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The Michael Shermer Show

A series of conversations between Dr. Michael Shermer and leading scientists, philosophers, historians, scholars, writers and thinkers about the most important issues of our time.

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EPISODE # 241

Jeff Maurer — I Might Be Wrong

I Might Be Wrong (podcast logo)

Michael Shermer speaks with writer, comedian, and five-time Emmy winning Senior Writer for John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight, Jeff Maurer, about the nature of creativity, comedy, politics, culture, and how the television business really works!

Jeff Maurer won two Peabody Awards, five Writers Guild Awards, and four Television Critics Association awards. He was one of the original writers of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, where he was promoted to Senior Writer. He left the show to write a political comedy called I Might Be Wrong: a podcast and several-times-weekly Substack column that covers politics and economics with a comedic voice. Instead of trying to interpret the world from a single viewpoint, Jeff picks apart the thinking behind the viewpoints and digs deep into policy.

Jeff’s early years were split between Kentucky, Virginia, and Washington State. He studied political science and economics at Georgetown (BA) and the University of Chicago (MA). After graduating, he served in the Peace Corps in Morocco, then returned to the US to become a speechwriter for the Environmental Protection Agency. He worked at the EPA for eight years, serving in the Office of Land Management and EPA’s Region 2 office in New York. While working for the EPA, Jeff began building a reputation as a standup comic. He was a semifinalist on Season 7 of Last Comic Standing, a finalist at the Great American Comedy Festival, and was featured on AXS TV’s Live at Gotham and Comcast on Demand Comedy. He became a regular at the Comedy Cellar in New York and performed at clubs and college across the US and Europe.

It was while performing standup that Jeff was spotted by John Oliver and a producer for The Daily Show. That led to him being hired as one of the original writers for Last Week Tonight, where he worked for six years. During his tenure, Jeff was promoted to Senior Writer and was the lead on pieces including Edward Snowden, International Trade, Confederacy, and Sex Education.

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This episode was released on January 15, 2022.

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