Lewis Black will host the 2017 Writers Guild Awards ceremony at New York’s Edison Ballroom on Feb. 19, 2017.
The New York ceremony will be co-executive produced by Bonnie Datt and Shannon Walker. Ann Cohen will serve as the show’s head writer — marking the first time the guild’s producing and writing team will all be led by women.
“I am honored to be the host of the 2017 Writers Guild Awards, of which I am a proud member,” said Black. “Though all honors should go to the reality we have lived through for the past two years and are still living through, as it’s the most profound fiction I’ve ever witnessed.”
Black began his career in New York City as a playwright-in-residence at the West Bank Café’s Downstairs Theatre Bar. He oversaw the development of more than 1,000 plays. In 1996, Black began his signature “Back in Black” segment on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show.”
He has taped nine stand-up comedy specials, published three New York Times bestselling books and released multiple comedy albums, which earned him two Grammy awards for Best Comedy Album.
Co-executive producer Shannon Walker is co-founder and festival director of the Lower East Side Film Festival. She has been nominated for two Writers Guild Awards for the comedic web series “Vicky & Lusander.”
Co-executive producer Bonnie Datt is a comedy writer/producer, a fashion blogger, and stand-up comic. Her writing credits span television, print, stage and the web and include work for ABC, PBS, USA, Oxygen, The Disney Channel and Spy magazine. Datt has served on the Guild’s Council since 2011 and has worked on the Writers Guild Awards in New York since 2009. In addition, she was on President Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign’s Entertainment Advisory Council.
Head writer Ann Cohen is a comedy writer and producer in New York.
The WGA will also hold a simultaneous awards ceremony in Los Angeles on Feb. 19.