Michael Colton & John Aboud (us) are writers and producers for film and television. We wrote and produced A Futile and Stupid Gesture, a biopic about Doug Kenney and the origins of the National Lampoon. Directed by David Wain and starring Will Forte and Domhnall Gleeson, the film premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival and is streaming on Netflix.
“A thoughtful yet playful biography about an unsung comedy genius.” — Brian Lowry, CNN.com
“An impishly meta cartoon that manages to squeeze in some serious themes… It’s Brechtian. Or Kabuki-esque. Or just Lampoon-y.” — David Edelstein, Vulture
Currently, we are executive producers on the HBO Max show Close Enough. We wrote for Comedy Central’s The Fake News with Ted Nelms, which won a 2019 Writers Guild Award for Best Variety Special. Other credits include the DreamWorks Animation film Penguins of Madagascar; TNT’s Leverage; Adult Swim’s Childrens Hospital and Newsreaders; and Fox’s animated shows Allen Gregory and Sit Down Shut Up.
We also wrote and produced an animated Zoolander series that’s streaming on Crackle and CBS All Access; co-wrote the film The Comebacks; and have written pilots and specials for ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, Comedy Central, TBS, VH1 and Adult Swim.
For most of the go-go ’00s, we appeared regularly as panelists on VH1, making snide but loving jokes about pop culture. Entertainment Weekly called us the “cham-peen deadpan kings” of Best Week Ever. We also appeared on I Love the 70s/80s/90s/00s/etc. We have been panelists, separately or together, on CNN, Fox News, ABC News, CMT, NPR, The Today Show, and the DVD releases of Beverly Hills 90210 and Melrose Place.
During the Writers Guild of America strike of 2007-8, we created AMPTP.com, a parody of the AMPTP’s official website, AMPTP.org. The parody (archived here) was called “must-read” by Advertising Age and “profane” and “inspired” by the Boston Globe. In addition, during the strike Aboud was one of the founders and editors of the influential United Hollywood website.
Before moving from Brooklyn to Los Angeles, we founded Modern Humorist, an award-winning online magazine and comedy collective. In addition to a daily magazine, Modern Humorist published three books with Crown Publishing, including the best-selling My First Presidentiary: A Scrapbook by George W. Bush. Modern Humorist also helped develop ad campaigns for Microsoft, Time Warner Cable and Amazon.
Modern Humorist began in 1999 after our first collaboration: TalkMagazine.net, an online parody of Tina Brown and Harvey Weinstein’s magazine Talk (archived here.)
Our writing has also appeared in Esquire, Cosmopolitan, Fortune, New York and Time.
Prior to founding Modern Humorist, Aboud wrote for Mother Jones, Wired, GQ and TV Guide and worked for Grey Advertising, where he won a One Show Interactive Merit award.
Colton was a staff writer for the Washington Post Style section and has also written for the New York Times Magazine, the Los Angeles Times and the Boston Globe. In high school, he co-wrote the book Up Your Score: The Underground Guide to the SAT. In his spare time he is a passionate collector of fine art.