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Bruce Vilanch (born November 23, 1948) is a U.S.marker comedy writer and actor who caught the public eye when he became a wisecracking regular on the revamped Hollywood Squares, with Whoopi Goldberg.


Vilanch attended Ohio State Universitymarker as a theatre and journalism student and graduated with a BFA in theater, in 1970. In 1978 he was one of the writers for The Star Wars Holiday Special. In the 1980s he had a few brief television acting appearance including a bit part in an episode of Bosom Buddies and another on Law & Order. His first television appearance as himself was in 1988, on Hollywood Today, where he was interviewed by Chris Aable. The show aired in forty-three cities on Century Cable and the Manhattan Neighborhood Cable Network.

Vilanch was adopted by Jewish parents, is gay, and "a notorious meat eater".

He has provided topical joke material for a number of awards show hosts, notably for Billy Crystal at the Academy Awards. He also wrote material for The Donny & Marie Show back in the mid 1970's.

Vilanch has a musical comedy background (he co-wrote the book for the flop Platinum and contributed to far more successful concert shows starring Bette Midler, Diana Ross, and Michael Feinstein) and claims to have done every Stubby Kaye role ever written. In 2000 he had a one-man show off-Broadway at the Westbeth Theater entitled Almost Famous. In 2005 he starred on Broadwaymarker as "Edna Turnblad" in the musical Hairspray after originating the role in the show's first national tour. He was on the third edition of Celebrity Fit Club and lost 21 pounds over the course of the show.

Vilanch has been the subject of two documentaries: Get Bruce (1999) and Laughing Matters...The Men, also released as Laughing Matters: Gay Comedy in America (2007), where he shared the spotlight with Alec Mapa, Bob Smith and others. He also has cameo roles in Tru Loved and You Don't Mess With The Zohan (both 2008).

Vilanch co-wrote the song "Where Is My Man" with producers Fred Zarr and Jacques Morali. The song was popularized in 1983 after it was recorded by the singer/actress Eartha Kitt and became both a dance club hit as well as a gay anthem.

Vilanch appeared on GSN Live on September 30, 2008.

As of March 2009, Vilanch appears on truTV's The Smoking Gun Presents: World's Dumbest... as a commentator.


  1. according to an interview on the Ronn Owens show on KGO radio in San Francisco
  2. Vilanch bio at
  3. Single release info for "Where Is My Man" at

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