National Press Club

'The Daily Show' co-creator Winstead tells Book Rap how her dad’s death inspired book

June 16, 2012 | By Jan King |

Lizz Winstead at June 14 Book Rap

Lizz Winstead at June 14 Book Rap

Photo/Image: Noel St. John

Lizz Winstead, co-creator and former head of TV’s “The Daily Show,” looked at her life after her father died in 2008, found “big holes” in her career, and decided to write a book about it, she told a National Press Club Book Rap June 14.

The book, “Lizz Free or Die,” describes how she found her comedic voice and persevered, she said.

“Don’t quit too soon,” she advised the audience, pointing out that talent lasts a lifetime and outlets to demonstrate it will arise in unexpected ways.

Also a founder of Air America Radio and a comedian who frequently appears on MSNBC, CNN and Comedy Central, Winstead said she currently is on a Planned Parenthood tour. Planned parenthood, she said, is her current “passion.”

Winstead grew up as one of five children in Minnesota, which she described as a “Lutheran police state.”

She read an excerpt from her book that deals with her father’s hospitalization and battle with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

She kept the audience laughing with a lively Q and A session peppered with her sharp wit, strong opinions and salty delivery.

Book and Author Committee member Joe Luchok introduced Winstead.