Cooking Up Success

Webster alumnus to appear on Food Network show

by Jennifer Starkey

Michael Glazer graduated from Webster University with a degree in screenwriting. During his time at Webster, he learned how to put together a script and tell a good story. What he didn’t learn was how to put together a meal in the kitchen.

This is why his girlfriend nominated him to be on the reality competition show “Worst Cooks in America” on Food Network.

“[My girlfriend] Lindsay nominated me because I ruin everything I touch in the kitchen,” said Glazer. “I ruin her meals when I try to help her cook, but luckily I don’t ruin my meals because I only eat frozen pizzas.”

On the show, 14 contestants (referred to as "recruits") with poor cooking skills go through an eight-week culinary boot camp, to earn a cash prize of $25,000. The recruits are trained on the various basic cooking techniques. The final challenge is to cook a restaurant quality three-course meal for three food critics.

While Glazer is not very comfortable in a kitchen, he is not likely to be shy in front of the cameras having previously worked at The Second City, a famous comedy improvisation troupe in Chicago.

Michael Glazer"I started Second City as a nightstaff host during the mainstage Review ‘Between Barack and a Hard Place,’” said Glazer “Obama was a senator at the time and came to it with security guards and he laughed.”

Six years after that performance, Glazer moved his way up to the mainstage shows at Second City.

“I climbed from nightstaff to earning a full scholarship to their directing program and I directed, in my opinion, some of the most talented performers in Chicago, some of whom have moved onto writing for late night TV shows and performing on TV and movies.”

Glazer was assistant director for the 100th mainstage review “Who Do We Think We Are?” and describes that experience as “a dream [that has] come true.”

“After that show opened, I decided to leave Chicago and see if I could use everything I learned at Second City and become successful in Los Angeles.”

While he’s grateful to The Second City for everything he’s learned, Glazer also credits Webster University on giving him the tools to develop his career.

“Without Webster’s education, I wouldn’t be where I am today,” said Glazer. “Without taking Buzz Hirsch’s screenwriting class I wouldn’t understand scene structure, how to write script coverage, and the makings of a tightly wound story. He truly changed my life through his teaching, honest attitude about my work, and his forcing me to edit and re-edit until it was right. That work ethic is crucial if you’re going to succeed.”

In addition to being cast on “Worst Cooks in America,” Glazer has also recently written a book called “Monster Scooter.”

“It is a collection of short stories and silly pranks featuring grotesque illustrations by Lindsay,” said Glazer. “I just recently found out that it is being promoted as a staff pick at Amoeba Music in Hollywood and has been selling very well on Amazon.”

While he isn’t able to say whether he succeeds on the Food Network show, he has this advice on post-school success, “Do what makes you laugh with people you like. Don’t waste time doing what isn’t fun because you are better than that. There are no rules. Don’t overthink it and worry because that’s how ideas are murdered. Do it, then make it better. And always remember it is supposed to be fun.”

Watch Michael Glazer have fun in the kitchen on Food Network as season five of “Worsts Cook in America” airs on February 17 at 8 p.m. central time.

Glazer will be live tweeting the episodes from@glazerboohoohoo using the hashtag #worstcooks.

The Webster University School of Communications prepares students in three academic departments to excel as skilled professionals in the global field of communication. The School provides a hands-on approach to learning that is grounded in the University's liberal arts foundation and commitment to global education. Sixteen undergraduate degree programs, five graduate degree programs, 13 minors, and 14 certificates cover a wide array of communication specialties. They are taught by faculty who are theorists, artists, and practitioners. Students work with professional-grade media equipment, take courses at Webster's U.S., European and Asian campuses, participate in robust field experiences and internships, and, along with faculty and alumni, are frequently recognized for their academic and professional accomplishments.

With its home campus in St. Louis, Webster University (www.webster.edu) is the only Tier 1, private, non-profit US-based university providing a network of international residential campuses. Founded in 1915, Webster University's campus network today includes metropolitan, military, online and corporate locations around the world, as well as traditional residential campuses in Asia, Europe, Africa, and North America. The university is committed to delivering high-quality learning experiences that transform students for global citizenship and individual excellence.