Why We Care About Comedy

Why does the Writers Guild of America, East care about news and comedy? Because our members write both, sometimes for the same show. We represent the writers at the hottest TV comedy-variety shows - The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, The Colbert Report, the Late Show With David Letterman, Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, Saturday Night Live, Best Week Ever, and on and on. We also represent writers and other newsroom employees at ABC, CBS, and NBC, and the people who write Frontline, American Experience, American Masters, Nova, and other great programs on public TV. Oh, yes, and Sesame Street. In other words, our members write the television shows that make people laugh and make people think, from pre-school through their golden years.

We thought folks inside the Beltway might benefit from a little writerly enlightenment, or at least some good jokes, so we have organized an event at Newseum including stand-up comedy routines and a panel discussion of politics, comedy and the news (and various combinations thereof). Polls indicate millions of Americans get their news from The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, and similar shows, so what better place to showcase writers from those shows than a museum dedicated to the more sober precincts of the news business?

I want to caution people in advance: Do not expect the Party Line. Expect thoughtful dialogue. Our members are smart and engaged and they pay careful attention to politics, to government, and to the media. And, of course, they sometimes skewer sacred cattle.

Lowell Peterson is the Executive Director of the Writers Guild of America, East. See the show "Writers Speak! A Potentially Regrettable Evening with WGA Comedy Writers," this Friday May 8th, 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm at Washington DC's Newseum. More WGA blogs about the event available here.