Paul W. Downs
PaulWDowns 2DopeQueens LA.png
Downs in 2018
Born (1982-11-21) November 21, 1982 (age 39)[1]
Alma materDuke University
  • Writer
  • actor
  • director
Years active2007–present
SpouseLucia Aniello

Paul W. Downs (born November 21, 1982) is an American actor, writer, and director. He is best known for his portrayal of Trey Pucker on the Comedy Central series Broad City, and as a co-creator, showrunner, and actor on the HBO Max series Hacks, for which he won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series.


Downs has been creating digital shorts with Lucia Aniello since the pair met in 2007 at the Upright Citizens Brigade. In 2012 they made a web series called Paulilu Mixtape for Above Average Productions, a division of Broadway Video.

In 2011, Downs made a sketch comedy short called "The Rattler", in this sketch, his cousins Ella and Patrick made a brief appearance.

Downs played "Hot Guy" in an episode of the MTV series The CollegeHumor Show in 2009. Additional appearances on CollegeHumor included a parody of the deli scene from When Harry Met Sally....[citation needed]

From 2014–2019, Downs played Trey on the Comedy Central sitcom Broad City. Trey is a fitness instructor and the boss turned romantic interest of Abbi Abrams (played by Abbi Jacobson) at Soulstice. Downs was one of the writers and executive producers on the show.

On April 29, 2015, it was announced that Downs and Aniello would be writing a female spin-off of 21 Jump Street.[4] On June 22, 2015, it was announced that the duo sold their script for Move That Body, a feature film acquired by Sony. Retitled Rough Night and released in 2017, Aniello directed, while Downs co-starred in the film.[5]

In 2016 he wrote and starred in his own 30-minute episode of the sketch show Netflix Presents: The Characters.[6]

On April 20, 2016 Downs starred in the Comedy Central miniseries Time Traveling Bong alongside Broad City co-star Ilana Glazer.[7]

In 2016 he appeared in a Catfish: The TV Show parody skit on the 36th episode of the sketch series Inside Amy Schumer.

Downs is showrunning and co-starring in the HBOMax show Hacks, starring Jean Smart. More recently, he and his comedy partner Lucia Aniello struck a deal with Warner Bros. Television.[8]

Personal life

Raised in Sussex, New Jersey, Downs attended the Pingry School.[9]

Downs studied theater at Duke University where he did improv as a member of Duke University Improv (DUI).[10][11] He lives in Los Angeles with Aniello, his wife and comedy partner.[12][13][14]

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Nominated work Result Ref.
2021 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series Hacks – "There Is No Line (Pilot)" (shared with Lucia Aniello and Jen Statsky) Won [15]
Outstanding Comedy Series Hacks (credited as Executive Producer; shared with other producers) Nominated [16]


  1. ^ "Heart and high jinks mix in the raucous summer comedy 'Rough Night'". Los Angeles Times. April 21, 2017.
  2. ^ "'Rough Night's' Comedy Couple on Tackling "Men-Only" Genre". The Hollywood Reporter. June 14, 2017.
  3. ^ "Jean Smart Dedicates Critics Choice Award to Showrunner Who Directed 'Between Contractions'".
  4. ^ Kit, Borys (April 29, 2015). "Female '21 Jump Street' in the Works With 'Broad City' Writers". THR. Retrieved April 29, 2015.
  5. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (June 22, 2015). "Sony Wins R-Rated Spec Comedy Auction With 'Broad City' & '21 Jump Street' Spinoff Scribes Aniello & Downs". Retrieved July 9, 2016.
  6. ^ Rose, Lacey (February 1, 2016). "Netflix Orders Innovative Sketch Series 'The Characters' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 2, 2016.
  7. ^ Hibberd, James (January 6, 2016). "Time-traveling bong TV series finally ordered". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved July 9, 2016.
  8. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (August 30, 2021). "'Hacks' Co-Creators Lucia Aniello & Paul W. Downs Ink Overall Deal With Warner Bros. Television Group". Deadline. Retrieved August 31, 2021.
  9. ^ Horowitz, Steven J. "Paul W. Downs' Feminist Ideals Are in His Work, Not on a T-Shirt", Esquire, June 19, 2017. Accessed March 14, 2022. "Comedy and acting have always been Downs' calling. Native to Sussex, New Jersey, he attended the private institution The Pingry School for his high school years, participating in its acting program and swimming, the latter of which he continued at Duke University for a short spell."
  10. ^ Futterweit, Alexa (August 11, 2012). "Interview: Lucia Aniello and Paul W. Downs Talk Paulilu Comedy and the Hilarity of Hilary [sic] Clinton". Complex Media, Inc. Retrieved March 7, 2015.
  11. ^ "Paul W. Downs". Upright Citizens Brigade Comedy. Retrieved March 7, 2015.
  12. ^ Marotta, Jenna (March 4, 2015). "Broad City's Paul W. Downs on His Character's Big Reveal, Voicing Abbi's Stuffed Animal, and Writing the Pegging Episode". Vulture. Retrieved March 7, 2015.
  13. ^ "Lucia Aniello". Retrieved March 7, 2015.
  14. ^ Wright, Megh (February 5, 2015). "Talking with Writers Paul W. Downs and Lucia Aniello About Last Night's Insane and Awesome 'Broad City' Episode". Splitsider. Retrieved March 7, 2015.
  15. ^ "Outstanding Writing For A Comedy Series – 2021". Retrieved September 23, 2021.
  16. ^ "Hacks". Retrieved September 24, 2021.