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Jaffe Cohen

Lecturer in Screenwriting

Jaffe Cohen is an award winning screenwriter, author, and stand up comic. His screenplay, Best Actress, co-written with Michael Zam, made the Blacklist, and was bought by Ryan Murphy who used it as the basis for the first season of the FX TV series Feud, starring Jessica Lange and Susan Sarandon. For his work on Feud, Jaffe has been nominated for two Emmy awards, for co-creating the show and for co-writing the pilot.  Currently, along with his writing partner Michael Zam, Jaffe is developing several scripts for movies and TV including a biopic about Vivien Leigh, and Brenda, a four part limited series with Oscar winning director, Paolo Sorrentino.  Previously Cohen and Zam were employed by DreamWorks to write the comedy, Wife vs. Ninja. In 2001, his screenplay for Hit and Runway, written with director Christopher Livingston was released theatrically after winning numerous “Best Screenplay” awards at the Los Angeles Independent Film Festival, the Seattle Film Festival and the US Comedy Arts Festival, hosted by HBO.  Jaffe also has the distinction of being one of the first openly gay standup comedians on national television from his groundbreaking appearance on “Comic Strip Live” in 1990.   He also founded, the pioneering standup comedy trio Funny Gay Males which played the Montreal Just for Laughs Festival several years running and won the comedy group award from the Manhattan Association of Cabarets three years in a row. At that time he was a frequent guest on Howard Stern’s morning show.  His play Elliot Bound was produced Off Broadway and his highly acclaimed one man show, The King of Kings and I opened in New York at the Courtyard Theater, and was subsequently performed in many cities across the country. His comic memoir was published by Harper Collins.  Jaffe’s other writings include the best selling, Growing Up Gay: from Left Out to Coming Out published by Hyperion and a novel, Tush, published by Carroll and Graf. He also created and performed in a sketch comedy show called In Thru the Out Door, broadcast on the CBC. Jaffe also had speaking roles in two major films: As Good As It Gets, directed by James L. Brooks and Hanging Up, directed by Diane Keaton.