Today on Business Rockstars, Ken Rutkowski talks with Tom Shadyac, the writer and director of the hit comedic films Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, The Nutty Professor, Patch Adams, Liar Liar, and Bruce Almighty. A comedian, director, screenwriter, and producer, he was the youngest joke-writer ever for comedian Bob Hope.
Tom Shadyac is a filmmaker, more specifically, a director. His films, comedies mostly (Ace Ventura, The Nutty Professor, Liar Liar, Bruce Almighty, Evan Almighty, Patch Adams, Dragonfly and others), have grossed just short of 2 billion dollars. He’s made lots of money for studios, for the actors he’s worked with, and for himself. So, why on earth does he live in a doublewide trailer, fly commercial coach, and voluntarily reduce his company from four hundred to four?
Recently, Tom switched gears and wrote and directed his first documentary, I AM, which explores two fundamental questions – What’s wrong with our world, and what can we do about it? But Tom is much more than a film director. For the past two years, he has been speaking to sold out audiences, inspiring young and old alike with his impassioned style and unflappable belief in the human spirit. He has appeared on numerous national television shows, including the Ellen Degeneres Show (on which he has become a regular guest), the Oprah Winfrey Show, The View, Nightline and Rosie O’Donnell’s nationally syndicated radio show.
Tom’s diverse background makes him uniquely qualified to handle the intricacies of this conversation; he’s been an actor, screenwriter, and standup comic, while studying in depth the monastic traditions, ancient philosophy, mystic poetry, myth and story telling. What sets Tom apart is his rare ability to blend humor and heart, with a likeability and levity that makes even the driest subjects accessible, from Quantum Physics to Cellular Biology. Beneath it all, Tom is a teacher. He currently leads a legendary class at Pepperdine called Film and Life, to a standing room only crowd. Each semester, parents voluntarily join students, school administrators, and even locals, who all stop by to be a part of this transformative conversation.
Shadyac recently signed with publisher Hay House to release his book, Life’s Operating Manual. The book releases May 1st.