Nell Scovell, a former writer for Late Night with David Letterman, recently made a pitch on VanityFair.com that fixing comedy might just require finding some females.
“It pains me,” Scovell wrote, “that almost 20 years [after her stint on Letterman], the situation for female writers in late-night TV hasn’t improved.”
(Scovell is one of only seven female writers hired in 27 YEARS on Late Night and Late Show.)
Sure, I’m a Conan fan. I love The Daily Show. David Letterman can still make me laugh. But you know who else is funny? Tina Fey. Chelsea Handler. Wanda Sykes. Ellen Degeneres. Kristen Wiig. I could go on and on and on. These women kill – and there are so many more hilarious women where they came from.
One of the few ways funny females get to write for comedy television is by snagging their own show. (Anyone else see the absurdity in that? It’s like saying the only way you’ll get a chance to scramble eggs is to buy a chicken farm.) So all hail Tina and Chelsea for overcoming those insane odds. Chelsea has more balls (that’s the technical term in comedy manuals) than any of the late-night hosts. She skewers celebs and tickles my funny bone in a way those guys wouldn’t dare, without an ounce of fear or self-consciousness.
Twitter and Facebook users have rabidly hashtagged their loyalty to Team Conan (over Team Leno at a rate of 50 to 1, according to justSignal). And artist Mike Mitchell whipped up an Obama-esque portrait of the gawky host with the caption, “I’m with CoCo” to show Conan support online.
Now it’s our chance to crusade for the lady comics. It’s time for a late night evolution. A comedy ovulation. Declare your loyalty. #TeamChelseaHandler.
Carrie Seim, Betty’s L.A. Correspondent, is a writer and comedian keeping it real in L.A., New York and @ carrieseim.com.