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LETTERS

Female Funsters

January 18, 1998

Jane Hall's behind-the-scenes view of my favorite TV program, "Late Night With Conan O'Brien," confirmed the joyful and creative atmosphere that comes across to viewers ("Inside Conan's Laugh Factory," Jan. 11).

But I think producer Jeff Ross was fibbing when he remarked that "very few women apply" for writing jobs in late-night comedy. In fact, there are several excellent topical-joke-writing females in the business. The measure of a show's success is its comedy writing, and yet most programs eschew women writers, choosing instead to hire female producers, directors and talent bookers to give the impression there's equality.

Count the distaff names on the writing credits on competing shows and you'll see Conan's has a higher percentage. Maybe that's why it's consistently funnier.

LESLEY FRANK

Encino

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