Why There Aren’t More Women Comedy Writers on TV: A Short Saga of Sit-com in the 80’s.

11 Nov

She had followed the time honored path of many women comedy writers. She had been a writer’s assistant on a top comedy show. She wrote a sample script from a different show and bing, bang, boom before you can say “hiatus” she found herself caught up in the grand maelstrom of 80’s sit com and swept onto the staff of a highly touted new show.

Like most highly touted new shows it was a flop. Then she was hired on an established, used to be more highly touted but still doing great in the ratings show.

She was an honest and steady writer. No joke meister but solid and could give you a decent first draft which is nothing to sneeze at. She was fun to be around and had great energy. She would always tell stories about how much she loved growing up near Lake Winnipesaukee. Her family sounded like a great bunch to hang with. A lot of comedy writers would like to put their families on an ice floe and drive away.

Then one day, like so many women writers, she found herself smack dab against the limitations of the old boy network. She didn’t leer at young actresses. She wasn’t a sports nut. And worst of all, she didn’t remind them of themselves when they were starting out all young and nerdy.

By mid-season she was gone. Budget and all, you know. She cried the day they told her that they were letting her go. So, from their perspective, I guess they were right to give her the boot.

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2 Responses to “Why There Aren’t More Women Comedy Writers on TV: A Short Saga of Sit-com in the 80’s.”

  1. kay March 8, 2012 at 2:39 PM #

    Oh the pain. Reminds me of the time I was head writer (advertising), and the computer client literally said, “We need a revision on the writing, and well, we think we need a guy.” Laws and ethics be damned, lose an ad agency client, and you lose your peers’ jobs. So, I turned in new drafts as the Creative Director, and whaddya know, “John” wrote these! After about six months of “John” the powers that be were finally trusting me, and figured out I was John. And I let them save face and it all went away, until a year later when they “really” trusted me, and I let ’em have it.

  2. Steve Newman September 4, 2014 at 10:34 PM #

    I learned to paddle a canoe on lake Winepesaukee.

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