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Michael Ziegfeld
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Michael Ziegfeld’s professional career began at age 16 in local television. Michael landed a job working on local Dancin’ on Air and national sister show, Dance Party USA. After an encounter with Muppet creator Jim Henson, Michael was invited to assist in the New York workshop on weekends, then later assisted on the famed show Sesame Street.

In 1987 Michael worked as a production assistant in TV Programming, where he was assigned to production formats, including magazine, talk, parade, and news, with now-established producers, including Ed Glavin (The Ellen DeGeneres Show), Ray Murray (Trading Spaces) and Glen Davish (The View). The jobs that began in production would later open the door to being cast as "talent," including stints as the Eyewitness Teen Reporter and radio host of Turn for Teens.

Michael also accepted a night job as a stage technician, where over the next several years he toured with the casino revue show producer, mounting shows in every major resort location around the globe as performance coordinator, road manager, and more. Exposed to live entertainment, Ziegfeld was drawn to the comedy acts he befriended, slowly experimenting in stand-up comedy and eventually going on tour. After three years and eventually headlining name clubs like Caroline’s, The Comedy Stop, and The Funny Bone, he was inspired by ventriloquists Ronn Lucas and Dan Horn.

The 17-year comedy career had Michael opening or sharing the bill with names like Joan Rivers, Kenny Rogers, and Jeff Foxworthy, while headlining stage shows in Las Vegas, New York, and Hollywood. Michael’s act included stand-up, improv, audience participation, music, and his ventriloquist characters, "Willie Swallow: The International Bird of Prey," “The World’s Oldest Gymnast, Nadia Coma,” and a talking plate of food. In 1998 Michael was voted Atlantic City’s “Act of the Year” by Atlantic City Magazine, with appearances including The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Comedy Central Mix, The Grammy Awards, and The Jerry Lewis Telethon.

Also in 1998, Michael produced his first comedy DVD, Jewicidal Tendencies. He then branched out into acting with a voiceover career, lending voice to Saturday Night Live’s "TV Funhouse," The Moodsters, and Crank Yankers, as well as expanding a puppeteering career creating characters for The Jim Henson Company, Pixar, MTV, Disney, and Comedy Central.

In 2007 he co-starred with Winona Ryder and Paul Rudd in David Wain’s The Ten playing dual roles as Harlan Swallow and Gary. He also premiered his critically acclaimed, off-Broadway show Ziegfeld’s Folly: My Rise to the Middle of Show Business, later running in Los Angeles. In 2008 Michael played opposite Katherine Heigl in 27 Dresses when after the audition, the character was given a threaded role in the film and renamed Ziggy, Michael’s actual nickname.

Michael founded his own multimedia group, The Ziegfeld Company Inc. with Emmy-nominated choreographer Brian Thomas and TV production-services director Nick Buzzell, to provide untapped sources for packaging, advertising, and the PR of a product. The company’s clientele includes NBC, Siegfried and Roy, and Club Med, for whom Ziegfeld Company provides the stamp of a unique, creative eye to new projects in stage, television, and print, transcending each entertainment medium.

Currently Michael is directing and developing television and digital media content for cable and network television. Most recently, he was plucked to direct the long-awaited tribute to songstress Phyllis Hyman, live from the Apollo Theater, as well as the magazine/fashion TV show Heel Me and the 43rd Academy of Magical Arts Awards. He has also teamed up with Funny or Die's Chris Caniglia for a new, scripted, half-hour comedy and screenplay.

Michael’s study of the business has allowed him the sensibility to create and direct for multiple genres, including the variety show, children’s programming, cooking, scripted, reality, and more, with name talent from stage, screen, and television.

Entries by Michael Ziegfeld

Speaking Out Against the General Public's Usage of the Verbal 'Rim Shot'

(1) Comments | Posted October 25, 2013 | 7:42 AM

It's hard to remember before the '90s when stand up comedy had yet to be on every television channel or on every street corner establishment holding a comedy night. You had to search it out in record stores, Vegas and a few small clubs. But since then, it's become as...

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Excessive 'Clapping Along' and the 'Round of Applause'

(2) Comments | Posted January 18, 2012 | 2:33 PM

I am finally coming out against the stage performer's abuse of the request for us, the audience, to "clap along." We don't want to clap along. I'm off, you're working, I paid for this ticket; you clap along. Clapping along should come from me being inspired enough in whatever you're...

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