One upside from the David Letterman extortion/sex scandal: a woman has been added to the late night comedian’s writing team.
The New York Times reports that longtime staff member and writers’ assistant Jill Goodwin has been hired as a staff writer on CBS’ Late Show with David Letterman.
Amid the Letterman scandal that emerged last fall, it became known that the writers’ rooms of late night comedy shows like Letterman’s, as well as those of Jay Leno’s show and Conan O’Brien’s Tonight Show, were occupied entirely by men. “At this moment, there are more females serving on the United States Supreme Court than there are writing for Late Show with David Letterman, The Jay Leno Show, and The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien combined,” former Letterman writer Nell Scovell wrote for Vanity Fair in October. “Out of the 50 or so comedy writers working on these programs, exactly zero are women. It would be funny if it weren’t true.”
There seems to be a dearth of women in comedy writing in general, so the hiring of Goodwin is a huge coup for funny women everywhere. In December, we interviewed Onion editor Joe Randazzo, and he talked to us about why there are no women on his writing staff. “I wish that there were more active funny ladies out there,” he said. “There are more and more as time goes on, and more women do emerge in the comedy world. It’s definitely not true that women are not as funny as men are, but because that is the social perception, maybe women are more tentative. It’s a tough world to break into; everyone is very insecure and people can be tough and mean.”
Read more: Letterman Show Adds Female Staff Writer —New York Times