Pat Hazell to present next Carson Lecture Sept. 25

Pat Hazell to present next Carson Lecture Sept. 25

calendar icon20 Sep 2015    

Pat Hazell
Pat Hazell

Lincoln, Neb.--Comedian and former “Seinfeld” writer Pat Hazell will present the next Carson Lecture on Friday, Sept. 25.

Hazell’s Carson Lecture will be at 3:30 p.m. in Howell Theatre, which is located on the first floor of the Temple Building, on the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s City Campus at 12th and R sts. The event is free and open to the public, but a free ticket is required for entry. Reserve your free tickets at

“We’re thrilled to welcome comedian, writer, producer, pop culture anthropologist and Nebraska native Pat Hazell as the Carson Lecture Series guest in September,” said Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film Director Paul Steger. “We welcome the opportunity for our students and the Lincoln community to learn about how Pat’s experiences were informed and shaped by Johnny Carson’s example and influence. We look forward to Pat’s interaction with our students and the continued success of the Carson Lecture Series.”

The biennial Carson Lecture Series has been created to celebrate the contributions of entertainment icon and UNL alumnus Johnny Carson.    

“The Carson Lecture Series helps us celebrate Johnny's contributions to the entertainment industry,” Steger said. “The series is the vehicle for students, faculty and the general public to gain a deeper understanding of the impact Johnny Carson has had and continues to have on the entertainment industry.”

Showtime declared Hazell one of the five funniest people in America. His 25 years of experience as a writer, performer and producer have made him the go-to guy for custom corporate entertainment. Originally from Omaha, Hazell is one of the original writers for NBC's “Seinfeld,” a Tonight Show veteran, a critically acclaimed playwright and a contributing commentator to National Public Radio. He is recognized for his genuinely funny Americana humor and his salute to pop culture.

His ability to integrate humor into a business meeting has lead to hosting hundreds of award shows for clients such as: Verizon, Canada Life, MSN, GTE, Toshiba, Lucent Technologies, Merry Maids, Brinker International, Paramount Home Video, Northwestern Golf, Marriott, Ernst & Young, Precor, Ford Motor Company, and many more. As the President of Sweetwood Productions, Hazell is in the business of being a funny businessman.                      

As a playwright, Hazell’s first endeavor was “Bunk Bed Brothers,” which he co-wrote with Matt Goldman. The play was critically acclaimed and later optioned by Columbia Pictures with screenwriting chores going to Hazell and Goldman. Bunk Bed Brothers then gained the attention from the television industry and was filmed as the sit-com, “American Pie,” for NBC Studios.

His television writing credits include “Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman,” “My Life In 3D,” Showtime’s Aspen Comedy Special and “Grounded For Life.” Hazell’s latest work, “The Wonder Bread Years,” a hilarious one-man show and tell aired on PBS, where they referred to him as "America's foremost pop culture anthropologist." A salute to the Baby Boomer generation, the live theatrical tour is currently enjoying rave reviews across the US.

Johnny Carson was born in Corning, Iowa, on Oct. 23, 1925, and grew up in Norfolk, Neb. He served in World War II in the Navy as an ensign before enrolling at the University of Nebraska in 1947. He received a bachelor of arts degree in radio and speech with a minor in physics in 1949.    

He hosted The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson for 30 years, from 1962 to 1992. Carson earned six Emmy Awards, a Peabody Award and was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1992 and received Kennedy Center Honors in 1993.    

The University of Nebraska–Lincoln has received more than $12 million in donations from Carson and the John W. Carson Foundation, including support for theatre, film and broadcasting.    

The University’s Department of Theatre Arts was renamed the Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film in 2005.

Previous Carson Lecturers have included Wil Shriner and Bob Uecker, as well as Tonight Show Writers Anthony DeSena, Darrell Vickers and Andrew Nicholls and Carson Entertainment Group President Jeff Sotzing.