Alfred University News

Actor, comedian and former Alfred University student Rob Bartlett visits Acting for Smartphone Camera class  

Comedian Rob Bartlet, center lower row, appearing in onling Acting for the Smartphone class
Comedian Rob Bartlet, center lower row, appearing in onling Acting for the Smartphone class

Broadway, television and radio actor and comedian Rob Bartlett was a recent guest for Visiting Instructor Eliza Beckwith’s virtual Acting for the Smartphone Camera class. Rob attended Alfred from 1975-76, performed in several AU productions (including productions with Professor Beckwith ‘78) and hosted a popular radio show on WALF.


Broadway, television and radio actor and comedian Rob Bartlett was a recent guest for Visiting Instructor Eliza Beckwith’s virtual Acting for the Smartphone Camera class. Rob attended Alfred from 1975-76, performed in several AU productions (including productions with Professor Beckwith ‘78) and hosted a popular radio show on WALF. 

 Rob spoke to the class about his show business journey, which took him from Alfred to the world of stand-up comedy, first on his native Long Island (where he and a 17-year-old Eddie Murphy formed two thirds of the improvisational trio The Identical Triplets) and on to comedy clubs across the country, including his headlining performances at the Sands Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.  He was a regular on the popular radio show, Imus in the Morning, for almost 30 years. 

Asked about his return to his acting roots, Rob told students of the many serendipitous meetings that led him there, some of which involved being in the right place at the right time. "As a great actor once said to me, 'When the bus pulls up, make sure your bags are packed.’" 

He also provided insights into the audition process, telling anecdotes about his own experiences, both good and bad, and encouraged students to never give up if acting was what they loved. 

Rob made his Broadway debut in More to Love which he wrote and starred in. In 1999 he starred in Tabletop, for which he received a Drama Desk Award.  His Broadway roles include Amos Hart in Chicago, Herman in Sweet Charity with Christina Applegate,  originated the role of Mr. Mushnik in the Broadway production of Little Shop of Horrors, [Speed in the Nathan Lane/Matthew Broderick revival of Neil Simon's The Odd Couple. 

 In 2011, Bartlett returned to Broadway in the revival of  How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying starring Daniel Radcliffe. Bartlett played the dual roles of Twimble and Wally Womper.

 Rob has also done many roles on television, including the final season of Elementary in the summer of 2019, where he played the recurring character of Captain Bill Dwyer.

Bartlett continues to make appearances in venues throughout the United States.

He is an advocate, fundraiser, board member and trustee of The Long Island Crohn's and Colitis Foundation. Both he and one of his sons suffer from Crohn's.