The dog lived. So did I. But the memories still haunt us.

One of the founding editors of the Lampoon peered at me over his pint of Guinness.

That was my first writing lesson at the National Lampoon.

I got hired because I could copyedit. As you might guess, the writers of the Lampoon didn’t overthink their grammar and spelling. They needed someone who could prepare the copy for the printer, but NOT kill the joke. …


Discovery tasked me with spreading Shark Week across all digital and social platforms as well as creating original programming for the Discovery GO app. We focused on “Celebrating The Tribe,” the millions of people who “Live Every Week Like It’s Shark Week.” The channel was #1 in the 25–54 Demo during Shark Week, showed steady ratings growth YOY, delivered over 200M views on FB and YT, and had 2 “Top 20” shows on Snapchat’s Discover tab.

The Back Story

In 2017, David Zaslav and Karen Leever brought me to Discovery to help them create multi-platform content for Shark Week. I was tasked with…


Smashing the Godfather Patriarchy?

Back in the day, we casually compared ourselves to the Godfather to express how we felt about work. In the hallways and elevators and conference rooms, you’d hear people pepper their conversations with lines like “Make him an offer he can’t refuse,” “This is the life we have chosen,” “Never side against the family” or — using Fredo’s pathetic plea to describe someone who was overreaching — “I’m smart too!!!”

The Godfather was literally made by a company that embodied the conglomerates that overtook America in the 70s: Gulf + Western, owners…


There is a terrific book about the early days of Late Night by Jason Zinoman. So, I don’t need to go into all of the nuts and bolts. It’s really good. I recommend it! I also highly recommend Bill Carter’s book “The Late Shift,”as a primer about how the world of Late Night was invented by Dave (while the Carson tradition was carried on by Jay). …


I’ve had a great career at some of the most innovative and creative companies in the world, from Letterman to MTV Networks to Twitter. Now, I’m helping companies build creative cultures — which I believe is the single most important tool an organization can have to remain competitive and innovative.

Today, I launched my consulting business and website, FredGraver.com There, I’ve my lessons learned and experiences and outlined how I help companies build a creative culture.

You are no doubt VERY BUSY. So, below, please find a TL;DR version of the creative lessons I’ve learned. (If you’re interested in hiring…


Tony Bourdain was one of the first people in TV to explore the world of live Tweeting. Of course he was! Show Tony a real or metaphorical map, and he’d want to explore.

After a night of conversing back and forth with the fans of his show, live while it aired, he said, “It was like reaching into the TV and touching people.”

After reading this morning’s sad, sad, sad news, I thought of that. Anthony Bourdain embodied the great ideal to which everyone in TV aspires: Somehow, what we do will actually touch people. He did it — every…


Yeah, Bradley Cooper knows how to work a phone.

With Oscar night approaching, I find myself thinking back to one of the high points of my time at Twitter: The Academy Awards of 2014, and the famous “Ellen Selfie.”

From time to time, people ask me how that selfie came to be. It’s a pretty good story of collaboration, partnership and professionalism. And these days, a story with a happy ending is worth telling.

The TV team at Twitter (Andrew Adashek, Grace Lee, Kate Bowen, Liz Myers, Lara Cohen and myself) had an excellent relationship with Ellen DeGeneres and her team, some of which grew out of my old…


I have one thing I do with my time that makes me — at once — proud, humble, inspired and glad to be alive. I’m part of the Writers’ Guild Initiative workshops, which help people find their voices and express themselves through writing.

These workshops are conducted on weekends in New York, San Antonio, and other places around the country. We’ve done many with Wounded Warriors and the Caregivers who help returning veterans. Recently, we expanded to work with recently exonerated Death Row Inmates.

The stories we hear are astounding. Funny, warm, generous. Harrowing, raw and searing. …


“The Sheriff Is A N — ” Thoughts on Larry Wilmore and the White House Correspondent’s Dinner.

This IS NOT a “Thinkpiece” by a White Man about Larry Wilmore and the WHCD.

This IS a “Thinkpiece” by a White Man about Larry Wilmore and the WHCD.

First off, let’s establish my bonafides as a white man. I watched the 2016 White House Correspondent’s Dinner at a small party with dear friends in an apartment on Park Avenue (with a wrap-around terrace!). Hard to get more white than that.

But I’ve felt whiter. I felt REALLY white during the year that…

Fred Graver

Creative Consultant, Producer, Writer, Executive

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store