Sunday, May 17, 2015

Merrill Markoe

Emmy Award–winning writer Merrill Markoe has authored books of humorous essays and the novels Nose Down, Eyes Up; Walking in Circles Before Lying Down; and It’s My F---ing Birthday and co-authored (with Andy Prieboy) the novel The Psycho Ex Game. She was the original head writer and co-creator of the iconic, groundbreaking early years of Late Night With David Letterman.

From her Q & A with Scott Timberg at Salon:

When [Late Night With David Letterman] started in 1982, Letterman himself was not terribly well known and the late night slot guaranteed neither viewers nor cultural centrality. It may’ve felt like being part of a cool but obscure rock band. Was it clear that the show was going to survive or did it feel rickety and quixotic at first?

In 1980 we created the DNA for the 1982 show when we did “The David Letterman Show,” a live daily morning show on NBC. If possible, that show was even crazier than the ’82 version of the show you mention. Because it was canceled after a few months, the experience was very traumatic and long-lasting for its host. From that point on, he was extremely anxiety-ridden about being canceled again. And so, for the years that I worked with him on the night show, he mentioned our imminent demise pretty much every day.

I couldn’t argue the point. I had no way of knowing if we were going to be canceled again or not. As a result the show felt constantly unstable to me. The host was insisting that we were on the verge of cancellation. For all I knew, he was right.

And by the way, it’s not too surprising that the morning show was canceled since it offered absolutely none of...[read on]
The Page 69 Test: Nose Down, Eyes Up.

My Book, The Movie: Merrill Markoe's talking dog script/novel.

Coffee with a Canine: Merrill Markoe & Jimmy, Ginger, Puppyboy, and Hedda.

--Marshal Zeringue