Saturday Night Live writer Bryan Tucker will present a comic view on the U.S. presidential election Nov. 27 at 7:30 p.m. in the Great Room at the Top of the Hill restaurant in Chapel Hill, N.C.
The free, public event is the inaugural Jeff MacNelly Lecture for the UNC School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Admission is free, but seating is limited, and reservations are required. Reservations can be made through the Carolina Union box at firstname.lastname@example.org on a first-come, first-served basis.
Tucker, a 1993 graduate of the journalism school, has written for Chappelle’s Show, The Chris Rock Show, Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn and Mad TV in addition to seven years with Saturday Night Live, where he is a writing supervisor.
Prior to writing for TV shows, he performed more than 500 shows as a stand-up comedian and sketch actor with the improv group Selected Hilarity. The venues he has played include Caroline’s Comedy Club and the Gotham Comedy Club in New York, The Improvisation in Hollywood, Calif., and The Laugh Factory in Los Angeles.
Tucker has earned five Emmy nominations, a Peabody Award and three Writers Guild Awards. Nerve.com and IFC.com ranked his “The Racial Draft” sketch #12 among the 50 greatest comedy sketches of all time.
UNC honored Tucker this year with its John L. Haber Award. The “Habey” Award — given in collaboration by the New York Carolina Club, the UNC Department of Dramatic Art, Carolina Performing Arts, the UNC General Alumni Association and PlayMakers Repertory Company — recognizes a Carolina alumnus or alumna for outstanding contribution to the arts.
Tucker and his wife, Rachael, a 1996 graduate of the Kenan-Flagler Business School, started the Tucker Family Scholarship in the UNC School of Journalism and Mass Communication to help students pursue careers after graduation without the financial burden of student loans.
Jeff MacNelly created the popular comic strip Shoe, based on the iconic former UNC journalism professor Jim Shumaker, known as “Shu” by students and colleagues. Shumaker was MacNelly’s editor and mentor at the Chapel Hill Weekly, where MacNelly worked while a UNC student.
He also drew cartoons as a student for The Daily Tar Heel. Several original MacNelly cartoons decorate the walls of the journalism school’s Carroll Hall.
MacNelly joined The Richmond News Leader in 1970. In 1972, he won his first Pulitzer Prize. The Chicago Tribune syndicated MacNelly’s cartoons, and he eventually moved to Chicago to work for the newspaper. He launched the nationally syndicated Pluggers comic strip in 1993.
He is an N.C. Journalism Hall of Fame inductee who won three Pulitzer Prizes, the George Polk Award and two Reuben Awards from the National Cartoonists Society. He died in 2000.