close
Reading and writing

John Bowman, comedian gifted for crossing, dies at 64

John Frederick Bowman was born on September 28, 1957 in Milwaukee. Her father, William, was a lawyer and her mother, Loretta (Murphy) Bowman, was a homemaker.

During his undergraduate studies at Harvard, Mr. Bowman was editor of the Harvard Lampoon. He graduated from Harvard Business School in 1985 and became an executive at Purchase, NY-based PepsiCo before deciding what he really wanted to do was work in comedy.

At the time, his wife was writing for “Saturday Night Live”.

“I told Jim my husband was not happy with PepsiCo and wanted to do it,” Ms Gaughan Bowman said, referring to longtime “SNL” editor Jim Downey.

It was a big leap from a corporate job at the “SNL” writers room, but Mr. Downey, a former chairman of The Lampoon, had operated the magazine for writers and knew Mr. Bowman from his writings and by mutual friends. . He asked Mr. Bowman to submit sketches; he was hired a year later.

“He had the best dry sense of humor of almost anyone I’ve ever worked with,” Mr Downey said by telephone. During his only season with the series, Mr. Bowman shared a 1989 Emmy Award with the rest of the writing staff.

He was then the showrunner in the mid-1990s for “Murphy Brown”, with Candice Bergen.

Besides his wife, Mr. Bowman is survived by his daughter, Courtney Bowman Brady; his sons, Nicholas, Alec, Jesse and John Jr.; one sister, Susan Bowman; and two brothers, William and James.

Margarita W. Wilson

The author Margarita W. Wilson