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January 23, 2000 | PAUL BROWNFIELD, Paul Brownfield is a Times staff writer who covers comedy and television
In exchange for great pay, TV comedy writers face one giant occupational hazard--the inability to say whatever they want. Go ahead and bemoan how cruddy sitcoms are, but you try writing something genuinely funny with the network notes and the advertisers and the star egos to contend with. Interviewed recently on National Public Radio, Alan Ball noted that much of the juicy vitriol in his Golden Globe-nominated screenplay for "American Beauty" grew out of the frustration he was feeling as a comedy writer in a far more confining context--on the sitcoms "Grace Under Fire" and "Cybill."
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January 23, 2000 | PAUL BROWNFIELD, Paul Brownfield is a Times staff writer who covers comedy and television
In exchange for great pay, TV comedy writers face one giant occupational hazard--the inability to say whatever they want. Go ahead and bemoan how cruddy sitcoms are, but you try writing something genuinely funny with the network notes and the advertisers and the star egos to contend with.
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