IU alumnus and writer for Stephen Colbert returns to campus to discuss coping with depression while seeking career success


Brian Stack
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Brian Stack, an award-winning writer and comedian and an Indiana University alumnus, will speak at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 11 about his career in television and how he coped with anxiety and depression.

It is being presented by two campus organizations that foster mental health and wellness -- Balance at Kelley (a student initiative in IU’s Kelley School of Business) and the campus chapter of U Bring Change 2 Mind, the IU Media School and Union Board.

Stack’s talk, "Dealing with anxiety or depression when others are paying you to be funny: (A)musing perspectives from IU alumnus Brian Stack, writer for Stephen Colbert," is free and open to the public.

The event will take place in room 2075 of Hodge Hall Undergraduate Center, 1309 E. 10th St., at the Kelley School.

Stack, graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a Bachelor of Arts degree in telecommunications and a minor in psychology from IU in 1986. While at IU, he worked as a DJ at the student radio station WIUS (now WIUX) and drew cartoons and illustrations for the Indiana Daily Student. 

After getting a Master of Arts at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he also started performing improv comedy, Stack returned to his hometown of Chicago where he worked in advertising and did improv for fun before starting his professional comedy career at The Second City Theatre.

After four years at Second City, in 1997 he began working on "Late Night with Conan O'Brien," where he spent 18 years as a writer and performed, winning five Writer's Guild Awards and the Emmy for Outstanding Writing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Program in 2007.

In 2015, Stack became part of the writing team for "Late Night with Stephen Colbert” and was again nominated for an Emmy this year. He appears in many of the show’s opening sketches and has been the voice of “God” in conversations with Colbert and “Cartoon Donald Trump.”

In addition to his writing work, he has appeared in supporting roles on other TV shows such as "30 Rock,” "Parks and Recreation,” "The Office" and "New Girl.”

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