Why Are There No Women Writers on Late Night TV?

11/13/2009 2:52 PM |


We’re at that time of day on Friday when I begin to look back at the events of the week to see what I missed, and one of the stories I kept ignoring until just a few minutes ago is this one from the Times, about the lack of women writers on late night television shows. Jimmy Fallon has three women on his staff, The Daily Show has two, and Jimmy Kimmel and The Colbert Report have one each. The most striking number, though? Zero, which is how many women writers are on staff for Letterman, Leno and Conan combined.

Some people cite a disproportionate number of male applicants for the jobs, while another points out that this isn’t likely to change as long as the majority of the hosts, whose sensibilities writers are trying to match, are men, a theory bolstered by the fact that t five of the ten writers for Chelea Lately are women. But then again, you really mean to tell me any old moron, male or female, isn’t capable of churning out the kind of jokes Jay Leno uses on your grandparents every night?