He and Thomas Meehan wrote the book for the musical, "Hairspray," at the Ogunquit Playhouse in Ogunquit, Maine with Ryan Landry and Eddie Mekka in the cast. Marc Shaiman was composer. Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman were lyricists.
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The structure I had in mind was: Girl does Mash Potato, girl charms Baltimore, girl integrates nation. My script was like a great Mad magazine article. (in a 2002 AP interview, describing the plot of "Hairspray")
He received his bachelor of arts degree from Harvard in 1976, where he was a member of the Harvard Lampoon. His twin brother also attended Harvard.