriously hot mess court tv shows. If you ever need to get a transsexual prostitute on a plane, call her; she’ll help you out.

Watch Jessica’s sketches!

Steve Kaufmann

Steve (@SteveKaufmann) is a Filmmaker/Actor from Philadelphia. He has a BA in Film from Temple University, studies improv at iO West & is a graduate of the Top Story Weekly Writing Conservatory. He is also very well aware of the rumor that he is Andy Kaufman’s nephew

Watch Steve’s sketches!

Lira Kellerman

Lira Kellerman is a comedy writer and performer, originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, and still says “hella” and “dude” when she gets excited. A regular columnist for Get Underground, Youth Today, and several other now defunct publications, she is almost positive her writing had nothing to do with their demises. She blogs, puns, hoards bad jokes, and can be found on WikiFeet.com, where two people have already deemed her tootsies as ugly. Lira also writes and performs with comedy troupe Group Date.

Watch Lira’s sketches!

Sam Kimbrell

Sam Kimbrell is a writer/director/producer originally from Riverside, Ca. Kimbrell is a graduate of Chapman University where he received a BA in Screenwriting. Last year, he wrote Kid Krrish, a cartoon movie adaptation of the Bollywood film Krrish which aired on Cartoon Network India. He was also hired by longtime comedy producer Steve Stabler (Dumb and Dumber, Kingpin, Beverly Hills Ninja) to write a feature film adaption of the popular book series Nate the Great written by Marjorie Sharmat. At the moment, Kimbrell is writing, producing and directing his own comedy web series “Bruce Goes Hollywood” which can be viewed on his YouTube channel.

Watch Sam’s sketches!

Hank Layton

Hank Layton (@hanklayton) is a Missouri-bred comedy writer who joined the Top Story! Weekly staff in 2012 after graduating from the first-ever Top Story! Weekly writing conservatory. He also contributes to FlipCollective.com. For more, check out Hank’s IMDb page if and when one is ever created.

Watch Hank’s sketches!

Kat Lenhart

Kat Lenhart is a comedy writer currently based in Los Angeles. A Carnegie Mellon grad and former CONAN intern, Kat has written material for the Onion Sports Network, MTV’s New Year’s Eve, and Top Story! Weekly at iO West. Kat is a member of the sketch group GEORGE MORMON, writing and performing sketch comedy at The Second City, iO West, and other venues around greater Los Angeles.

Watch Kat’s sketches!

Alex Mack

Alex Mack is a writer/performer and former Model U.N. nerd. Her vast knowledge of pop culture landed her a two-year gig writing for The Queen of All Media, Perez Hilton. Alex is a contributor for HelloGiggles and recently performed her comedic essays at Sit n Spin at the Comedy Central Stage. She has written sketches and performed improv at The Groundlings, Upright Citizens Brigade and iO West. She is thrilled to be a staff writer on Top Story! Weekly.

Watch Alex’s sketches!

Matt Manser

Matt Manser is a writer, actor, and stand-up comic. Matt has written for Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, wrote the Funny or Die exclusive video “Hannah Mantegna” starring Joe Mantegna, and was the head writer for Premiere Radio Networks’ Punch Line Live. He can also be seen on episodes of “Players,” “Funny or Die Presents,” and “Californication.” Matt is also a member of the sketch group Bonafide, which can be seen every month at UCB LA.

Watch Matt’s sketches!

John McNamee

John McNamee is a writer/cartoonist living in Los Angeles. John graduated from the University of Virginia with a degree in mathematics, making him the go to guy to split a check forever. He has written for The Onion News Network, the iO West house team Hashtag, Mockit! News, and MSN’s comedy site The Bubble. He also writes and draws the comic Pie at piecomic.tumblr.com.

Watch John’s sketches!

Toby Muresianu

Toby Muresianu started performing standup and writing comedy while in college. After graduating with degrees in computer science and psychology, he spent three years at well-regarded Seattle artists’ collective the Microsoft Corporation, working as an engineer while becoming a fixture of comedy clubs in the Seattle area. After leaving in 2009 to do comedy full time, Toby performed at top clubs across America and opened for well-known acts including Doug Stanhope, Steve Hofstetter, and Tig Notaro. He also toured frequently in the UK and from South Africa to Israel to Romania. He’s appeared at the Bumbershoot Music festival, the Bridgetown Comedy Festival, the Boston Comedy Festival, The Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and others. His comedy has been called “marvelous” by Greg Proops, while Kristen Schaal said “I loved everything about the performance – it was right up my alley”. As a writer, he has contributed to HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher, Yahoo!’s Primetime in No Time, MSN Local, and National Lampoon Radio, though he regards this bio as his finest work.

Watch Toby’s sketches!

EILEEN MARY O’CONNELL

Eileen (@i_Lean) is a writer and improviser. She was raised near Chicago and was a member of the Second City Teen Ensemble, which made her seem really cool in high school but only to herself. She graduated from Loyola Marymount University with a degree in Theatre Arts, and has studied improv/sketch with The Second City, UCB, Groundlings, iO West, and The Improv Space. Currently she writes for the iO West House Sketch Team Hashtag, and performs every Friday night with My Favorite Customer at The Improv Space. You can often find Eileen in her car, clutching a can of Diet Coke and mouthing along to the Space Jam soundtrack like there’s no tomorrow. .

Watch Eileen’s sketches!

DENNIS OLIVER

Dennis Oliver is a writer, producer, editor, comedian, improviser, and dive bar lover. Born and raised in San Francisco on the sets of various Hip Hop music videos, Dennis fell in love with the entertainment business. Cut to years later and he is at ACME Comedy Theatre in Los Angeles writing and performing sketch. He also decided to stop in at iO West, become an alum, perform with groups 540 Runaway and Dead Honkey, and then join the writing staff of Top Story! Weekly. Dennis can also hit a curveball and a 90mph fastball. But you can strike him out with a slider.

Watch Dennis’ sketches!

Lenny Pierce

Lenny Pierce was raised in the urban metropolis of Yarmouth, Maine and graduated from Bowdoin College in 2010. Since then, Lenny has been writing and performing comedy in New York and Los Angeles. Lenny has studied comedy at UCB, iO West, and The Groundlings. After quitting his PA job at a Disney Channel show, Lenny started his own furniture business “Dirigo Rustic” where he makes custom pieces for private clients. That last sentence probably sounds like a joke, but it isn’t. Lenny despises long walks on the beach.

Watch Lenny’s sketches!

Phil Ranta

Phil Ranta is a new media executive by day and comedian by night. Phil has performed across America as a stand up, sketch, and improv comedian. Highlights include performing with The Second City with companies aboard multiple Norwegian Cruise Line ships, weekly shows at Second City Hollywood with his comedy group Bro Squad 5, and writing for the award winning weekly sketch comedy show Top Story! Weekly. In the corporate world, he is the Director of Channel Partnerships for Fullscreen, the largest multi-channel network on YouTube and the co-founder and CEO of Comedy Podcast Network, where he develops and distributes original audio content including his own podcast The Sports Sports Sports Podcast. Previously, he was the Executive Producer at Viva! Vision, which produced and distributed original content to three Verizon V-Cast channels and dozens of other cell phone media products worldwide. He also wrote, directed, and produced the original web series Party Animals, which sold to Turner’s SuperDeluxe.com.

Watch Phil’s sketches!

Allegra Ringo

Allegra Ringo is a comedy writer and small animal enthusiast. Her work has been published on Vice, The Atlantic, The Hairpin and The Billfold. She is also a regular contributor to comedy site The Higgs-Weldon. In her free time, Allegra enjoys consuming heroic amounts of popcorn and cuddling her dog, Pistachio.

Watch Allegra’s sketches!

Mike Roe

Mike Roe is a comedy writer and performer. He’s a member of iO West house sketch team Snarf and several other sketch groups. He graduated from the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre’s sketch and improv programs as well as the Miles Stroth Workshop sketch program. He also studied talk show writing at iO West. When he’s not doing comedy, he works as a public radio journalist writing about pop culture. His writing has appeared on the front page of BuzzFeed. He also hosts the Geek Pilgrims podcast.He loves comic books, politics, video games, and other incredibly geeky things. Oh, and he tweets too much.

Watch Mike’s sketches!

Lauren Scharf

Lauren Scharf is a comedy writer, blogger, and improviser who hailed in from Chicago, where she took classes and interned at the original Second City. In her spare time, she enjoys knitting and complaining about the economy. She’s the best person to talk to about kittens, or where to get the best milkshakes. You can also find her on film shoots on the weekends, or on her YouTube channel. She is best known for her curly hair, spunky personality, and consistent use of the oxford comma.

Watch Lauren’s sketches!

Greg Shouse

Greg Shouse is a writer of stuff. It’s the elegant command of prose he displayed in his first sentence that has allowed him to be a graduate of The American Film Institute’s Writing Program and landed him representation by H2F Entertainment. He’s had projects in development at too numerous studios and production companies to mention and has worked as a writer/director on two independent feature films. However, his first love is writing sketch comedy for Top Story! Weekly where he’s found the type of familial closeness he never experienced in the many cults of which he’s been a member.

Watch Greg’s sketches!

Atul Singh

Atul Singh hails from the state of Texas. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin before moving to New York City. Since his arrival in Los Angeles, Atul has performed stand up, improv and sketch consistently at all the regular haunts. He is currently a member of MissionIMPROVable, Pretty Pretty Pony and JJ Caesar at the Westside Comedy Theater.

Watch Atul’s sketches!

Ray Stakenas

Ray Stakenas is a local indy pro wrestler who writes for Top Story! Weekly and occasionally does acting gigs when people ask nicely or at all. Ray has a BFA in Musical Theatre from the prestigious acting school of Ohio Northern University . Ray is an award winning poetry slammer and has appeared in various projects and shows, some of which he was even in charge of! You probably recognize him as the diner who spit up into his napkin on the twin fat guys episode of FOX’s ‘Kitchen Nightmares’

Watch Ray’s sketches!

Paul Straw

Paul Straw is a writer/producer. He claims no hometown but is a graduate of iO Chicago and of Indiana University, where he was a member of the renowned sketch group “All Sorts of Trouble for the Boy in the Bubble.” Paul has also been a writer/performer for Moon County, iO West’s Mainstage Sketch Show and The Great Depression Happy Hour. Recently he produced the independent feature film “Green River Road.”

Watch Paul’s sketches!

Chet Wild

Chet Wild is a Los Angeles-based stand-up/improviser/writer by way of Buffalo (the city, not the animal). Chet has performed with such comedy greats as Louie Anderson, Dom Irrera, and Patrice O’Neal, and has appeared in a number of comedy festivals including The Lucille Ball Festival of Comedy, The Laugh Your Asheville Off Comedy Festival, and The World Series of Comedy in Las Vegas. When not on stage or writing, he spends his time studying with The Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, co-hosting The Dunk Tank Podcast, and explaining to his parents why he doesn’t really use his Master’s degree.

Watch Chet’s sketches!