Ryan Max Riley (born May 15, 1979) is a humorist and athlete who was a humor writer for The Harvard Lampoon. He competed on the World Cup for seven years and was a two-time US National Champion as an athlete on the U.S. Ski Team in the freestyle skiing events of moguls and dual moguls. He graduated with a bachelor's degree from Harvard College and earned master's degrees from the University of Oxford and Yale University.

Ryan Max Riley
Personal information
Full nameRyan Max Riley
Born (1979-05-15) May 15, 1979 (age 40)
EducationBachelor of Arts, Masters of Arts
Alma materHarvard University, University of Oxford, Yale University
OccupationNovelist, humorist, athlete
Country United States of America
SportFreestyle Skiing


Riley grew up in Colorado, graduating in 1997 from the Lowell Whiteman School in Steamboat Springs and training on the freestyle teams at Winter Park Resort and the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club, both of which have produced many U.S. Ski Team athletes and winter Olympians.[1]

External video
  Ryan Max Riley's winning run at US Champs in freestyle skiing moguls in 2001

In his last three years on the U.S. Ski Team, Riley attended Harvard University, where he was a humor writer for The Harvard Lampoon. After finishing his A.B. with high honors in Literature at Harvard University in 2007, he earned an M.St. with distinction and won the Gerard Davis Prize for the best dissertation on a topic in French literary studies submitted for the M.St. in Medieval and Modern Languages from the University of Oxford in 2011 (he was in the Queen's College). He then completed his M.A. in French Literature at Yale University.[2]

According to his Yale biography, Riley has a pet polish dwarf rabbit named Thibault after a character (Tybalt) in William Shakespeare's play Romeo and Juliet and the pet lobster of the French poet Gérard de Nerval, a pet lobster that Nerval used to walk around Paris with a blue ribbon.[3]


While in college, Riley was a humor writer for The Harvard Lampoon, a humor magazine and humor society founded in 1876 at Harvard University. He now writes comedy for publications such as CollegeHumor,[4] Splitsider (the humor website of The Awl), The Higgs Weldon,[5] The Big Jewel, and FunnyTweets.[6] His first novel is forthcoming.

United States Ski TeamEdit

External video
  Ryan Max Riley winning bronze at Goodwill Games in freestyle skiing moguls in 2000

Riley earned a spot on the U.S. Ski Team in 1998, when he won the overall Nor-Am Cup in Moguls. On March 14, 1998, he competed in his first World Cup, in Altenmarkt-Zauchensee, Austria, and placed 14th. He got his first top-5 result on the World Cup the next season, finishing fifth in Dual Moguls in Madarao, Japan, on February 21, 1999 (he placed sixth the day before in Moguls). A week later, he won the silver medal at the Junior World Championships in Jyvaskyla, Finland.[7]

Riley placed second in a World Cup in 2001 and won silver and bronze medals at the Goodwill Games in 2000.[8]

He won his second U.S. National Championship with one of the highest scores in the history of the sport (a 28.55) in Moguls in 2001 in Waterville Valley, New Hampshire.[9]

In 2000, he was featured in the Warren Miller film Ride.[10]


  1. ^ Lowell Whiteman School
  2. ^ Yale biography
  3. ^ Yale biography
  4. ^ Riley, Ryan Max (10 October 2013). "Bios for New York's Most Popular Tutors". CollegeHumor. Retrieved October 10, 2013.
  5. ^ Ryan Max Riley's humor writing on The Higgs Weldon
  6. ^ Ryan Max Riley's jokes on FunnyTweets
  7. ^ International Ski Federation
  8. ^ International Ski Federation
  9. ^ US Championships 2001
  10. ^ Warren Miller

External linksEdit