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Posts tagged as writers

Writer/Director Paul Mazursky Dies at 84

Writer/director Paul Mazursky passed away yesterday from a pulmonary embolism yesterday at LA's Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, The LA Times reports. Mazursky, who was nominated for five Oscars over the course of his five-decade-long career, wrote and/or directed (usually doing both) 17 movies. His most widely-known features include Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, Harry and Tonto, and An Unmarried Woman, all of which blended comedy and drama to create movies with realistic, grounded characters that explored real life problems with plenty of humor and heart.

'Community' Writer Andy Bobrow Reflects on Working with Dan Harmon

"Step five is delete. Keep the two percent that isn't shit and delete the ninety-eight percent that's shit. Rewrite it. Within your re-write, there will be two more percent that isn't shit. Then just keep tossing the shit and replacing it until the ratio is tolerable."

- Television writer Andy Bobrow in a new essay "How Writing for the TV Show Community Cured Me," in which he talks about landing a writing job on Community and how much he's learned from Dan Harmon's rewrites. The essay also includes two drafts of season 2 episode "Mixology Certification" to show just how much rewriting went into Community episodes.

Talking to Hilary Winston About Writing for 'Community' and 'Happy Endings' and Adapting 'Bad Teacher' to TV

Comedy writer and producer Hilary Winston has been building quite the impressive resume these last few years, jumping from critically-acclaimed show to critically-acclaimed show. After spending four years on staff for My Name Is Earl's entire original run, she did two seasons at Community and then two seasons at Happy Endings. Now, after years of writing on other people's shows, Winston has one of her own with Bad Teacher, a half-hour sitcom based on the film of the same name that premiered on CBS last week. Winston adapted the Bad Teacher to TV, serving as the show's creator and showrunner.

Starring Ari Graynor, Sara Gilbert, Ryan Hansen, Sara Rodler, [...]

A Video Guide to New 'Daily Show' Correspondent Michael Che

In case you missed the big news, standup and SNL writer Michael Che has joined The Daily Show as its newest correspondent and is set to make his first appearance in June. In addition to his writing gig at SNL, Che has appeared on Bunk, John Oliver's New York Stand-Up Show, Late Show with David Letterman, Best Week Ever, @midnight, and most recently Late Night with Seth Meyers, where he served as the show's very first featured standup during its premiere episode. He also has a half-hour Comedy Central special set to premiere on June 6th. Ahead of Che's Daily Show debut a little over a [...]

A Guide to Your Favorite Late Night and Sketch TV Writers on Twitter

There are tons of great late night and sketch comedy shows on television these days, and behind each one is a staff of writers hard at work to ensure their respective late night host or starring cast puts on the funniest and most finely tuned performance possible. We're in the midst of a rerun week for shows like Conan, SNL, and The Daily Show, so with that in mind, here's a complete writing staff breakdown of some of the best sketch and late night shows on TV, including a handy guide to whose Twitter feeds you can invade to get your minute-by-minute comedy fix.

'Poking a Dead Frog,' Mike Sacks's Sequel to 'And Here's the Kicker' Out Today

Mike Sacks's latest book of interviews with comedians, Poking a Dead Frog, hits the shelves today. A follow-up to his 2009 book, And Here's the Kicker, Poking a Dead Frog features interviews and advice from over 40 professional comedy writers, spanning a wide range of mediums including movies, late night, sitcoms, standup, print, podcasts, and more. James L. Brooks, Adam McKay, Amy Poehler, Mel Brooks, Diablo Cody,Glen Charles, and Carol Kolb are just some of the writers included in the new book, from which we excerpted an interview with longtime SNL writer James Downey this morning.

'Arsenio' Writer Suing Hall and CBS for $2M for Failing to Promote Him to Head Writer

A broken promise has turned into a $2 million lawsuit for The Arsenio Hall Show and CBS, where writer Paul Raff claims he was unfairly cheated out of a head writer position. As reported by Deadline, Raff — a former Jimmy Kimmel Live! writer — claims that he met with Hall and executive producer John Ferriter in August 2012, which "resulted in an agreement that Raff would be employed as head writer of the show." Raff and Ferriter also made an agreement for Ferriter to act as his "exclusive representative" and counsel him in his career, and though the contract of the complete agreement was drafted up it [...]

A Guide to Your Favorite Sitcom TV Writers on Twitter

Last month we compiled a complete guide to all the best late night and sketch show writers on Twitter, from talk shows to SNL to Comedy Central's crop of new and returning sketch series. This round we're highlighting the writing staffs of some of the finest sitcoms and animated series on television today, from both established network regulars like Community and Parks and Rec to breakthrough newcomers like Broad City, Silicon Valley, and Rick and Morty. Writing for a television show is above all a collaborative effort, so here's a zoomed-in glance at the teams hard at work to keep you hooked on all your favorite shows week [...]

A Look at the Unlikely Career Path of 'Late Night' Writer Bryan Donaldson

Bryan Donaldson — or as he's known on Twitter, @TheNardvark — is profiled on Vulture today, and it's worth a read if you like stories of unlikely comedy world hires. After working as an IT guy in Illinois for 20 years, Donaldson rose the Twitter ranks until he landed a writing gig on Late Night with Seth Meyers last year, which started with a direct message from head writer Alex Baze. "I wasn't going to consider uprooting my family at age 40 and starting a new career in New York, where I'd never been before," Donaldson said. "But my wife basically said I'd be an idiot if [...]

Talking to 'The Onion's New Editor, Cole Bolton

It’s a story as old as time itself: man dislikes his job, decides to pursue a career in comedy, sends a bunch of unsolicited work into The Onion, and eventually becomes editor of the world’s most popular satirical news site. Well, maybe it’s not that conventional, but it is the general career outline of newly-appointed Onion editor Cole Bolton. A former associate economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and research associate at Harvard Business School, Bolton’s comedy experience was practically nonexistent before he joined The Onion as a contributing writer in 2006. But despite never once being a member of a college improv troupe, Bolton’s passion and [...]

Diving Deep Into the Legendary 'Mr. Show' Season 3 Writing Staff

Writing Staff Breakdown is a new Splitsider column that takes a writing staff from a beloved TV comedy, examines their individual contributions to the show and collaborations between the writers before and after. This week, we're looking at the writers for the third season of Bob Odenkirk and David Cross's Mr. Show.

"Mr. Show was certainly from a writers perspective, the best show to work for on TV. Which is to say, you have the most freedom." – Bob Odenkirk, in the book Mr. Show What Happened?!

One of the most influential and revered sketch shows ever on television, Mr. Show amassed a devoted following amongst comedy fans and [...]

Norm Macdonald Talks About Working for 'Roseanne' and Comedians Labeled "Crazy" and "Difficult"

Norm Macdonald took to Twitter late last night and delivered a lengthy but enlightening missive about the nature of creativity in comedy, the unfair reputation of comedians who are called "difficult" and "crazy," and his brief stint as a writer for Roseanne from 1992-1993. Here's an excerpt from what Macdonald had to say:

When the show ended, the Harvard boys went to other shows and were paid millions. After all, they had written Roseanne. Sort of. And Roseanne went away. She may have wanted to. I don’t know. But I do know what she was called. 'Difficult.' 'Crazy' even. These are words that are dismissive and can torpedo [...]

Disney to Develop Comedy Projects Through New "Writer Incubator" Program

The Disney Channel has taken a hint from both Fox's new approach to pilot season and NBC's recently enacted "Comedy Playground" initiative by starting its own search for new and professional comedy writing talent. THR reports that the network's newly created initiative, called "Disney Channel Storytellers," aims to "foster creative ideas and develop the next generation of series creators and screenwriters" for both Disney's main channel as well as Disney XD. Disney Channel Storytellers will serve as a 20-week "writer incubator" where three chosen writers will be paid to write and develop Disney programming and also have their own original live-action script developed for pilot [...]

'Late Night' Writer Amber Ruffin: Key and Peele Are "Destroying Black Stereotype Character Humor"

"Key and Peele have done more for black America than anyone would be willing to give them credit for. They forced the people who see black people as less than to see them as equal. … They are destroying black stereotype character humor."

- Late Night with Seth Meyers writer Amber Ruffin in a new interview with WNYC on race and comedy.