Bruce Eric Kaplan

Bruce Eric Kaplan

Bruce Eric Kaplan grew up in Maplewood, New Jersey. Kaplan attended Wesleyan University in Connecticut, pursuing classes in film. After graduation, Kaplan made a name for himself as a cartoonist, contributing single-panel comics to The New Yorker beginning in 1991. Kaplan did go on to engage with his interest in film and television, writing for "The 43rd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards" (ABC 1991), the comedy anthology series "Danger Theatre" (Fox 1993), and the sitcom "The Naked Truth" (ABC 1995-96). His behind-the-scenes experience expanded when he joined the popular TV series "Cybil" (CBS 1995-98) during its second season of production playing the role of story editor, and later executive story editor, over 19 episodes between Seasons 2 and 3. Following his tenure on the Chuck Lorre-produced program, Kaplan moved on to the most coveted position a television writer in the '90s could hope to achieve: penning and consulting on episodes of "Seinfeld" (NBC 1989-1998). Kaplan's contributions to the series began at the beginning of its ninth and final season, kicking off with his original script for "The Merv Griffin Show" episode, and continuing on with 13 additional credits. Among his best remembered episodes was "The Cartoon," for which Kaplan channeled his own professional experiences to derive humor from a subplot involving Julia Louis-Dreyfus' character Elaine struggling to interpret an apparently senseless New Yorker cartoon. Kaplan also wrote the notorious penultimate original episode, "The Puerto Rican Day Parade," which was subsequently barred from syndication due to a controversial scene in which Michael Richards' character Kramer inadvertently burns a Puerto Rican flag.After "Seinfeld" concluded its run on NBC, Kaplan released No One You Know: A Collection of Cartoons (1999), the first of several books of single panel cartoons. He'd continue to publish compilations of his illustrated work even as he explored further projects on the small screen. Kaplan later from network comedy to premium cable drama, acting as producer on the esteemed series "Six Feet Under" (HBO 2001-05). Kaplan remained involved with the program from the first season on through the series finale. His television work would pause for a while as Kaplan devoted himself to his work on the page, continuing to draw for The New Yorker and release books including Edmund and Rosemary Go to Hell: A Story We All Really Need Now More Than Ever (2007) and Everything Is Going to Be Okay: A Book for You or Someone Like You (2011). Eventually, Kaplan returned to HBO as a producer on Lena Dunham's popular dramedy series "Girls" (HBO 2012-), remaining on board production for the first three seasons of the show. Soon after, he shifted forms once more when he wrote his first television movie, a comical homage to his home state, "People in New Jersey" (HBO 2013). The film was directed by Paul Feig, and starred Sarah Silverman, Patti LuPone, and Topher Grace. Kaplan then used his talents for the written word more intimately, publishing his personal memoir, I Was a Child (2015), which tapped into his experiences growing up, his lifelong love of television, and his relationships with his parents, who had died prior to his writing of the book.