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Paula Finn

7 Podcast Episodes

Latest 18 Jun 2022 | Updated Daily

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099 - Ken Estin (Showrunner of Cheers, Taxi) and Paula Finn (Author, Sitcom Writers Talk Shop)

TV Writer Podcast - Audio

This week, host Gray Jones interviews veteran comedy writer Ken Estin, showrunner of Cheers and Taxi and creator of The Tracy Ullman Show, and Paula Finn, the author of Sitcom Writers Talk Shop. Episode 099 is sponsored by Pilar Alessandra of onthepage.tv. Pilar is offering a 10% discount on her interactive-online class “Rewrite Techniques,” running Four Saturdays, May 23 - June 13. To get your 10% off, use the code onthepage10at checkout. Paula Finn grew up in the shadow of her late father Herbert Finn, who wrote on such classic comedies as The Honeymooners, The Flintstones, and Gilligan's Island. This also gave her unique access for her book. In Sitcom Writers Talk Shop, Paula interviewed some of the greatest names of the genre: Carl Reiner, Norman Lear, James L. Brooks, Phil Rosenthal, and many more. Ken Estin, one of her interviewees, is also in this interview; he tells compelling stories of his unique path into the industry, becoming a showrunner of an Emmy-winning series within 2 years of getting on staff, running Taxi and Cheers, and creating The Tracy Ullman Show. He gives great advice and insight on comedy writing, and how writing sitcoms differs from single camera comedies. INDEX TO THE EPISODE: 2:39 - Interview start.3:10 - Paula talks about growing up in the home of veteran comedy writer Herbert Finn, what she learned from hanging around sitcom sets.4:47 - What led to her writing the book Sitcom Writers Talk Shop, and what it was like to interview the greats like Norman Lear, James L. Brooks and Carl Reiner.7:45 - Ken discusses writing on Taxi, and having to have big jokes, and other differences between writing then and now.11:28 - Ken shares about his unique path into the industry, sending a Bob Newhart spec script to the Bob Newhart show… how that led to staffing on Taxi, and what he learned while writing that show.18:57 - How Ken became the showrunner of an Emmy-winning show within 2 years of getting on staff, and then later ran Cheers.22:55 - Ken talks about some of the careers that were made on Taxi.25:50 - Sponsor ads.26:50 - Specifics of comedy writing - coming up with ideas and jokes, and if there are rules to follow.31:01 - What is the best part about writing comedy? The hardest?34:43 - What is different about writing single camera comedies?37:09 - Ken discusses creating the Tracy Ullman Show.41:30 - How do veteran comedy writers feel about the state of the industry now?43:11 - Paula shares highlights of interviewing the great comedy writers for her book, and what the response has been to it.47:20 - Advice to someone starting out in comedy writing. Follow Paula on Twitter: @Talkingcomedy You can help with the ongoing costs of bringing these weekly podcasts to you by becoming a patron of the podcast – for as little as 25¢ per episode! There are many reward levels. CLICK HERE to find out more. Buy Gray’s book for only $4.99! Look for it on Amazon – How To Break In To TV Writing: Insider Interviews. Didn’t get your questions asked? Make sure you follow Gray on Twitter (@GrayJones) so you can get the scoop on who is being interviewed and how to get your questions in. Also check out our TV Writer Twitter Database to find Twitter addresses for over 1,200 TV writers. Find previous episodes and other resources at www.tvwriterpodcast.com. Upcoming weekly interviews will include Shawn Ryan (creator of Timeless and The Shield), writers from Arrow, The Flash, Legacies and Warehouse 13, and lots more! PLEASE NOTE: there will be no episode the week of Memorial Day, and we will be moving to Tuesday releases in June, to line up with Script Magazine's release dates.

53mins

18 May 2020

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Sitcom Writers Talk Shop de Paula Finn - Seriegolo s01e10

Monsieur Series Podcasting Universe

Une fois n'est pas coutume je ne vous parlerai pas d'une série dans sériegolo, mais d'un livre qui parle de sitcom au travers des entretiens avec de grands noms du genre (Carl Reiner, Norman Lear,...)Ce livre c'est Sitcom Writers Talk Shop par Paula Finn, disponible un peu partout depuis le 15 septembre 2018 entièrement en anglais.Bonne écoute et peut-être bonne lecture qui sait.

11mins

21 Nov 2019

Similar People

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Sitcom Writers Talk Shop de Paula Finn - Seriegolo s01e10

Podcut

Une fois n'est pas coutume je ne vous parlerai pas d'une série dans sériegolo, mais d'un livre qui parle de sitcom au travers des entretiens avec de grands noms du genre (Carl Reiner, Norman Lear,...) Ce livre c'est Sitcom Writers Talk Shop par Paula Finn, disponible un peu partout depuis le 15 septembre 2018 entièrement en anglais. Bonne écoute et peut-être bonne lecture qui sait.

11mins

21 Nov 2019

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Friday Morning Coffee: Author Paula Finn and Screenwriter Ken Estin

Writer's Bone

Author Paula Finn and Emmy Award-winning screenwriter Ken Estin (“Taxi,” “Cheers,” “The Tracey Ullman Show”) chat with Daniel Ford about Sitcom Writers Talk Shop: Behind the Scenes with Carl Reiner, Norman Lear, and Other Geniuses of TV Comedy.  Caitlin Malcuit also discusses The Great Molasses Flood of 1919, a particularly sticky moment in Boston’s history. To learn more about Paula Finn, follow her on Twitter and Instagram. Today’s episode is sponsored by Libro.fm, OneRoom, and Black Ink Coffee Company.

30mins

11 Jan 2019

Most Popular

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Episode 91: Interview with Paula Finn & Ken Estin (Part II)

Inside the Box: The TV History Podcast

Andrew and Steve sit down with Emmy Award-winning writer and producer Ken Estin,whose TV resume includes Taxi, Cheers, The Tracey Ullman Show, and The Tortellis. Interestingly, through his work on Tracey Ullman, Ken played a significant role in the creation of The Simpsons. Also joining the conversation is author Paula Finn, who will discuss her […]

49mins

29 Nov 2018

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Episode 90: Couldn’t Stay Away: Interview with Paula Finn & Ken Estin (Part I)

Inside the Box: The TV History Podcast

Andrew and Steve sit down with author Paula Finn to discuss her new book, Sitcom Writers Talk Shop: Behind the Scenes with Carl Reiner, Norman Lear, and Other Geniuses of TV Comedy.  Finn is the daughter of Herbert Finn, notable TV writer for such series as The Honeymooners, Jackie Gleason Show, The Flintstones, Gilligan’s Island, […]

48mins

15 Nov 2018

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A DoT Minicast: Paula Finn, Author of Sitcom Writers Talk Shop

The Department of Tangents Podcast

This week’s episode is a minicast, an interview with Paula Finn, author of Sitcom Writers Talk Shop: Behind the Scenes with Carl Reiner, Norman Lear, and Other Geniuses of TV Comedy. It’s a collection of interviews with some of the finest writers in television history, including big names like Reiner, Lear, James L. Brooks, Larry Charles, Phil Rosenthal, Mike Reiss, and Al Jean, and some important figures lesser-known outside of TV nerd fandom like Treva Silverman, Leonard Stern, and husband and wife team Austin and Irma Kalish.  These people contributed foundational work in the art of television. Reiner wrote on Your Show of Shows and Caesar’s Hour and created The Dick Van Dyke Show. Lear is responsible for more great sitcoms than you can count, including All In the Family, The Jeffersons, Sanford and Son, Maude, and One Day At A Time. Brooks co-created Mary Tyler Moore, Taxi, Rhoda, and The Simpsons. Silverman wrote for Mary Tyler Moore and The Monkees, Stern for Get Smart, The Honeymooners, and The Phil Silvers Show. Austin and Irma Kalish had a wide-ranging career writing on everything from F Troop to All In the Family. I could spend this entire introduction giving you credits, and it would read like a list of every show you’ve ever loved. Luckily, I don’t have to do that because Finn has written the book, and you can pick that up on Amazon or wherever fine books about comedy are sold. And Finn has a particularly interesting vantage point from which to write about television. Her father, Herb Finn, was a sitcom writer who worked on The Honeymooners, The Flintstones, Gilligan’s Island, and others. I caught up with Finn by phone to talk about the book, television, and growing up with a funny father.

18mins

12 Oct 2018