Siofan Davies on Female Comedy Writers

One thing I’ve always loved is laughing. As a child, I would pretend to be sick so I could stay home and watch The Love Boat. In high school I would reenact sketches from The Carol Burnett Show and Saturday Night Live for willing classmates and unwilling faculty members.

For me, nothing is more blissful than well-written, well-timed humour. I love comedic geniuses like Catherine Tate, Tina Fey and Amy Sedaris, and the female comedy writers working on my favourite TV shows. Many are creating comedy for the web and working to produce their film scripts. Here is a small selection of the amazing women who make me laugh.

Siofan Davies spends her days obsessing over the creativity of others, trying to remember the name of a book or a movie, and boring those around her with stories about bubble tea and other foods she just doesn’t get. Follow her on Twitter @siofan

1. Mindy Kaling

Mindy Kaling, aka Kelly Kapoor on The Office (not Kelly Kapowski, that’s Saved by the Bell), has many upcoming projects beyond the writing she does for the show, including a movie script that looks like it’s going to get made and a book of humorous essays (my favourite genre) soon to be published. She’s like a female James Franco without the art-house complex. I love the rhythm of this New York interview with her and fellow Office actor/writer B.J. Novak.

2. Liz Cackowski

The Jeannie Tate Show is a web series co-written by and starring Liz Cackowski, who also writes for NBC’s Community. It is paced perfectly, and the character is silly without being totally obvious. On it, she conducts interviews with guests, mostly in her minivan, but I chose this one because it’s set in a women-only circuit gym, a location both communal and depressing.

3. Tracey Wigfield

This piece features some excellent back and forth between 30 Rock writer Tracey Wigfield and her former humour-writing professor. I like sharp Q&As—I think truly funny people are shown in the best light in this format.

4. Tami Sagher

Tami Sagher has written some of my favourite moments on 30 Rock. She collaborated on the awesome song “Werewolf Bar Mitzvah” and wrote the second-season episode “Ludachristmas,” which is one of the very few holiday-themed shows in the history of TV that I have liked. I’d send you to watch it, but NBC has its intellectual property on lock, so instead read this in-depth recap and use your imagination—which, I must point out, can come nowhere close to the craziness of Sagher’s.

5. Maggie Carey

Maggie Carey (Liz Cackowski’s co-writer on The Jeannie Tate Show) staged a table read of her script The Hand Job at the most recent Austin Film Festival, with actors Aubrey Plaza, Colin Hanks and Bill Hader (Carey’s husband), among others. This is a really creative way to promote her unproduced script, which sounds like Superbad meets American Pie but from a female perspective.