On today’s show, Maureen Corrigan reviews Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In which — as Corrigan mentions — is co-written with Nell Scovell. Scovell, a professional writer, got her start in comedy writing and a few months back had an excellent piece on Splitsider — "Inside the Greatest Writers’ Room You’ve Never Heard Of" — about one of her first TV writing gigs. It was for a show called The Wilton North Report and Scovell considers it a forerunner to The Daily Show. In addition to Scovell, The Wilton North Report featured Greg Daniels (co-creator of Parks and Recreation, King of the Hill and The Office) and Conan O’Brien.
I churned out pitches on a typewriter — yes, a typewriter — on premade forms that had at the top: “Repeatable,” “Non-Repeatable,” “Approved,” and “Not Approved.” One of my ideas that was both “Approved” and “Repeatable” was to send a consumer reporter to examine high-end luxury goods. The idea was to walk into a Ferrari dealership, look over the models, and make comments like, “Not really a family car, is it?” Another pitch of mine that made it on the show was “Hypochondriac’s Corner,” which featured an actual Los Angeles pharmacist who discussed how that cough was probably just a tickle in your throat…or it could be the first sign of larynx cancer. Then we flashed gross photos of huge tumors on the screen.
Here’s a Fresh Air interview with Conan.