OMG!

In his satirical comedy An Act of God, writer David Javerbaum updates the Ten Commandments and introduces Universe 2.0.


Was it winning 13 Emmy Awards that gave writer David Javerbaum the nerve to channel God? Maybe he was feeling omnipotent after all that recognition.

Critics reviewing Mr. Javerbaum’s play have reinforced his supreme being. The Hollywood Reporter said: “An Act of God is both outrageously irreverent and deeply thoughtful in its exploration of religious issues. The Book of Mormon seems almost restrained by comparison.” Vulture did not smite him either, describing An Act of God as, “sarcastic, clever, and miles beneath the surface, deeply serious.”

Even The New York Times called him almighty: “Verily I could quote every other line from Mr. Javerbaum’s annotation of the Scriptures and gather a chuckle, so deliriously funny is he as a sort of amateur theologian and stand-up comedy genius rolled into one.”

How did a Jewish kid from Maplewood, New Jersey grow up to be a comedy genius?

Well, he attended Harvard (not usually thought of as a hotbed of humor), but he did write for The Harvard Lampoon. He also received a master’s degree in musical theater composition from New York University.

Mr. Javerbaum’s entrée into the world of serious comedy began when he spent a year writing for “Late Night with David Letterman,” and three more years at the satirical newspaper, The Onion.

But he started his ascent toward divinity when he was hired as a staff writer for “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” in 1999. By 2002 he was the Comedy Central show’s head writer and by 2006 its executive producer.

It was for his work on “The Daily Show” that Mr. Javerbaum received 11 Emmy Awards. Add to that a Grammy, three Peabody Awards, and Television Critics Association Awards for both Best Comedy and Best News Show.

He earned his 12th Emmy co-writing lyrics for the 65th Tony Awards opening number, “Broadway: It’s Not Just for Gays Anymore,” another Grammy for his original score for “A Colbert Christmas,” and his 13th Emmy for the opening and closing numbers of the 66th Tony Awards.

Even God rested on the seventh day, and Mr. Javerbaum left “The Daily Show” in 2010. But he didn’t stop his acts of creation and in 2011 he released a book called The Last Testament: A Memoir by God. According to Janet Maslin, writing in The New York Times, Mr. Javerbaum’s specialty is chutzpah: “He has written a recklessly funny set of gags about all things religious and quite a few things secular too,” she said.

While writing the Memoir, Mr. Javerbaum started a Twitter account for God: @TheTweetOfGod. It became hugely popular and continued until last year. He said he ended it after the account got hacked, and also because it miniaturizes the way you think. “If I’m going to work on other things that require anything longer – i.e. anything else in the world – I needed to stop doing that,” he said.

What he liked about Twitter was the immediate reaction. To make that response even more tangible, he wrote a play based on the tweets. An Act of God opened on Broadway in the spring of 2015 starring Jim Parsons, and again in the spring of 2016 starring Sean Hayes.

In his latest project, Mr. Javerbaum, now 45, is no longer knocking on heaven’s door. He’s co-writing and executive producing with Chuck Lorre the Netflix series “Disjointed,” which takes place in a Los Angeles cannabis dispensary. So you might say he’s gone from on high to just high.