EXCLUSIVE: David Meese, a scripted TV agent at WME who represents the likes of Tom Segura, Joel Kim Booster, Deon Cole and Emily Heller, has been promoted to partner at the agency.
Meese was surprised by his 5-year old twin daughters with the news during a staff meeting.
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It comes almost six years after he joined WME from APA, where he spent nearly ten years.
He told Deadline that he expects there to be a comedy “boom” in the coming years. “People are realizing comedy is evergreen and people want to laugh, especially in times of trying and I think it’s all cyclical. It’s going to be coming back and have a big boom over the next couple of years,” he said.
He predicted buyers will lean more towards comedy, which is inherently cheaper to produce than drama as they get “more bang for their buck”.
“In comedy, the things that cut through and resonate are being authentic. Make people laugh, make them think, in that order,” he said.
One interesting trend he is seeing is that some of his comedy clients are starting to finance and shoot pilots outside of the “normal system”. “They’re selling them straight-to-series. I don’t think that’s going to be totally the norm moving forward. But I think when someone has a really clear vision and is able to do it, you can have a lot of success in sometimes bypassing the normal development process,” he added.
In addition to these comedy multi-hyphenates, Meese also represents a number of big-name animation creators including Bob’s Burger creator Loren Bouchard, Genndy Tartakovsky, the creator of Adult Swim’s Primal, which won the Emmy for best animated show in 2021, and Maurice Williams, who exec produced Kid Cudi’s Entergalactic, which was also up for an Emmy this year.
“I’m bullish on [animation]. It’s low cost, you get tons of eyeballs per dollar spent and it’s evergreen. It can live forever. The rest of the world has been really into adult animation that isn’t just comedy and we’re starting to catch up, younger generations are huge anime fans, [for instance. I think there’s a huge hole there and people are recognizing it and starting to fill it more,” he added.
Meese also works with a number of clients outside of the traditional comedy space including Steph Curry’s Unanimous, Snoop Dogg’s Death Row Pictures and Michael Strahan’s SMAC.
“I came over here to specialize in comedy and in my travels I started to branch out and do more animation and more sports crossover stops. It happens organically here. You tend to cross paths with big media personalities and big companies, and you do work for them and you find success, and then it just kind of opens another door,” he added.