As a comedy writer, actress and standup comic, Carol Leifer is known for her distinctive point of view. So it should come as no surprise that Leifer would forge her own path during pilot season.
On Nov. 1, Leifer will mount a live table reading at Hollywood’s Acme Theater of a spec comedy pilot, “Have a Nice Day,” that she’s shopping. To pull it off, she turned to her friend, casting director Tracy Lilienfield, who helped Leifer assemble her dream ensemble of Andy Kindler, Rachael Harris, Kym Whitley, Emily Rutherfurd, Eric Allan Kramer and Valerie Harper. Actor-helmer Richie Keen is directing the invitation-only evening show, presented by Leifer’s reps at the Collective and Kaplan Stahler Agency.
“I just thought that instead of having a script that winds up on the weekend read pile for someone, why not bring this script to life,” Leifer says. “Tracy helped me reach out to people and everyone I wanted said ‘yes.’ It’s just been like one of those Judy Garland-Mickey Rooney things of ‘Hey kids, let’s put on a show. We can use my dad’s barn.’?”
Leifer is known for her work in front of and behind the camera on “Seinfeld,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “Celebrity Apprentice” and her WB Network laffer “Alright Already,” among others. She earned an Emmy nom (her third) as part of the writing team for this year’s Oscarcast.
“Have a Nice Day” features Leifer playing herself, a comedy pro trying to make a living in a tough biz. The inspiration for the project came from her recent memoir “When You Lie About Your Age, the Terrorists Win: Reflections on Looking in the Mirror.” To support the tome, she did a 20-city standup tour earlier this year, and she could sense a strong reaction when she ventured into her most personal material.
“When I would talk about myself and real life I would always feel the audience come into me more,” Leifer says. “People responded to that material so much more than the airline jokes. It led me to think that there really is a show here.”