Coronavirus Updates: USC  |  SCA

USC Comedy Festival, Vol. 5 Presents: FROM PITCH TO PEABODY

April 11, 2021, 4:45 P.M. PDT

Live Online Webinar

USC Comedy at the School of Cinematic Arts,
USC Visions and Voices: The Arts and Humanities Initiative,
and Hulu, invite you to attend


From Pitch to Peabody

A Conversation with Billy Rosenberg, Vice President,
Hulu Originals, Head of Comedy
Ramy Youssef, Creator & Star of Hulu's Ramy
on the nuts and bolts of how comedy is developed

Moderated by Deana Nassar Fernandez
Program Director - Middle East Media Initiative (MEMI)

The event will begin with a screening of the
Ramy Season 2 Premiere - "Bay'ah" (29 min.)

4:45 P.M. PDT on Sunday, April 11th, 2021


Open to USC Students, Faculty, Staff, Alumni, and the General Public.

Presented during the USC Comedy Festival, Vol. 5,
taking place from April 9th - 11th, 2021.

Visit the USC Comedy Festival, Vol. 5 Homepage:
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About the Guests

BILLY ROSENBERG (Vice President, Hulu Originals, Head of Comedy)

Billy Rosenberg joined Hulu in January 2017 to manage and oversee the expansion the Hulu Original comedy slate which included the groundbreaking and critically lauded series such as the Golden Globe Winning Ramy, Shrill, Dollface, Solar Opposites, Woke and Emmy Nominated Pen15. Hulu’s upcoming comedy slate includes Only Murders In The Building from Dan Fogelman starring Steve Martin, Martin Short and Selena Gomez, Pam & Tommy starring Lily James, Sebastian Stan and Seth Rogen, and Life & Beth created by and starring Amy Schumer.

Before joining Hulu, Rosenberg ran Andy Samberg and The Lonely Island’s company Party Over Here, where he produced the series, I’m Sorry, created by and starring Andrea Savage, which has been picked up for its third season at TruTV and Alone Together which aired for two seasons at Freeform.  He also produced the feature film Brigsby Bear written by and starring SNL’s Kyle Mooney.  Additionally Rosenberg collaborated with writer/director Joe Swanberg and was a co-producer on his Netflix series Easy.

Prior to this, Rosenberg was a longtime executive for Shawn Levy’s 21 Laps Entertainment. There, he developed and produced a number of movies including The Spectacular Now, Date Night, The Watch, Table 19 and Fist Fight.

Rosenberg got his start as an executive working for producer Lynda Obst when she had a pod deal at Paramount Studios. He is a graduate from the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts. 

RAMY YOUSSEF (Creator, Executive Producer, Director, Actor)

Ramy Youssef is a Golden Globe-winning Egyptian-American creator, actor, producer, director, and comedian who brings his unique voice and perspective to his storytelling.

Most recently, the Television Academy nominated Youssef for two 2020 Emmy Awards in the categories of “Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series” and “Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series” on behalf of his Hulu show Ramy. In addition to Ramy’s nominations, two-time Academy Award-winner Mahershala Ali, who joined the cast for season 2, was nominated for his performance in the category of “Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series.” Youssef won the 2020 Golden Globe Award on behalf of Ramy in the category of ‘Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy.’ Ramy also won a 2020 Peabody Award and was nominated for a 2019 Gotham Award for ‘Best Breakthrough Series – Short Format’ and a 2020 Writers Guild Award in the category of ‘Comedy/Variety Specials’ on behalf of his one-hour comedy special “Ramy Youssef: Feelings.”

Youssef created, produced, directs, and stars in the hit show Ramy, inspired by his own experiences. Ramy centers around a first-generation Egyptian-American Muslim on a spiritual journey in his politically divided New Jersey neighborhood. Hulu recently picked up the third season of the show. Ramy’s first comedy special, “Ramy Youssef: Feelings,” produced by A24, premiered on HBO last Summer.

Youssef recently signed a first look deal with A24 and is working on creating and developing projects with Apple and Netflix. The first show for Apple will star Ramy series regular Stephen Way in a story illustrating the perspective and experience of a disabled person navigating life in a disabled community. Youssef will executive produce both this series and an untitled show currently in production with Netflix.

Ramy is a graduate of William Esper Studio and Rutherford High School in New Jersey.

DEANA NASSAR FERNANDEZ (Moderator, Program Director - Middle East Media Initiative, MEMI)

Deana is the Program Director for the Middle East Media Initiative, an innovative professional exchange produced at the USC School of Cinematic Arts that seeks to support and train the current generation of Arab TV screenwriters and content creators in the Middle East in telling local character-driven stories.

In 2010, she served as the Hollywood Liaison for the Muslim Public Affairs Council, where she engaged decision-makers in the entertainment industry to promote and foster nuanced and accurate depictions of Muslim Americans and Muslim societies and provided access and opportunities to an expanding network of Muslim talent.

Her tenure as the Artistic Director at the Arab Film Festival led her to help co-found the Arab Film and Media Institute in 2015 in California to address the need to bridge Arab Filmmaking with American audiences. Deana attended Law School at Howard University School of Law in Washington, DC, where she studied Entertainment and International Law.

About Ramy

The series follows first-generation, Egyptian-American Ramy Hassan (Youssef) who is on a spiritual journey in his politically-divided New Jersey neighborhood. RAMY brings a new perspective to the screen as it explores the challenges of what it’s like to be caught between a religious community who believes life is a moral test, and a millennial generation that doubts an afterlife even exists. In the second season, Ramy delves further into his spiritual journey, finding a new Muslim community and embracing a deeper commitment to his faith.

About the USC Comedy Festival, Vol. 5

The 5th Edition of the USC Comedy Festival comes after a year of unprecedented social isolation and demands for social justice. Staring at screens or out in the streets, we learned why we still needed comedy and discovered new ways to make each other laugh in spite of everything. Affiliated with the USC Comedy track at the School of Cinematic Arts and the Jack Oakie and Victoria Horne Oakie Foundation, the festival will honor legendary performer, impressionist, and character-ologist Bill Hader. Over the course of three days, panels will feature well-known guests such as Aidy Bryant, Demetri Martin, Lisa Kudrow, Lindy West, Matt Besser, Patton Oswalt, and Ramy Youssef; capture new voices exploding onto the scene; and celebrate the work of our newest generation of USC Comedy students.

Visit the USC Comedy Festival, Vol. 5 Homepage:
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About USC Comedy at the School of Cinematic Arts

In 2010 USC became the first university in the nation to offer a program dedicated to training filmmakers in the art of comedy. USC Comedy at the School of Cinematic Arts offers instruction in the writing, directing, production as well as the history and theory of comedy. Students work with a distinguished, award-winning faculty of comedy professionals to discover and develop their comedic voices, while getting unrivaled access to the field through workshops, internships, demonstrations and screenings and festivals.

USC Comedy boasts an award-winning faculty that includes Jack Epps Jr. (The Secret of My SuccessLegal EaglesTop Gun), Barnet Kellman (Murphy BrownMad About YouGeorge Lopez), David Isaacs (Cheers, FrasierM*A*S*H*), Robert Townsend (Diary of A Single Mom, The Parent Hood), Rob Schiller (The King of Queens), Andy Cadiff (Last Man Standing, Spin City) John Bowman (Saturday Night LiveIn Living Color), Dave Goetsch (The Big Bang Theory), F J Pratt (Sullivan & Son) and Tim Marx (Young Sheldon), to name just a few.
Our students benefit from the expertise and participation of SCA Comedy Alumni such as Jay Roach (Austin PowersMeet the Parents), Tim Story (Barber ShopRide Along), Judd Apatow (Girls, Superbad, Knocked Up),  Paul Feig (Bridesmaids, Spy), Peter Segal (Tommy BoyGet Smart), Gabe Sachs (Freaks and Geeks), Jason Reitman (JunoUp in the Air), Nahnatchka Khan (Fresh Off The Boat), and Prentice Penny (Insecure), among many other luminaries and industry professionals.

For more information, visit:

About USC Visions and Voices: The Arts and Humanities Initiative

Visions and Voices is a university-wide arts and humanities initiative that is unparalleled in higher education. The initiative was established by USC President C. L. Max Nikias during his tenure as provost in order to fulfill the goals set forth in USC's strategic plan; to communicate USC's core values to students; and to affirm the human spirit. Emphasizing the university's commitment to interdisciplinary approaches, the initiative features a spectacular array of events conceived and organized by faculty and schools throughout the university. The series includes theatrical productions, music and dance performances, conferences, lectures, film screenings and many other special events both on and off campus. Each program invites students to dialogue and interact with artists, writers, professors and special guests. These interactions provide a dynamic experience of the arts and humanities and encourage active exploration of USC's core values, including freedom of inquiry and expression, team spirit, appreciation of diversity, commitment to serving one's community, entrepreneurial spirit, informed risk-taking, ethical conduct and the search for truth.

Visit the Official Visions and Voices Website:
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Follow Visions and Voices on Twitter: @VisionsnVoices


Contact Information

Name: Alessandro Ago