Vinnie Favale is a Producer, Writer and Director. He has worked in the entertainment industry since 1979 at NBC, MTV, A&E, HBO, Comedy Central and CBS. In 2019 he launched Favale Media. His musical [Hereafter Musical] has had successful production off-Broadway and in Buenos Aires. The movie version starring Danny Aiello is in post-production and will be released in December 2021. He's currently writing a new musical [Happy New Year] with his writing partner Frankie Keane.
Shortly upon graduating William E. Grady HS in Sheepshead Bay Brooklyn, he took a job at WYNY Radio (NBC Radio) in the commercial traffic department. While there, he made his television debut in 1982 on the Late Night With David Letterman’s Talent Showcase. Letterman taped a comedy remote piece with Vinnie giving a tour of his office; he also performed a musical stand-up comedy routine and was interviewed by Letterman.
He left WYNY in 1983 to join the newly created MTV Networks as traffic manager. He was a member of the team that launched VH1, Nickelodeon and Nick At Nite. In 1985, he moved to the A&E Cable Network to serve as the traffic department director.
In 1989, he left A&E to join HBO. where he was one of the founders of HBO’s first basic cable network, the Comedy Channel (later rebranded to Comedy Central). He served as its Vice President of Development and Scheduling from 1989 to 1996, where he headed up all network operations, programming and planning and evaluated all original and syndicated programming for broadcast. He was the brains behind many TV specials for the channel, most notably the 1992 live special State of the Union: Undressed, which featured comedians Paul Provenza, Richard Belzer and Al Franken critiquing George H.W. Bush’s State of the Union Address for that year. Mr. Favale also developed and produced The Real Deal, a TV special in which comedians played poker for charity; and The 800 Club, which he also hosted.
In 1996, he landed an interview at CBS and was subsequently hired as executive in charge of production of the Late Show With David Letterman from 1996 until the end of its run in 2015. He appeared in sketches as himself numerous times throughout the show, years after that fateful 1982 stand-up routine. Mr. Favale produced over fifty editions of the Live on Letterman online concert series with everyone from Paul McCartney to Pearl Jam and Foo Fighters. He also executive produced the 2015 CBS TV special David Letterman: A Life On Television.
While at CBS he also oversaw the development of comedy talent out of New York for all divisions of CBS. He remained at the network for the transition of Late Show hosting duties to Stephen Colbert, and in 2017, was promoted to Senior Vice President of Talent Development & Live Events of CBS TV Studios. He placed over thirty comedians on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.
In 2018 he was announced co-head of the new CBS Live Experiences division. He developed and executive produced the inaugural live event An Evening with Sunday Morning in September of 2018. The sold-out show at The Town Hall in New York City featured Jane Pauley and the correspondents from CBS Sunday Morning.
When CBS bought Infinity Broadcasting in 1998, to which radio personality Howard Stern was contracted, he pitched the idea of doing a Saturday night telecast of The Howard Stern Show to compete with Saturday Night Live. From August 1998 to May 2001 Mr. Favale was the executive in charge of production for The Howard Stern Radio Show’s run on CBS. The show beat Saturday Night Live in ratings several times. Working with the show’s often at-odds censors, sales staff and affiliates was a challenge that sharpened his interpersonal skills.
Favale was a semi-regular guest on Stern’s show, making over-the-phone and in-person appearances. He co-wrote the song “Restless, Restless” for a segment on the show. In 2004 Stern held a contest for the best cover version. Over 1,000 artists participated, including Robert Goulet and William Shatner (who did so to bring awareness to the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation). The Best of Restless, Restless Volume 1 was released on CD.
In 2003 he read a news story about local teen D.J. Wheeler who was killed in a drunk driving accident. It had a profound impact on him, having lost two brothers at a young age. The news story gave him the idea for a musical about coping with grief and the desire to communicate with lost loved ones. Though he had never played an instrument, Mr. Favale is an avid consumer of music and long had an interest in writing music.
He pursued the development of his musical more seriously in 2008 and consulted Backstage.com for a singer to record demos for the songs he’d written. He found performer and singer-songwriter Frankie Keane, who became his writing partner for what would soon be called Hereafter Musical. The musical had a successful premiere off-Broadway in 2010 as a sold out six-show staged reading at the Roy Arias Theater. It went on to have a sold-out Off-Broadway run at Theater 80 in 2012 and the Snapple Theater in 2014. The Kickstarter campaign for the 2012 run raised a record-breaking $71,000. Vinnie and Frankie have made numerous TV appearances promoting their musical.
Hereafter Musical had a successful run in Buenos Aires (in Spanish as Quién Retiene a Quién) in Fall 2017. It returned to Buenos Aires in 2018 by popular demand. The show is currently in pre-production in Uruguay.
Favale directed the Hereafter Musical movie version with Patrick Kendall, starring Academy Award nominee Danny Aiello and featuring MGM legend Arlene Dahl and renowned film critic and actor Rex Reed. It is currently in post-production. One of the movie’s songs “It’s Christmas Time” was featured in the Broadway show Home For the Holidays, which ran at the August Wilson Theatre from November through December 2017.
Mr. Favale co-authored the first comedy book about the Internet, Web Sightings: A Collection of Web Sites We’d Like to See, published in 1996. He was interviewed for the book The Last Days of Letterman in 2015, which chronicled the last episodes of the David Letterman Late Show era. He was also instrumental in the development of Howard Stern’s third and #1 Best Selling book, Howard Stern Comes Again, published in 2019.
In 2017 and 2018 Mr. Favale collaborated with theater composer Joy Son as lyricist on the pop singles “I’ll Hold On” and “Follow My Heart,” respectively. His music appreciation blog Rip the Music bore the podcasts Meet the Beatlesque, celebrating The Beatles’ significant influence on popular music over the years; and Who is Don Val? A Radio Mystery with Vinnie Favale, investigating the unclear identity of 1980s leased-access radio DJ “Don Val.”
Mr. Favale has served on the boards of Project Rebirth (the non-profit behind Peabody Award-winning 9/11 documentary Project Rebirth), the Count Basie Center for The Arts in Red Bank, New Jersey, and the Asbury Park Music & Film Festival. He works very closely with the Common Ground Grief Center in Manasquan, New Jersey on their marketing and fundraising. He is also a supporter of; Fight for Sight, INCLUDEnyc, The Immune Deficiency Foundation, Family Resource Associates and The Brooklyn College Foundation.
In September 2019, Mr. Favale announced his plans to form his own independent production company, Favale Media. It will continue to develop the same manner of projects he successfully developed while at CBS.
Mr. Favale met his wife Debbie Slotin in 1984 when she called his New York office from her job at MTV in California. Their long-distance courtship lasted over four months. They met in person for the first time in August 1984 and married on February 16, 1985. One of Favale’s most well knows segments on the Howard Stern Show was from 2012 when he brought in video love letters he made in 1984 (aka the “Debbie Tapes”) when he was wooing his soon to be wife Debbie. Thanks to repeated plays on the show, several phrases from the tape have become well known to Stern fans such as; "Oh My Debbie", "You will benefit from it oh so much" and "Crucial Head".