October 25, 2020
Merrill Markoe is an Emmy award winning television writer and celebrated humorist. She’s worked on shows ranging from Sex and The City to Moonlighting but is probably best known for her association with The David Letterman Show, where she was the head writer from the show’s inception in 1981 until the late 1980s. She’s also the author of nine books, including the brand new graphic memoir We Saw Scenery: The Early Diaries of Merrill Markoe. Here, Merrill draws from an enormous cache of diaries she kept from approximately the fourth grade through her first year of college. In this conversation, Merrill talks about the book, about growing up female and funny, about harnessing that funniness into a career, and about working with—and being the longtime girlfriend of—David Letterman. She also talks about what it’s like to pursue comedy in this era of heightened sensitivities and why it’s a myth that you’re not allowed to be funny anymore.
Merrill Markoe was recently awarded the Paddy Chayefsky Laurel Award for Television Writing Achievement. Her new book, We Saw Scenery: The Early Diaries of Merrill Markoe, is just out from Algonquin Books.