Sitcom Writers Talk Shop: Behind the Scenes with Carl Reiner, Norman Lear, and Other Geniuses of TV Comedy

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Sitcom Writers Talk Shop: Behind the Scenes with Carl Reiner, Norman Lear, and Other Geniuses of TV Comedy

Hardcover. 

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 SimpsonsThe Critic)
  • Leonard Stern (The HoneymoonersGet Smart)
  • Treva Silverman (The Mary Tyler Moore Show)
  • Ken Estin (Cheers)
  • Matt Williams (RoseanneHome Improvement)
  • Dava Savel (Ellen)
  • Larry Charles (Seinfeld)
  • David Lee (Frasier)
  • Phil Rosenthal (Everybody Loves Raymond)
  • 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.