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U of T Alumni Series: Paul Shaffer

One of the many notable alumni from the University of Toronto is Paul Shaffer. Despite graduating with a degree in Sociology, Shaffer has been heavily involved in the music entertainment. Born in Thunder Bay, he began culturing his musical talents early on by playing the piano and the organ. You might recognize him from Saturday Night Live where he was part of the band and being the producer/writer of the hit song, “It’s Raining Men.” But Shaffer has quite the wide repertoire of works.


Image via E! Online

Shaffer is a Grammy-nominated musical director/voice actor/part time actor. He’s worked with several famous singers ranging from Yoko Ono and Cher to Diana Ross. But producing great artists isn’t his only talent, he has also done some work in the voice acting industry. He was Hermes in the Disney film, Hercules. In addition, Shaffer was also the musical director/supervisor for Late Night with David Letterman. His skill as a musical director has been widely recognized and in 1999, he was the musical director for the Concert of the Century, which starred Eric Clapton and ‘N Sync. And to top it off, he has guest starred in the hit show, “How I Met Your Mother” and made cameos in other shows such as “Law and Order: Criminal Intent”, and co-starred in the short-lived series called “A Year at the Top” in 1977.

Shaffer is happily married to Cathy Vasapoli and has two beautiful children. Shaffer further increased his number of achievements by obtaining two honorary doctorate degrees from Lakehead University and Five Towns College, respectively. His career is admirable and it’s amazing how far University of Toronto Alumni go in life. The number of people he’s worked with is so extraordinary, they should call his network the Six Degrees of Paul Shaffer!

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