Bruce Ryan (production designer)

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Bruce Ryan
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CitizenshipUnited States of America
  • Production designer
  • Art director

Bruce Ryan (born 1953) is an Emmy Award-nominated American production designer and art director. He has worked on 800 different television and motion picture productions. Ryan has designed productions on every continent except Anartica. He has had as many as 8 series on the same season.

Early life

Ryan is a native of Pasadena, CA. His father was Superintendent of Schools in Arcadia, CA and his mother was ESL teacher with LAUSD. Ryan grew up in Rialto, CA and moved to Berkeley High School where he graduated in the Performing Arts Dept. He has an undergraduate degree from San Francisco State University and an MFA in Scenic Design from the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television.


Ryan’s early career included working on the series Fridays, ABC’s version of Saturday Night Live. After 57 live productions, he designed American Bandstand's 40th Anniversary Special[1] for which he received his first Emmy nomination. Ten years later he designed the dance show, Soul Train[2]. This was followed by hundreds of productions such as sitcoms like It's Garry Shandling's Show[3], Will and Grace[4] and All of Us; music specials for Whitney Houston, Celine Dion, Aretha Franklin and Cher[5]; and award shows such as the Emmys[6], the MTV Video Music Awards, the Billboard Awards, the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards awards, the Soul Train Music Awards, Hollywood Squares[7], Candid Camera's 50th Anniversary [8] and the AFI Life Achievement Award.

Ryan designed the 3 largest ever stand-up comedy events, Larry the Cable Guy at University of Nebraska[1] for an audience of 100,000, Kevin Hart at Lincoln Stadium[9] for 53,000 and Gabriel Iglesias at Dodger Stadium for 46,000. Ryan has collaborated with leading stand-ups multiple times including Patton Oswalt[10], Ellen DeGeneres[10], Chris Rock[10][11], Drew Carey[12], George Carlin[13] (8), Dave Chappelle[14] (7) Bill Maher (7) as well as arena standups Jeff Dunham[15] (7), Gabriel Iglesias[16] (6), Kevin Hart[17][18] (3 movies) and Cedric the Entertainer[19] (6). Ryan also designed Jon Lovitz's Comedy Club at Universal CityWalk[20]


Ryan has been nominated for 2 Primetime Emmys[19], 1 Daytime Emmy[21]4 Art Directors Guild Awards[22][23][24][25], and won 3 out of 4 CableACE Award nominations. Ryan’s Broadway theatre Def Poetry Jam[26] won the Tony Award for Best Theatrical Event of 2003[27]


Bruce was married to Loren Tripp. Ryan was honored by the naming of the Bruce Ryan Soundstage at the Idyllwild Arts Academy.


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Bruce Ryan".
  2. "The 1998 Soul Train Christmas Starfest".
  3. O'Connor, John J. (June 8, 1990). "TV Weekend; End of the Run for Garry Shandling" – via
  4. "Bruce Ryan". BFI.
  5. "Nominations Search | Emmy Awards". Television Academy.
  6. Archerd, Army; Archerd, Army (August 22, 1995). "Classy Emmys will plug TV's pluses".
  7. Olson, Eric J.; Olson, Eric J. (July 9, 1998). "'Squares' lines up prod'n team".
  8. Gerard, Jeremy; Gerard, Jeremy (August 26, 1996). "Candid Camera's 50th Anniversary".
  9. Staff, T. H. R.; Staff, T. H. R. (October 12, 2016). "'Kevin Hart: What Now?': Film Review".
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 "Bruce Ryan". MUBI.
  11. Gallo, Phil; Gallo, Phil (June 5, 1996). "Hbo Comedy Hour Chris Rock Bring the Pain".
  12. Richmond, Ray; Richmond, Ray (June 27, 1997). "Hbo Comedy Hour: The Mr. Vegas All-Night Party Starring Drew Carey".
  13. Pandya, Hershal (June 2, 2022). "The Director Who Captured George Carlin's Most Prophetic Era". Vulture.
  14. "Dave Chappelle: Killin' Them Softly (2000)" – via
  15. "Bruce Ryan". Discogs.
  16. Staff, T. H. R.; Staff, T. H. R. (July 25, 2014). "'The Fluffy Movie': Film Review".
  17. Staff, T. H. R.; Staff, T. H. R. (July 3, 2013). "Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain: Film Review".
  18. "Bruce Ryan".
  19. 19.0 19.1 "Bruce Ryan". Television Academy.
  20. Graser, Marc; Graser, Marc (April 3, 2009). "Jon Lovitz cues comedy club".
  22. "Art directors dress up their film, TV noms". January 19, 2007.
  23. "Bruce Ryan awards".
  24. McNary, Dave; McNary, Dave (January 18, 2007). "Art Directors pick 15 films".
  25. McNary, Dave; McNary, Dave (January 18, 2006). "Pic palette for art directors' kudos".
  26. Harvey, Dennis; Harvey, Dennis (July 12, 2002). "Russell Simmons' Def Poetry Jam".
  27. "Spread the Word: Tony Award-Winning Def Poetry Jam Launches Tour in Philadelphia, Oct. 16 | Playbill".

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