Catching up with Jon Glaser

Jon Glaser Parks and Rec
Glaser as Councilman Jeremy Jamm on NBC’s Park and Recreation. (vulture.com)

You might recognize Jon Glaser from his recent role in “Trainwreck,” his characters, Councilman Jeremy Jamm, on NBC’s “Parks and Recreation” or Laird Schlesinger on HBO’s “Girls” but one role you might not know is the one that Tamarack Camps played in his childhood.

“Tamarack was the absolute greatest,” Glaser said. “I have nothing but fun memories from my time at camp.”

Glaser, who grew up in Oak Park and Southfield and now lives in New York, was an Ortonville camper and later a Brighton Staff for four years in the 1980’s. He was also a camper on the Western and Eastern Trips and points to his travel experiences at Tamarack as some of his most influential.

“Trips were the best experience,” Glaser said. “Sadly, I’ve become a bit of a nature wimp as I’ve gotten older but loved it when I was a kid. I especially loved the backpacking trip in the Tetons on my Western Trip.”

Jon Glaser Western Trip
Glaser (top right in baseball hat) on Western Trip 3 in 1984

For many campers, Tamarack is a place where kids have opportunities to discover skills within themselves that they wouldn’t otherwise find. Glaser was no different and, as he describes, if not for his summer in Specialty, he may have never chosen a career in comedy.

“All through camp, I was always active in sports but in Specialty I had a chance to work on and be in a camp skit,” Glaser recalled, “My counselor saw something in me and said that I should consider doing drama.”

While Glaser said he didn’t officially get into theater until midway through high school, those words of encouragement at Tamarack when he was entering 9th grade really stuck with him.

More than 30 summers have passed since that moment in Specialty. In that time, Glaser has put together an impressive career as a writer, actor and producer. The list of notable TV shows and movies that he has been a part of go on and on but he has never forgotten where he came from or even some of Tamarack’s longest traditions.

“I started singing ‘Day Is Done’ to my son when he was a baby and I couldn’t think of lullabies,” Glaser said.  “I still sing it to him to this day, as well as my daughter.  It’s become a lullaby staple!”

Jon Glaser and Danny Klein
Glaser with fellow Brighton alum and current board member, Danny Klein, in May 2015.

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