John Bowman Dies: ‘Martin’ Co-Creator & ‘SNL’ Emmy Winner Who Led WGA Negotiating Committee During 2007-08 Strike Was 64

c-title pmc-u-font-size-20 pmc-u-font-size-38@tablet pmc-u-font-size-46@desktop-xl u-text-align-center@mobile-max u-letter-spacing-0025 pmc-u-line-height-normal u-line-height-45@tablet pmc-u-padding-t-1 pmc-u-padding-t-050@mobile-max”>John Bowman Dies: ‘Martin’ Co-Creator & ‘SNL’ Emmy Winner Who Led WGA Negotiating Committee During 2007-08 Strike Was 64

By Valerie Complex

Valerie Complex

Associate Editor/Film Writer


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January 3, 2022 5:30pm

addresses the Los Angeles City Council members on behalf of striking film and TV writers in 2007.
AP Photo

John Bowman, an Emmy-winning SNL writer, Martin series -cocreator and producer who also led the WGA’s negotiating committee during the 2007-08 strike, has died. His son Johnny Bowman said his father died suddenly on New Year’s Eve at home in California. 

Watch a clip of Bowman addressing WGA picketers in November 2007 below.

A three-time Emmy nominee, Bowman is known for writing on In Living Color, co-creating the ’90 sitcom Martin and writing for Saturday Night Live. He won a writing Emmy for the latter in 1989, shared with Mike Myers, Keenen Ivory Wayans, Al Franken, Conan O’Brien, Bob Odenkirk, Lorne Michaels, Phil Hartman and others.

Two years later in 1990, Bowman became one of the first white writers on the groundbreaking Fox sketch-comedy show In Living Color, created by Wayans.

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Exec producer Bowman and Martin Lawrence created Martin, which aired for five season on Fox from 1992-97. Bowman’s writing credits also include The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, It’s Garry Shandling’s Show, Men Behaving Badly, The Hughleys and Murphy Brown. He served as an EP on the latter three, as well as on Frank TV, Root of All Evil, Cedric the Entertainer Presents, The Show and Princesses.

“In the writers room, John was a mentor to so many young writers of color, many of us who had our first professional gigs with him,” Oscar-winning screenwriter John Ridley said in a statement. “Outside the room, he was tireless in his efforts at achieving equitable working conditions for all writers. What John gave to the writing community will endure for decades to come.”

As chairman of the negotiating committee for the WGA during the 2007-08 writers strike against the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. Bowman helped gain a settlement that for the first time shared producers’ internet streaming revenue with film and television writers.

Bowman later worked as an adjunct faculty member at the USC school of Cinematic Arts, teaching sketch comedy writing. His class ended a few weeks ago. 

A private Mass is set for 11 a.m. January 8 at St. Monica Catholic Church in Santa Monica. A memorial service to be held in the spring.

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