Journalist Barbara Walters once said, “What the Nobel Prize is to literature and the Pulitzer Prize is to journalism, the Humanitas Prize has become for American television.” Among this year’s nominees is Jonathan Talbert (WPTV ’16), who is competing for a Humanitas Prize David & Lynn Angell Student Comedy Fellowship, which comes with a $20,000 award. The fellowship was created to honor David and Lynn Angell, who were aboard Flight #11, the first plane to hit the World Trade Center on September 11, 2011. David was a prolific writer and producer who started his career on the staff of Cheers and went on to co-create Wings and Frasier.
The purpose of the Humanitas Prize, now in its 42nd year, is to encourage, sustain, and recognize screenwriters whose work “explores the human condition in a nuanced, meaningful way, which, ultimately, inspires human compassion, hope, and understanding in the human family.”
Talbert was nominated based on an original pilot called The Skids, a “workplace” comedy set on the streets of downtown LA’s Skid Row, which he wrote in SFTV instructor Larry Levy’s class.
“As an LMU student, I’m pleased to be a finalist for the Humanitas Prize because their mission syncs up with the university’s emphasis on ‘exploring social justice issues and ethical and humanistic themes,'” says Talbert. “That focus is unique to the LMU experience, and I’m glad to see that it’s evident in the writing.”
Winners of the Humanitas Prize will be announced at the upcoming annual luncheon on February 22 at the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills.