December 7, 2017
APA Comedy Touring Agent Mike Berkowitz Moving To WME
Mike Berkowitz, a powerhouse comedy touring agent at APA, is making the move to WME. He’s expected to be the first of several to make that jump.
Berkowitz headed the comedy department until he told the agency he was leaving. He handles the comedy touring businesses of such clients as Kate McKinnon, The Big Sick’s Kumail Nanjiani, Kevin Hart, Nick Kroll, Norm MacDonald, Amy Schumer, Jeff Garlin, Aziz Ansari, Craig Robinson, Saturday Night Live’s Pete Davidson, former SNL castmember Vanessa Bayer, Mike Birbiglia, Chelsea Peretti, Anthony Jeselnik, Paul Scheer, Jerrod Carmichael, Chris Gethard, Colin Quinn, Bill Burr, David Cross, John Mulaney, and Damon Wayans Jr. Berkowitz also repped Louis C.K., until the agency dropped the comic after a sexual harassment scandal.
This has been in the wind for awhile, and WME is getting someone who has booked more than 10 sold out shows at Madison Square Garden, more than a dozen sold out shows at Carnegie Hall and more arena comedy shows than any comedy agent. In addition, he has built multi-faceted businesses for artists and their stand up material through film, television, theater, publishing and digital platforms. That includes Amy Schumer as the first female to perform and sell out Madison Square Garden; the highest grossing comedy tour per year in history with Kevin Hart’s “What Now?” which was the first comedy tour to sell out an NFL stadium; and John Mulaney and Nick Kroll’s sold out Broadway debut Oh, Hello. Berkowitz set Aziz Ansari’s arena tour and Netflix original special that led to Ansari’s bestelling book Modern Romance, also negotiated by Berkowitz. He has also brokered numerous deals for critically and commercially successful stand-up specials at HBO, Netflix, Comedy Central and Showtime.
Now, many of these comics are handled for movies and TV at WME rivals like UTA, so this will be very interesting to follow as it unfolds.