Brian Unger

Brian Unger’s satirical reports on culture and politics can currently be heard regularly on NPR.

Unger began his career in broadcasting at WOUB in Athens, Ohio. He then turned his back on Ohio and public radio to fetch David Letterman’s lunch. That’s what interns considered dignified work at NBC.

It was all downhill from there: Unger was tapped to produce the series Obstetrics & Gynecology Update for Lifetime Medical Television. After 26 episodes, Unger left the show and struck out on his own to produce documentary profiles on U.S. war veterans dating back to World War I.

Freelance life, a departure from c-sections and pre-term births, was gratifying but impoverished. Looking for a new challenge, and to keep the heat on in his New York City apartment, Unger accepted a field producer job from TV pioneer Maury Povich. After two years, Unger begged Povich for an introduction to his wife Connie Chung who bought Unger a decent pair of shoes, and hired him as an associate producer on her CBS News magazine show Eye to Eye.

Unger eventually became a producer on the show, staying with CBS News for three years before leaving to be an on-air correspondent for CBS’s magazine show Day & Date. The show was eventually cancelled. Unger was unemployed, again. And Murrow wept.

Now turning his back on news, Unger devoted the next four years of his life to making fun of it as part of the team that launched the award-winning The Daily Show on Comedy Central. As a correspondent and producer on the series, he helped to pioneer the series’ satirical news reports on politics, people and events around the country.

Exhausted, tired of living in motel rooms and without friends, Unger left The Daily Show and began a journey down a different exhausting, friendless path in TV. He hosted NBC’s Later, E! Entertainment’s Talk Soup and the network’s anthology series Hollywood Offramp. He co-created and starred in pilots for Fox and Comedy Central. He produced shows for MTV and Oxygen, including their acclaimed comedy series, O2Be…Anyone But Me.

As an actor, Unger hosted the entertainment newsmagazine Extra until he was fired for not caring enough about celebrity. He also guest starred in NBC’s Just Shoot Me and Three Sisters, and ABC’s I’m with Her and starred in two comedy pilots for Fox, This Week Has 7 Days and No. 1 Show in America. He has also appeared on The Jimmy Kimmel Show, The Man Show, and as a frequent contributor to VH1.

Entertainment Weekly named him one of the "100 Most Creative People in Entertainment" and TV Guide and the New York Observer both lauded his work on The Daily Show. He has written pieces for a variety of publications including The New York Times and The Washington Post.

Unger currently resides in Los Angeles.

Brian Unger is the host of the History Channel show How The States Got Their Shapes.

When we talk about our moms, many of us end up crying. Barbra Walters made her career exploiting this universal weakness. Newt Gingrich proved it recently, very publicly, in Iowa talking about his mom.

I'm going to try to control my emotions as I discuss my mom.

Because I'm not ashamed to say — lately, there have been a few tears.

My mom's not sick. No, she beat cancer.