Borowitz was born in Shaker Heights, Ohio, where he attended Shaker Heights High School. Other well-known comedians from Shaker Heights include film and television actress Molly Shannon and writer/director/actor David Wain.
In 1980, Borowitz graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College, where he was president of the renowned humor magazine, the Harvard Lampoon. Other famous Lampoon alumni include William Randolph Hearst, George Santayana, Robert Benchley, John Updike, and George Plimpton. He also wrote for the Hasty Pudding Theatricals. Borowitz studied with playwright William Alfred and wrote his thesis on Restoration comedy.
After graduating, Borowitz moved to Los Angeles to work for producer Bud Yorkin at Tandem Productions, the company Yorkin co-founded with producer Norman Lear, the creator of All in the Family. From 1982 through 1983, he wrote for the television series Square Pegs starring actress Sarah Jessica Parker. From 1983 through 1984, he wrote for the television series The Facts of Life. He wrote for various television series through the 1980s.
In 1990, Borowitz created The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air which ran for six seasons on NBC and launched the acting career of Will Smith. Borowitz received an NAACP Image Award for the series.
In 1998, Borowitz co-produced the film Pleasantville, starring Reese Witherspoon, Tobey Maguire, William H. Macy, Joan Allen and Jeff Daniels. It was nominated for three Oscars, including Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Best Costume Design, and Best Music, Original Dramatic Score.
In 2004, Borowitz appeared in Woody Allen's Melinda and Melinda, starring Will Ferrell, and in Marie and Bruce, starring Julianne Moore and Matthew Broderick. Marie and Bruce was co-written by Wallace Shawn and director Tom Cairns. In 2007 he appeared in the movie Fired!
In the late 1990s, Borowitz began e-mailing humorous fake news stories to friends. In 2001, he founded the Borowitz Report, a site that posts one 250-word news satire every weekday. The site led to greater fame and widespread attention for Borowitz as a political satirist. The Wall Street Journal devoted a page one story to him and his site in 2003 and readership ultimately grew to 500,000 daily subscribers. In 2005 the newspaper syndicator Creators Syndicate began syndicating The Borowitz Report to dozens of major newspapers including The Los Angeles Times, The Seattle Times and The Philadelphia Inquirer. It is also one of the longest-running features at the Newsweek website. He has served as a commentator on the National Public Radio programs Weekend Edition Sunday and Wait Wait Don't Tell Me!, the latter on November 12, 2006. Borowitz is also a regular contributor to humor newspaper Funny Times.
In 2007 he started blogging for the progressive blog The Huffington Post. His posts were featured on the home page of the blog and quickly became one of its most popular features. His popularity surged during the 2008 campaign, leading The Daily Beast to call him "America's satire king."
In 2002, Borowitz joined the cast of CNN's American Morning and soon appeared on the program three mornings a week. In 2004 he covered the Democratic National Convention for the network, paired with comedian Lewis Black of The Daily Show. He has made countless appearances on other television programs including Countdown with Keith Olbermann, Best Week Ever on VH1 and Live at Gotham on Comedy Central. in 2010, Borowitz appeared on the PBS show Need to Know. Tom Shales, television critic for The Washington Post, singled out Borowitz for praise, calling him "one of the wittiest Web wags."
Borowitz's success as a television performer led to his becoming a strong draw as a stand-up comedian, and he started headlining at major comedy clubs across the country, including Caroline's on Broadway, where he hosts a monthly show called Next Week's News. Other major comedians have appeared with him in that show including Amy Sedaris and Susie Essman of HBO's Curb Your Enthusiasm. For four consecutive years starting in 2004 he performed at The Comedy Festival in Aspen, Colorado. In September 2007 he headlined an edition of Next Week's News at the Bumbershoot festival in Seattle, Washington, performing to standing-room-only audiences and critical acclaim in the press, including the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. He also performed to a sold-out house at the 2007 New York Comedy Festival, which featured other prominent comedians including Denis Leary, Bill Maher, and Sarah Silverman.In 2008 he hosted a series of sold-out shows at New York City's 92nd Street Y called "Countdown to the Election." The show earned rave reviews and featured such guests as Arianna Huffington, Mo Rocca, Jonathan Alter, Joy Behar, and Jeffrey Toobin.He continued to tour the country performing stand-up, including a performance at the University of California at Santa Barbara in April 2008. The UC Santa Barbara newspaper, The Daily Nexus, reported that Borowitz played to a packed house and had the audience "erupting with laughter."Comedian Mike Birbiglia praised Borowitz in a May, 2009 profile in Harvard Magazine: "Andy just picked up stand-up comedy as a hobby, and he's as good at it as anybody."
In 1998 Borowitz began contributing humor to The New Yorker magazine. He quickly became one of the magazine's most prolific humor contributors, writing dozens of essays including "Emily Dickinson, Jerk of Amherst", selected as one of the funniest humor pieces in the magazine's history and included in The New Yorker's humor collection entitled Fierce Pajamas. Two more humor pieces of his appeared in the magazine's 2008 collection entitled "Disquiet, Please!" He has also performed at The New Yorker Festival's humor revues at Town Hall in New York City with such other New Yorker contributors as Woody Allen, Steve Martin, and Calvin Trillin. Additionally, he has joined The New Yorker College Tour, where he has performed with improv group The Second City and David Sedaris.
In addition to writing for The New Yorker, Borowitz has written for many other magazines, including Vanity Fair and The Believer, and was a primary contributor to the cult magazine Army Man.
In 2009, Borowitz was chosen by The National Book Foundation to host the National Book Awards in New York City. Previous hosts have included such comedians and writers as Steve Martin and Garrison Keillor. His widely acclaimed performance earned him a return engagement for the 2010 awards ceremony.
Since 1999, Borowitz has been the primary host of the The Moth, a New York-based storytelling group. He sings with the literary rock band Rock Bottom Remainders, a group with a rotating cast of players including Dave Barry, Matt Groening, Roy Blount, Jr., Stephen King, Amy Tan, Robert Fulghum, Barbara Kingsolver, and Scott Turow, among others. He has taught screenwriting in the United States and Europe and is on the guest faculty of the Maurits Binger Film Institute in Amsterdam. He is married to Olivia Gentile, the author of Life List: A Woman's Quest for the World's Most Amazing Birds. He has three children and lives in New York City.