Hank Rosenfeld

hank_rosenfeld_300Rosenfeld, the author of two as-told-to memoirs: “The Wicked Wit of the West” by Irving Brecher and “Memorie” by Benjamin Mandil, can be heard on public radio show “Off Ramp.”

His folk journalism can be read in the The Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Magazine, California Lawyer, Premiere, Village Voice, PAPER, The NY Post, Jerusalem Post, the Forward, Moment, the Detroit News, Shambhala Sun and other publications.

Spending six years with the legendary comic Irving Brecher, “the funniest man you never met,”  Hank wrote the “as-told-to-memoir” for “The Wicked Wit of the West.”. With Hank’s gentle prodding, Brecher tells how he wrote two movies for the Marx Brothers and seven musicals for MGM Studios. Brecher displays his comic wit as he tells behind the scenes stories from Brecher’s creation of TV’s first half-hour comedy, “The Life of Riley.” The book includes Brecher’s last screenwriting assignment for “Bye Bye Birdie” – and personal resilience during retirement. Sitting together sharing pastrami sandwiches at Irv’s favorite delicatessens (no connection, Hank collected the comic’s stories. Praised by the The Boston Globe as “brimming with delectable anecdotes” and called “a must read,” by movie critic Leonard Maltin, “The Wicked Wit of the West” has won a loyal following among Marx Brothers fans and been translated into Italian.

An English Major and 1977 graduate of Wesleyan University, Rosenfeld became a self-described “folk journalist,” contributing stories to newspapers, magazines and commentaries for NPR syndicated radio shows. Later in the 1970s, he spun records, broadcasting to the nations of the Middle East while aboard the pirate-radio ship “The Voice of Peace from somewhere in the Mediterranean Sea.” He also wrote a newspaper column for The Athens Times and learned some of his craft driving a Good Humor Ice Cream truck in Detroit.

In the 1980s, Rosenfeld wrote, produced, and voiced comedy for rock-and-roll radio shows at KSAN in San Francisco and at K-ROCK (WXRK) in New York. He joined the staff at Spy Magazine during their early, funnier years (1987-92) and also wrote and produced comedy segments for Public TV KTCA in Minneapolis-St. Paul. Also in the 1990s, he taught Russian, Korean and Taiwanese students ESL at the New York Association of New Americans (NYANA) while contributing jokes to a long running play, Catskills on Broadway at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre.

In Los Angeles since 2000, Rosenfeld has written and hosted comedy shows at the Central Public Library downtown and hosted/produced the syndicated radio show Page One at the Museum of Tolerance. He also contributes to the show “Off Ramp” on KPCC Public Radio in Pasadena and for BBC radio, has interviewed everyone from Vidal Sassoon to Bob Newhart.

In 2012, Rosenfeld captured Benjamin Mandil’s voice while relating Mandil’s adventures fleeing Belgrade when Germany invaded Yugoslavia in 1941. With his father, mother, and brother, Biniamino (one of Mandil’s falsified identities) stayed one step ahead of the Nazis, crossing the Adriatic and hiding in the tiny village of Zibello, Italy.

Rosenfeld has been a member of the Writers Guild of America for ten years and plans to continue writing books and for radio and any other electrical outlet in the media storm. He is currently working on Walky Talky: Conversation Tips and Tales from a Folk Journalist, with a release date yet to be announced. For more information, visit hankrosenfeld.com.