Ritch Shydner (born December 3, 1952) appears as Luke Ventura, Al's co-worker at Gary's Shoes in Season 1 of Married with Children. Ritch wears mutliple hats in the entertainment industry as a comedian, actor and comedy writer. [1][2][3][4]

Early lifeEdit

Ritch was born in the small town of Pennsville Township, New Jersey. He studied business and sociology at Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania. At Gettysburg College he and sidekick, Camillo "Mad-Dog" Melchiorre, wrote, produced and starred in comedy skits for parents' weekends and fraternity events. Carmen "Honest-Abe" Volpecelli and Pluto "Fenderhead" Dombrosky also contributed mightily to their nearly-famous Used Car Salesman skit. After graduation, he did some substitute teaching in Pennsville, and managed a band. Shydner began to work for a congressman, which sparked his interest in law school. He attended George Mason University in Fairfax, VA, and it was there that he decided to become a stand-up comedian. He began writing a lot, and sent material to Mad magazine, and National Lampoon but found little success. Shortly after, Shydner started stand-up comedy.

In the mid-1970s, Shydner went to open mic nights at local coffeehouses, and began opening for bands in Washington DC and New York City. In 1982, he brought his act to Los Angeles. Slowly he started getting called in to audition for casting directors. Shydner studied acting for about four years, and landed a regular role on Married with Children.


As a stand-up comedian, Shydner appeared on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, Late Night with David Letterman, and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno numerous times. He also did an HBO half-hour special, One Night Stand.[5] Aside from performing stand-up, Ritch, along with comedian Mark Schiff, compiled stories of comedians on the road in a book called I Killed (2006).

Ritch was partly the focus of the 2010 documentary movie I Am Comic, in which he traveled around the country interviewing various comedians, a process that ultimately led to his return to stand-up by going on the stage again after 13 years of retirement.[6]

As an actor, in addition to his role on Married with Children, Ritch made guest appearances on other TV shows, such as Designing Women and Roseanne and has had roles in films, including Roxanne with Steve Martin and Beverly Hills Cop II with Judge Reinhold and Eddie Murphy.

In the field of writing, Shydner was a staff writer on such sitcoms as ABC-TV's Roseanne, The Jeff Foxworthy Show, and FOX-TV's Titus, and also wrote scripts for CBS-TV's Becker series. He wrote for singers Kenny Rogers and Pam Tillis, as well as ventriloquist David Strassman.

Ritch was also on an episode of Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist. Ritch has stated in the past that his early influences were Art Carney, Lenny Bruce, Red Skelton, and George Carlin.[7]


  1. Ritch Shydner. The New York Times.
  2. Duncan Strauss (December 27, 1988). Ritch Shydner Capitalizes on the Comedy of the Sexes. The Los Angeles Times.
  3. Duncan Strauss (November 26, 1987). If Name Ritch Shydner Doesn't Ring a Bell, His Comedy Routine Does. The Los Angeles Times.
  4. Mark Chalon Smith (October 25, 1990). Shydner Makes His Own Mark on Familiar Comic Terrain. The Los Angeles Times.
  6. Dennis Harvey (August 22, 2010). I Am Comic. 'Variety magazine.
  7. Patterson and Associates]

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