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‘Sitcom Writers’: From ‘Dick Van Dyke’ to ‘Everybody Loves Raymond,’ A Behind-the-Scenes Journey

If the idea is to write what you know, then Paula Finn was on the right track when she decided to pen a memoir about Classic TV comedy, ranging from shows like The Honeymooners to The Courtship of Eddie’s Father, All in the Family, Cheers, Home Improvement, Everybody Loves Raymond and more.


“My dad was a funny man,” Paula, in an exclusive interview with Closer Weekly, says of her father Herbert Finn, whose credits include The Honeymooners and The Flintstones, “and his humor in everyday situations made life more fun. He was literally the life of every party. Even with something as simple as watching TV together, his humorous comments always made the shows more enjoyable. I remember walking home from school in the first grade, when my teacher approached and started asking me about my dad’s work. That left an indelible impression on me of how much other people respected and admired what my dad did for a living.”

For her part, Paula got a few extra “perks” through her father’s connections: “I was able to go onto closed sets to watch my favorite TV shows being filmed. I’d bring a friend and after a few hours at the studio talking to our favorite actors, we’d go for hot fudge sundaes at Hollywood’s famous C.C. Brown’s ice cream parlor. It made for quite a fun day.”


It also inadvertently planted the seeds for her to someday write the book Sitcom Writers Talk Shop: Behind the Scenes with Carl Reiner, Norman Lear, and Other Geniuses of TV Comedy. Offers Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, “Behind every great television show is a group of professionals working at the top of their games — but no one is more important than the writers. And while writing comedy, especially good comedy, is serious business — fraught with actor egos, demanding producers, and sleepless nights — it also can result in classic lines of dialogue. Sitcom Writers … is a collection of conversations with the writers responsible for some of the most memorable shows in television comedy.”

For more on Paula Finn and the people she spoke to about the history of Classic TV comedy, please scroll down.

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