Q7 Special Jury


Michael Melamedoff: Partner, Director of Development (Cowboy Bear Ninja)

Michael Melamedoff is an executive producer, filmmaker, and the head of development for Cowboy Bear Ninja. Michael has developed projects with A&E, CNN, Fusion, Lionsgate, MTV, and Viceland at Cowboy Bear Ninja. He most recently EPed Fusion's SHADE: QUEENS OF NYC, and TruTV's PAID OFF WITH MICHAEL TORPEY. As a filmmaker, his director credits include THE PROBLEM WITH APU, and WEAKNESS starring Bobby Cannavale. He also produced and co-starred in FLAMES (Tribeca 2017).


Maureen Taran: Vice President of Talent (TruTV)

Maureen Taran is the vice president of talent for WarnerMedia’s truTV. In her role, she leads talent recruitment and casting initiatives for the comedy network, which includes a diverse slate of original programming from creators including Amy Sedaris, Andrea Savage, Adam Conover, Bobcat Goldthwait, Jon Glaser and many others. Additionally, she oversees all talent relations responsibilities and maintains relationships within the entertainment and comedy communities. She is based in the network’s New York office.


Jose Acevedo: Director of Development & Original Programming (Comedy Central)

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Becky Horvath: Supervising Producer (Verizon Media)

Jose Acevedo is a Director of Development & Original Programming at Comedy Central. He developed Goatface: A Comedy Specialwith Hasan Minhaj’s sketch team Goatface, The Fall of Donald Trump: A President Show Documentary and Alternatino with Arturo Castro. In past lives he worked at NBC and OWN. He lives in Brooklyn with his hairless cat Varys.

Becky Hovarth is a 3-time Emmy Award-winning producer / director with 15-years’ experience creating lifestyle and entertainment content. She’s produced segments throughout North America, South America, Europe, and Asia with A-list talent and global brands. After years of working in broadcast TV, she’s now overseeing Yahoo’s Lifestyle & Entertainment video team at Verizon Media. Becky is a proud member of the DGA and graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She is also the founder of the Brooklyn Brunch Club - www.brooklynbrunchclub.com.

Q6 Special Jury


Jesse North is a digital video producer living in New York. He is the Senior Video Producer at NBC News. His work has also been seen in Us Weekly, 92nd Street Y, Broadway.com, People, and Entertainment Weekly.

Caitlin Smith is no stranger to a quickie!  (She currently holds the school record in the 800 meter run at her high school alma mater in Cleveland, OH).  


Caitlin is a producer at Above Average and has created projects for Funny or Die, TruTV, and various reality shows--primarily in rural America--that you guiltily watched while threatening to "cut the cord once and for all!"  Caitlin took Irish Dance for 7 years and impressively maintained the 2nd level, Advanced Beginner, for the entire duration.  


Idol: Hank Mardukas

Sandy Kenyon is Entertainment Reporter and movie critic for Channel 7 Eyewitness News. His popular entertainment reports can be seen weekdays on Eyewitness News This Morning and frequently on other Eyewitness News broadcasts. In addition, his reviews and feature reports appear each week in more than 6000 NYC taxicabs as part of WABC-TV's Taxi TV. 

Sandy has interviewed hundreds of legendary stars in the course of his career, including Eddie Murphy, Robert De Niro, Tom Hanks, Denzel Washington, Julia Roberts, Cameron Diaz, Clint Eastwood, Elizabeth Taylor, Frank Sinatra, Bette Davis, Katherine Hepburn, Cary Grant, Jimmy Stewart, and Lauren Bacall to name only a few.

Q5 Special Jury 

Ophira Eisenberg is a standup-com, author and host of NPR’s Ask Me Another. She has appeared on HBO’s Girls, Comedy Central, The Late Late Show, The Today Show, Gotham Live and more. Ophira's memoir, Screw Everyone: Sleeping My Way to Monogamy was optioned for a feature film with Zucker Productions. She is a regular host and teller with The Moth and has been featured numerous times on their award winning radio show and #1 podcast, The Moth Radio Hour.

Lauren Ashley Smith is the Head Writer of the critically acclaimed late night show, "The Rundown with Robin Thede" on BET.  She is only the second black woman to ever hold that title on a late night show. Lauren's previous writing and producing credits include "Best Week Ever," "Fashion Queens," and "Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen." As a comedian, Lauren performs routinely at the Magnet Theater in New York City and is the former host of the Zagat web series, “Chefs Eating Tacos.” Lauren has appeared on VH1.com, The Scene, Refinery29, and the Netflix original series, “The Characters.”

Jermaine Hall is the Vice President, Managing Editor of Content at BET Digital.

Q4 Special Jury 




Currently she's Head Writer of The President Show on Comedy Central. Previously she's written for @midnight with Chris Hardwick, The Roast of Rob Lowe and other fun shows. Emmy has been named one of Comedy Central's Comics To Watch. She's appeared on @midnight and in festivals including SF Sketchfest, The Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival, Riot LA and The Kennedy Center's District of Comedy Festival. (Very festive!) You can hear some of her standup here on WNYC's 2 Dope Queens.



Brian McElhaney And Nick Kocher are writing partners who perform under the name BriTANicK. They came up with that name 9 years ago. It doesn't make any sense but now it's too late to change it. They have made a ton of online sketch comedy which you can watch at BriTANicK.com. They have acted in some stuff and written for other stuff including The Goodwin Games and It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and they are currently writers for Saturday Night Live.

Q3 Special Jury 


Maximilian Ulanoff

Maximilian Ulanoff is the head of the Branded Lifestyle department at Don Buchwald & Associates talent agency. He focuses on celebrity endorsements, branded content and licensing opportunities for his clients across a multitude of categories. Before working at Buchwald he was an entertainment brand licensing executive responsible for building merchandising programs for top-tier entertainment brands and fortune 500 companies. Max has represented brands and celebrities such as, Pepsico., Corona, Kellogg's, SEGA, Capcom, DEFY Media, Nat Geo, Discovery Communications, Flo Rida, David Tutera, Iskra Lawrence, Luke Perry, Ralph Macchio, Hoodie Allen and Jenni 'JWOWW' Farley.

Kevin Allison [Host, Founder of Risk]

Kevin Allison is the host and creator of the wildly popular podcast, RISK!, where people tell true stories they never thought they’d dare to share in public. After starting from scratch in Kevin’s bedroom in 2009, RISK! has grown to have over two million downloads per month and has featured stories too uncensored to be played on public radio from Margaret Cho, Kevin Nealon, Andy Dick, Sarah Silverman and regular folks from around the world. Kevin is also a member of the legendary sketch comedy group The State, whose 90’s MTV show remains a cult classic. In 2011, he created storytelling school The Story Studio, where he teaches performers and professionals from all fields how to wow a crowd with their own true stories.

Michael Grubbs [Actor, Musician]

Michael Grubbs relocated from Virginia to New York to pursue acting in 1998. Since then he’s worked across the artistic landscape. He’s toured the world with his musical project, ‘Wakey Wakey’. He’s enjoyed a 13 episode arc on the CW’s hit show, One Tree Hill, playing himself. He’s written top forty hits for other bands. He’s had his songs used in campaigns for Apple, Honda, Google, Volkswagen, and many other major campaigns and major motion pictures. These days he spends most of his time either developing bands, writing and producing near his home in Williamsburg, Brooklyn; or having deep discussions with his hound dog, Buster. 

Q2 Special Jury 


Matt Moskoviak is a comedy writer and performer based in New York. He is currently the head writer at Above Average, one-third of sketch comedy group The Bilderbergers, and cast member of Improvised Seinfeld. 


Katla McGlynn is a writer and editor focusing on comedy in New York City. She is currently the Social Editor at truTV and was previously Senior Comedy Editor at The Huffington Post. Her writing has appeared on Vanity Fair, Vulture, The A.V. Club, Splitsider and Reductress.com.


Andy McDonald is a comedy writer and the Comedy Editor for The Huffington Post.

Quickie Fest Special Jury 


Josh Poole (Producer)


Josh oversees creative development for Broadway Video's digital comedy studio, Above Average. Since joining the company in 2012, Josh has played a significant role in shaping Above Average's content strategy and has produced dozens of short-form series for Aboveaverage.com. He has also developed and produced multiple long-form series for both traditional networks and digital platforms. Prior to joining Above Average, Josh worked in production and development at MTV.

Beth Spitalny (Producer/ Director)

As a producer and director of digital video for US Weekly- Beth is no stranger to short content. Beth started her career producing at  MTV's News and Docs department before heading to Los Angeles to receive her MFA from USC's School of Cinematic Arts where she focused on writing and directing narrative works.  Since returning back to the big apple in 2010 Beth has directed over 20 episodes of various true crime series for Discovery ID and was selected as 1 of 5 finalists for the HBO/DGA directing fellowship.  Beth loves surfing, coffee ice cream and her sister's dog named Schnitz (she loves her sister too...duh). 

Curt Hoppe (Photo Realistic Painter)

Curt Hoppe is a New York-based artist whose photographs and realist paintings chronicle his life and interests over the past 40 years. Curt moved From Minnesota to his current home at 98 Bowery in 1976. There, his neighbors Marc H. Miller and Bettie Ringma employed his prealist style to illustrate their “Paparazzi Self-Portraits,” including “Bettie and the Ramones and one of Al Goldstein, who subsequently hired Hoppe for Screw magazine where he was a contributing artist from 1977-1883. He exhibited in the first “PUNK ART” exhibit in 1979 at the Washington Project for the Arts, with his painting “Bettie and the Ramones” In 1981, his work appeared in P.S. 1’s “New York/New Wave” exhibition. His diverse work ranges from caricatures for sex tabloid Screw to meticulously rendered photo-realist cityscapes of the ethnic neighborhoods of Lower Manhattan or Long Islands glitzy" Hamptons". His "Girls of Action" series featured Roller Derby Queens and lower east side Burlesque entertainers. He is currently working on a series of photographs and larger-than-life black-and-white portrait paintings of the artist friends, a tribute to those, that were a part of the bohemian milieu of his youth.