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What The Hell Is It?

The Sound Bite Institute is a unique creative resource predicated upon the peculiar skill set of speechwriter and humorist Mark Katz.

By bringing humor writing sensibilities to a variety of communication challenges, The Institute is a unique entity in the world of strategic communications: a reliable resource for smart/funny thinking.

A former political operative and recovering advertising copywriter, Mark founded his one-man think tank in 1993 and soon thereafter was named its Resident Scholar by a slim one-vote margin. In the years since, he has worked closely with world leaders, corporate titans and other large cheeses to make their remarks and public presentations funnier. Most notably, Mark assisted President William Jefferson Clinton with his annual
humor speeches to the Washington press corps.

On occasion, Mark engages in humor ghostwriting on his own behalf (at significantly discounted rates). His
essays have been published in The New York Times, Time Magazine and The New Yorker and he has written and hosted humor segments aired on ABC, NPR and MSNBC. He is also a sought after after-dinner speaker.


Speech punch-up: Making otherwise boring speeches funny, entertaining and altogether less dreadful.

Sound Bites: Translating strategic messages into concise, compelling, quotable sentences.

Humor Speechwriting: Roasts, toasts and humorous remarks.

Humor Crisis Communications: Providing the perfect line for public people in a pickle.

Creative presentations: Generating ideas and video scripts for presentations.

Speaking Engagements: Book a guided tour "From the Principal's Office to the Oval office"

Television & entertainment: Mark is represented by Adam Berkowitz of Creative Artists Agency (310) 288-4545


More than you’d hope, less than it’s worth.

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[NAME WITHHELD] (former) Chief Executive of the World’s Last Remaining Superpower
[NAME WITHHELD] (former) Vice-Chief Executive of the World’s Last Remaining Superpower
[NAME WITHHELD] CEO of vast entertainment empire
[NAME WITHHELD] CEO of vast software empire
[NAME WITHHELD] CEO of vast cable television empire
[NAME WITHHELD] CEO of vast publishing empire
[NAME WITHHELD] CEO of leading financial services company
[NAME WITHHELD] CEO of leading energy company
[NAME WITHHELD] CEO of leading cable network
[NAME WITHHELD] CEO of broadcast television network
[NAME WITHHELD] CEO of another broadcast television network
[NAME WITHHELD] CEO of yet another television network
[NAME WITHHELD] CEO of Fortune 500 telecommunications company
[NAME WITHHELD] CEO of Fortune 500 health care/hospitality company
[NAME WITHHELD] Hall of Fame sports superstar
[NAMES WITHHELD] Various big-time Hollywood superstars
[NAMES WITHHELD] Various big-time TV anchors, correspondents & personalities
[NAMES WITHHELD] Various head programmers at broadcast television networks
[NAMES WITHHELD] Various big-time Washington power-brokers, pundits and poo-bahs
[NAMES WITHHELD] Various, less-interesting others

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The Institute’s extended roster includes a talented collection of Fellows, men and women of impeccable credentials across a variety of creative fields who occasionally serve as adjunct collaborators.

Cindy Chupack
A television comedy writer and essayist who lives in New York and Los Angeles. Currently a writer on HBO’s Sex and the City, Cindy was assistant executive producer of CBS’s Everybody Loves Raymond for 1997-99. She was a staff writer on ABC’s Coach, and before that, a bunch of failed or miserable sitcoms. Her essays have been published in Glamour and Harper’s Bazaar.

Robert A. Katz

A credentialed academic in political and legal philosophy who can more readily quote Groucho than Karl, Robertís earliest humor collaborations with his brother took the form of slapstick because neither had yet learned to talk. He has recently been named an Associate Professor of Law and Philanthropy at Indiana University School of Law/Indianapolis.

Matt Neuman
An accomplished television comedy writer and proprietor of the acclaimed humor website, His television credits include Saturday Night Live, Not Necessarily the News and Fridays, among others and is currently a writer on The Hollywood Squares. His website features his parodies, short stories and surreally hysterical material.

Evan I. Schwartz
A journalist and author who concentrates on electronic commerce and whose strange sense of humor is a well-kept secret by those who know him best. A former correspondent for Business Week, Evan is the author of Webonomics and most recently, Digital Darwinism.

Rich Rosenthal
A Vice President/Executive Producer at a major advertising agency who has been a cruel but insightful editor of Mark Katz writing projects dating back to high school newspaper columns.

Jeff Shesol
A rare combination of speechwriter, historian and cartoonist, Jeff arrived in the White House in 1997 and played an increasingly important role in preparing President Clinton's annual humor speeches. He is the author of Mutual Contempt, a history of the feud between LBJ and RFK and Thatch, a nationally syndicated political cartoon strip.

Harris M. Cohen

A serial entrepreneur and business development wonk, Harris has shepherded various start-ups and early stage companies to various degrees of success. Long ago, the former Bain and Company consultant fashioned the successful business strategy of the Sound Bite Institute: all payments to the Institute must be made in cash. No internet stock or derivative securities are accepted in lieu of payment.

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Mark Katz can trace his career from the principal’s office to the Oval Office.

Mark first came to public attention in 1988 when he wrote sound bites and one-liners for the Dukakis campaign, securing his place in history as the person who made Mike Dukakis so funny. He is a recovering advertising copywriter with a variety of experience in political and corporate communication strategy and a former creative associate of the Sawyer Miller Group.

Mark graduated from Cornell University with a degree in government. He has appeared on the Today Show, Politically Incorrect and profiled in the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, USA Weekend, GQ and People Magazine. He was an on-air humor contributor to MSNBC’s coverage of Election ‘96 and a contributor of on-air humor segments for ABC’s Good Morning America Sunday. His humor essays have been published in the New Yorker, New York Times, Time, Washington Post and Slate and aired on NPR.

He is also the author of "I Am Not a Corpse!" & Other Quotes Never Actually Said (Dell Trade Paperbacks), a collection of self-invented "quotes" assigned to figures of history, current events and pop culture.

Yet of all his accomplishments, Mark is most proud of his appearance on the Stupid Pet Tricks segment of Late Night with David Letterman with Wally, his piano-playing toy poodle.

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