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An Evening With Fran Lebowitz

Published: November 16, 2015

Best-selling author Fran Lebowitz, a master of urban wit and pointed social satire, will speak Saturday, Nov. 21, at 8 p.m. at the Carpenter Performing Arts Center as part of its Wit and Wisdom Series.

Lebowitz is known for her hilarious insights into timely issues that range from gender, race and gay rights to celebrity culture, tourists and baby strollers.

During the first segment of the show, Lebowitz will be interviewed on stage by CSULB President Jane Close Conoley. Then the author will demonstrate her famously sharp wit in answering audience questions.

“Fran Lebowitz is a rare person who can make you think and make you laugh at the same time,” Conoley said. “I admire how she embraces freedom of expression, a concept absolutely necessary to a thriving university. This promises to be a lively conversation.”

Lebowitz has become particularly well-known for her witty one-liners, such as:

“Ask your child what he wants for dinner only if he’s buying.”

“Great people talk about ideas, average people talk about things, and small people talk about wine.”

“Success didn’t spoil me, I’ve always been insufferable.”

Lebowitz first hit the New York literary scene in the early 1970s when Andy Warhol hired her to write a column for his famous Interview magazine. Almost immediately, she became a mainstay in the magazine world.

As a regular contributor to both Interview and Mademoiselle, she soon became a name associated with irreverent humor. She wrote two best-selling books, Metropolitan Life and Social Studies.

Fran Lebowitz
Fran Lebowitz

More recently, Lebowitz has been the subject of a feature-length HBO documentary by Martin Scorsese called “Public Speaking.” The film also features her longtime friend, American novelist, editor and professor Toni Morrison, as they discuss a wide variety of topics onstage.

Lebowitz is a frequent guest of talk show hosts like Jimmy Fallon, David Letterman and Bill Maher. Last August she traded quips with Fallon. When he asked if there were any good books he could check out, she replied, “You can check them out. I’m not sure that you can read them.”

Lebowitz’s appearance is the most recent in the Carpenter Center’s Wit and Wisdom Series, which also includes performances by Lily Tomlin and Kathleen Madigan. Single tickets to see Fran Lebowitz begin at $50, and subscriptions to the full series are $125. For tickets and additional information, visit or call the Carpenter Center Ticket Office at 562/985-7000. This series is made possible in part by Season Media Partner KPCC 89.3-FM.

–Shayne Schroeder