Visit Jonathan Slaff's acting website

Jonathan Slaff had previously appeared at Theater for the New City in "Upstate" and "One Director Against his Cast," among others. At La MaMa, he appeared in the 1991 revival of "Futz" by Rochelle Owens, directed by Tom O'Horgan; "The Pathological Passion of the Christ," directed by Dario D'Ambrosi; and with the great Brazilian mime and practitioner of "essential theater," Denise Stoklos, in "Casa."

Mr. Slaff was born in Wilkes-Barre, PA and was a child actor. He moved to New York to attend Columbia Business School and while completing his MBA, made his New York debut with the Lion Theater Company in "End as a Man" by Calder Willingham, directed by Garland Wright. (The production starred Tom Berringer.) Slaff later appeared in the Lion's production of "Marathon '33" by June Havoc, which was also directed by Garland Wright.

He performed with the Kenley Players in Ohio, both as a child actor and as an adult. As a boy, he appeared with Dorothy Collins and Gene Hollman in "South Pacific." As an adult, he appeared in "Kismet" (with Hal Linden), Heaven Can Wait" (with Peter Strauss) and "Make a Million" (with McLean Stevenson).

He has appeared in some of TV's funniest and most classic commercials. His spots for Federal Express and Wendy's, directed by the immortal Joe Sedelmaier, were in Clio-winning campaigns. Dialogue from these spots became part of the American lexicon, like "Parts is parts!" and "You've all done an excellent job…except Cruller!"

His "Hollywood" films include "Beer" with Loretta Swit, directed by Patrick Kelly.

He played Uncle Knit Knots in the pilot production of Disney's series for preschoolers, "Imagination Movers."

Those who know him as an actor sometimes find it surprising that in his "other" job, he is a press agent. His Village-based practice, Jonathan Slaff & Associates, specializes in media relations for theater, dance, film, world music and books. He is also a prolific and widely-published theatrical photographer, represented by Ovoworks (Kevin Kushel).

He is a client of Don Buchwald & Associates. He studies acting with Wynn Handman and Bob McAndrew.

For Jonathan Slaff's performance history, and to watch him in some of America's funniest commercials, please see his website.


It takes more than just one actor to do this solo turn!

The piece was originally written in 1970 as a solo turn for one actor, but director Stanley Allan Sherman enlarged the concept slightly by giving the hotel a life of its own: adding live actors to supply sounds and sights of the hotel instead of relying on "artificial" sound effects and dummies.  Using the playscript as a commedia dell' arte scenario, the two-person ensemble of David Zen Mansley and Rachel Krah acted the hotel patrons and supplied various sound effects with live voices backstage. They also added comedic surprises.

Set design was by Mark Marcante. Lighting design was by Alexander Bartenieff. Costume design was by Susan Gittens. Stage Manager was Gladys Maldonado and Assistant Stage Manager/Costume Assistant was Pauline Colon.

SPECIAL THANKS to Crystal Field for making this fabulous creative opportunity possible, Wynn Handman for introducing Jonathan Slaff to this role, David Zen Mansley for special set construction and props, Rachel Krah for cello solos and her work on set construction, Gladys Maldonado for additional sound effects and props, Richard Retta for wiring our phone, Jon Weber for serving as press contact, Joy Linscheidt for the sound effects used in our workshop presentation in TNC's 2009 Lower East Side Festival of the Arts, and to our friends from TNC's Street Theater ensemble for their set construction help.