Behind every great television show is a group of professionals working at the top of their games—but no one is more important than the writers. And while writing comedy, especially good comedy, is serious business—fraught with actor egos, demanding producers, and sleepless nights—it also can result in classic lines of dialogue.
Sitcom Writers Talk Shop: Behind the Scenes with Carl Reiner, Norman Lear, and Other Geniuses of TV Comedy is a collection of conversations with the writers responsible for some of the most memorable shows in television comedy. The men and women interviewed here include series creators, show runners, and staff writers whose talent and hard work have generated literally millions of laughs. In addition to Reiner (The Dick Van Dyke Show) and Lear (All in the Family), this book features in-depth interviews with: James L. Brooks (The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Simpsons), Al Jean (The Simpsons, The Critic), Leonard Stern (The Honeymooners, Get Smart), Treva Silverman (The Mary Tyler Moore Show), Ken Estin (Cheers), Matt Williams (Roseanne, Home Improvement), Dava Savel (Ellen), Larry Charles (Seinfeld), David Lee (Frasier), Phil Rosenthal (Everybody Loves Raymond) and Mike Reiss (The Simpsons).
From these conversations, readers will learn that the business of writing funny has never been all laughs. Writers discuss the creative process, how they get unstuck, the backstories of iconic episodes, and how they cope with ridiculous censors, outrageous actors, and their own demons and fears. Sitcom Writers Talk Shop will appeal to fans of all of these shows and may serve as inspiration to anyone considering a life in comedy.
Praise for Sitcom Writers Talk Shop:
“There’s an old saying: if you like sausage, don’t watch it being made. When it comes to comedy, that couldn’t be more untrue. This book is all about the process. How does comedy happen, anyway? You’ll hear candid admissions from writers and producers. It’s a fascinating insight into the world of comedy.” — Jay Leno, The Tonight Show
“For fans or anyone interested in a behind-the-scenes peak at those who’ve created successful sitcoms…you’ll totally enjoy this book!” — Valerie Harper, Actress (The Mary Tyler Moore Showand Rhoda)
“I am nothing but jealous of Paula Finn. She got to sit down with writers of some of the greatest sitcoms ever made, the ones we circled in TV Guide, and planned our nights around viewing. Here, in Sitcom Writers Talk Shop, Paula Finn pulls up a chair and pumps these legendary writers and show creators on how they did it and what it was like. Luckily for us, she asked the right questions and carefully recorded their answers. I’ve read this book twice, and it hasn’t even come out yet.”— Paula Poundstone, Stand-up Comedian, Author, Actor
Sitcom Writers Talk Shop available here