The NY Times published an interesting article yesterday about how there are barely any female writers in late-night television. Here’s their breakdown: Jimmy Kimmel- one female (his girlfriend), Craig Ferguson-one female (his sister), and between Leno, Conan, and Letterman (insert sex joke here)—they have none! That’s insane! In the article Dave Letterman’s first head writer said, “an odd shift toward more boys’ humor…The massive popularity of Howard Stern might have had something to do with that.”
I do agree with that, but being a female writer myself I think it has a lot to do with being able to hang with the boys in the room, and having their sensibility. You really have to have thick skin, and not take things personally if a joke is shot down (as I do sometimes).
As a whole, I think a lot of women don’t pursue gigs in late-night because of the stigma that’s attached to it–”it’s impossible to get a late-night writing job as a female.” I’m currently going for a late-night position on a show, and I’ve only had ONE person tell me it’s a good idea to go after it. Everyone else tells me to just stick to my other writing and stand-up gigs. We need more women writing for late-night–after all…we are the late-night audience! It’s time for change!