Rich Talarico is a Peabody® Award winning and four-time Emmy® nominated writer and producer best known for his work on Comedy Central’s Key & Peele where he wrote K&P favorites Substitute Teacher, Racist Zombies, Karim and Jahar, Hatz, Teaching Center, Obama Greets, Black Ice and many more.

Rich worked over 20 years in Hollywood where he wrote and produced on some of the biggest shows in late-night comedy; MADtv, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Saturday Night Live, and the critically acclaimed, Review.  Rich is an alum of Chicago’s Second City Comedy Theater and a long-time teacher and performer at The Improv Olympic (iO) in both Chicago and Los Angeles.

As an actor, Rich has appeared in featured roles on Late Night with Conan O’Brien, MADtv, the feature film High Fidelity and numerous commercials including A&W Root Beer’s classic ad, “Mr. Dumass.” Talarico’s extensive experience in the comedy industry has made him a highly sough-after teacher, writer and consultant, and he continues to help shape what it means to be funny. Rich is currently based in Nashville, TN where he is performing stand-up comedy.



"I seriously don't think I've had the chance to absorb that much good content in a small amount of time ever...even in college!"

— Jessica ChristopherStudent

“I learned more about sketch writing in this class than any other class I’ve taken in the past."

— Mirejah CruzStudent

"Rich knows how to write sketches, that much is obvious. But it was clear that he loves helping people get better, too. Don't wait to find a better sketch class. It might not come along."

— Tim MarksThe KC Improv Company & Co-Founder of Fountain City Sketch Company

“Rich Talarico is one of the all time great Caucasian Improvisers.”

— Tina Fey

“As a teacher, Rich Talarico brings Lakers legendary coach Phil Jackson to mind. A cerebral educator who brings out the best in people.”

— Keith "Lucky” LehrerOriginal drummer of “Circle Jerks”

“Rich is the embodiment of good improv: positive, giving, and genuine.”

— Colin ThorntonCo-founder, Improv Cincinnati

“Rich’s workshop is considered a ‘must take’ at any festival he attends.”

— Chris MoodyProducer, Detroit Improv Festival

“Rich’s teaching technique was very non-threatening, generous, and accepting of others— a great atmosphere for learning and taking chances.”

— Gail SchumanStudent, Baltimore Improv Group


Rich Talarico writer | Key & Peele

Highlights of Rich Talarico’s writing for Key & Peele.

The Receptionist

Directed & Edited by Rich Talarico

The Genius

Directed & Edited by Rich Talarico

The Boss

Directed & Edited by Rich Talarico

“The Flame” Lyric Video

Shot, Directed and Edited by Rich Talarico

The Bank Manager (Demo)

Series Demo by Rich Talarico


Thick-Headed campaign for A&W Rootbeer. “Mr. Dumass”

Death of a Cell Phone

Karen’s cell phone has died.

First Class Turbulence

The one time I upgrade to first class and it’s bumpy.

Confessions of a Time Waster

Written & Performed By Craig Cackowski.
Directed By Rich Talarico.

Liars Get The Sauce

These people think they’re actually eating gourmet chicken wings.

Sylmar the Genie (NSFW)

Owen finds a magic lamp and releases a Genie granting three wishes.


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Dasariski f. Stephnie Weir pictures: Steve Rogers Photography – Austin, TX
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