Gersh hires Haar for comix arm

The Gersh Agency has hired Jeff Haar away from the William Morris Agency to start and run the firm’s new comedy/variety department.

Haar, who said he started a similar unit at William Morris, will focus on discovering new standup and behind-the-camera talent.

“A lot of this is the development of younger, upcoming type talent,” Haar said.

Some of the clients Haar brings with him are Kim Coles of “Living Single”; Bobby Collins, host of VH-1’s “Stand Up Spotlight”; Roger Kabler of “Rhythm and Blues”; and Tommy Davidson of “In Living Color.” Haaralso reps Louis J. Horvitz, a director who helmed the 1993 Emmy Awards and the 1993 Kennedy Center Honors.

Haar joined Gersh in November and is assisted in the division by Anne Lewis, formerly assistant talent coordinator for the Improv.

And while the comedy boom of the 1980’s has subsided some recently, Bob Gersh , veep at the Gersh Agency, said comics still hold sway in Hollywood. Robin Williams’ “Mrs. Doubtfire” is the hottest movie commodity of the moment. Roseanne Arnold can call her shots and Jerry Seinfeld is a TV powerhouse.

“It’s obviously a field we wanted to be in given the state of the state of the business,” Gersh said. “It’s become an area to find the best up-and-coming people.”

Haar had worked at William Morris for five years, where he worked on putting together the Fox skein “Living Single” and “Thea” for the Alphabet web. Before that, he started the comedy department at Irvin Arthur Associates.

Haar said one of his early goals will be to work on developing projects, teaming Gersh writers with comics. He hopes to have some projects ready for the TV development season this summer.

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