I first met Peter when I was a “client” at the New York office of William Morris in the ’90s.
At that time I was not what you would consider “first priority”; i.e., my own agents never returned my calls. (No longer — the new WME seems to have upgraded their “while you were out” Post-It system.)
But there was one agent there who took an interest in me: Peter Principato. He was in the commercials department. I never booked one, so I had plenty of time to sit in Peter’s office and shoot the breeze about comedy. I was glad to have at least one guy at the agency I could relate to. And in what was to be a pattern repeated a dozen times in my career, that one guy quit.
But in this case Peter left to start a management company. I jumped at the chance to pay double commissions for the privilege of shooting the breeze with Peter and still getting no work.
Over the years, Peter dutifully collected his 10% of nothing from me. But he must have had some idea of what he was doing because the company grew and he started spending some time in L.A. Thankfully I had his assurance that neither he nor the company was ever moving there, he was just working out there approximately four weeks per month.
These days of course, PYE is a huge multi-national mega-corporation, pulling the strings of all media, for example, Comedy Central pilots. It’s been years since I’ve been able to get Peter himself on the phone. Rumor is that he’s secluded in a New Mexico bunker developing experimental methods of pretending to listen while actually playing World of Warcraft. But wherever you are Peter, congrats! And call me back when you get a chance.
David Wain’s writing credits include “Role Models” and several episodes of “MADtv.”