Shelley Berman started as a straight actor, receiving his training at the Goodman Theater in Chicago, honing his acting skills in stock companies in and around Chicago and New York. In the mid-fifties he became a member of Chicago's Compass Players, the group today known as The Second City. Here he developed his skill as an improvisationist.
In 1957, Berman landed his first job as a comedian at Mr. Kelly's in Chicago. His comedy albums would earn him three gold records and he'd win the first GRAMMY for a non-musical recording. He was the first standup comedian to appear in Carnegie Hall. He continues throughout America internationally with his one-man comedy show. With the release of his 1995 CD recording "SHELLEY BERMAN - LIVE AGAIN!" he crossed another career milestone. In 2000, honored at the Chicago Festival of Comedy doing "Shelley Berman, A Body of Work". These days Shelley headlines in Las Vegas twice a year.
Starred in Broadway musical "A Family Affair" and one-man show "Insideoutsideandallaround Shelley Berman". Starred, national tour of musical "Two By Two"; Neil Simon's "The Prisoner Of Second Avenue". His work in the Chicago production of "I'm Not Rappaport" earned him a best actor nomination for the Jefferson Award. Winner of two LA Dramalogue Best Actor Awards.
Early in Berman's career, he appeared regularly on the Ed Sullivan Show, The Jack Paar Show, major variety shows. TV guest star credits include NIGHTCOURT; MACGYVER; recurring character Ben Flicker on L.A. LAW. FRIENDS, ARLISS, "PROVIDENCE" in Spring of 2000. Fall 2000: "WALKER, TEXAS RANGER"; in 2003, guest star, KING OF QUEENS. Currently he is appearing as Larry David's father in HBO's CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM.
Films include THE BEST MAN with Henry Fonda; EVERY HOME SHOULD HAVE ONE co-star with Marty Feldman; DIVORCE AMERICAN STYLE; RENTED LIPS; TEEN WITCH; ELLIOT FAUMAN PHD; After School Special THE KID WHO WOULDN'T QUIT; Burt Reynolds' THE LAST PRODUCER in 1999.
He has authored three books: CLEANS AND DIRTYS; A HOTEL IS A FUNNY PLACE; UP IN THE AIR WITH SHELLEY BERMAN. Written two plays: FIRST IS SUPPER, first produced in Chicago in 1990; SILVER SONATA performed in San Diego, 1996. He has written TV pilots for CBS, Screen Gems, Desilu and NBC.
Shelley is in his nineteenth year of teaching at USC in the Master of Professional Writing program. His subject is Writing Humor, Literary and Dramatic.