When he found out that comedy was not a lucrative undertaking, Mat buried himself in a side job: dramatic acting. His earliest screen performance were seen in independently made productions of Julius Caesar and made his Hollywood debut in Dark City which lead to subsequent leading man assignments. But none of the early roles could foretell the impact he would make as Moses in Cecil B. DeMille's spectacular The Ten Commandments. It was after this milestone part that Mat's comedic writing career began to take shape. . He was hired first as a freelance writer for Saturday Night Live's Weekend Update (with Colin Quinn and Jimmy Falon and Tina Fey). And soon after was hired as a Junior Writer for The Late Late show with Craig Kilborn.
But the mild success of Commandments lead to parts too juicy to turn down and when he accepted the title role in William Wyler's Ben Hur he was rewarded with an Oscar for Best Actor. While things were taking off on the big screen he never lost sight of his love for comedy. The Oscar would be left in the shadow of a bigger honor, a writing job on Spike TV's Oblivious. Other writing jobs would follow, a Writer/ Consultant gig on HBO's On the Record with Bob Costas and writing Dane Cook's set for The Comedy Central Roast of Denis Leary.
He returned to the big screen and tackled a new genre: the Western. The most notable of which were Peckinpah's Major Dundee and Will Penny. And Mat explored his Sci-fi options starring an astronaut trapped on a simian run Earth in Planet of the Apes reprising the role in its first sequel, Beneath the Planet of the Apes. After these distractions died down, Mat found his stand-up career flourishing with an appearance the Fresh Mugs showcases at the 2002 Chicago Comedy Festival and in February 2003, he made his network television debut on The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn.
Mr. Harawitz is currently working on several projects including The Animated Adventures of Bobby Lee, a one-act play entitled Elizabeth Comes Out and serves as President of the National Rifle Association.
Mathew Harawitz Facts