JOHN MARKUS (Playwright/Director, The Fabulous Lipitones) is an Emmy Award-winning writer who began his career in high school, supplying jokes about his rural Ohio hometown to Broadway columnist Earl Wilson. After graduating from Stanford University he moved to Los Angeles where he landed a job writing a revival of the animated Mighty Mouse. Accepted into Paramount's apprentice program, he was a staff writer on Working Stiffs, a short-lived sitcom starring Michael Keaton and Jim Belushi.

After an assignment on Paramount's Emmy-winning Taxi, Markus joined the original writing staff of The Cosby Show. Promoted to Supervising Producer after the first six episodes, he returned for the show's second season as co-executive producer and show runner. He remained headwriter with the acclaimed series until 1991. During his tenure, he wrote or co-wrote 67 episodes, earning an Emmy, a Peabody, back-to-back Humanitas prizes, and a People's Choice award for "The Greatest Sitcom of All Time."

He next co-created the Cosby spin-off A Different World, which ran for six seasons on NBC. Markus next co-created the critically-acclaimed Lateline with Al Franken for Paramount Network Television and NBC. He was consulting producer on The Larry Sanders Show, co-writing the Emmy-nominated Ellen Degeneres episode, "Ellen: Is She Or Isn't She?"

A play, The Sons of Liberty, his first collaboration with Mark St. Germain, was staged as a prototype for an NBC television series at the American Place Theater and directed by Jerry Zaks. He became theater-struck. The Fabulous Lipitones debuted at Theatrical Outfit in Atlanta in Spring of 2013. This play with music has had productions at Goodspeed Opera House in Connecticut, George Street Playhouse in New Jersey, The Taproot in Seattle, and The Julie Harris Theater in Wellfleet, Mass., which Markus directed.

He just finished "The Kings of BBQ Barbecue Kuwait," an award-winning documentary film chronicling the mission of cooking authentic-style BBQ for our troops stationed in The Mideast. He created the Destination America television series, "BBQ Pitmasters," which takes the first in-depth look at the world of competition barbecue. Back in ‘99, Markus was served some bad ribs grilled by now-Senator Al Franken, which set him on a quest: what is true low-and-slow Southern-style BBQ, and how does one make it? In the course of his culinary journey, he apprenticed under world champion Pitmasters Paul Kirk of Kansas City, aka The Baron of Barbecue, and Chris Lilly of Big Bob Gibson in Decatur, Alabama. Markus' own competition team, Central Pork West, cooks regularly on the New England BBQ circuit and has garnered many awards in the categories of chicken, ribs, and brisket. Just last year, The Kansas City Barbecue Society awarded him a PhB – an honorary status bestowed upon only a handful of proven Pitmasters.

July, 2015