Just another pearl of wisdom from Aaron Sorkin that I'd like embroidered on a pillow. Or tatooed on my forehead. Whatever.


Towards the end of episode two of the new series Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip the character of Harriet Hayes (played by Sarah Paulson) turns to her ex-boyfriend and current-head writer of the SNL style show we're lurking behind the scenes of, Matt Albie (played by Matthew Perry) and asks him why she didn't get a laugh during dress rehearsal in the dinner scene when she asks for the butter. She got a laugh when she did it in the table read. What did she do wrong? He's reluctant to give her an answer at first, the show's about to start, their relationship is tenuous, there are mitigating factors there. But she pushes him and he finally gives her an answer.

He says, "you asked for a laugh". She says, "what did I do in the table read?" and he says, "you asked for the butter".

And there it is, people. The entire concept of truth in comedy that we struggle to learn and teach and understand and implement boiled down to one succinct and moving piece of a dialogue. I can't wait to see what he comes up with for next week.


  1. My new fav show. Brilliant. Need I say more ...

  2. I'm so glad you're watching! Nice picture, by the way :)

  3. You know what ... the only thing that bugs me about the last episode was how Harriet so nonchalantly accepted her skanky co-worker’s apology for sleeping with her boy friend (or ex-boyfriend … we’ll see how that plays out). Is Sorkin living out his dream on the small screen? I guess the writer really is a man … no woman would ever write that … unless she was a skanky co-worker.

  4. Sorkin and women, it's interesting. While he's written two of my favourite female characters of all time in CJ Cregg and Abby Bartlet, he's also displayed what can only be described as a fascination with "women of the night" - see the porn star who dates Jeremy on Sport's Night and the hooker who dates Sam on the West Wing. What's truly interesting is that these women were both smart, self possessed and multi dimensional. You just can't help but wonder what his deal is in that area though.

    Harriet seems not-so-loosley based on Kristen Chenoweth (the Broadway star who appeared on the last couple of seasons of The West Wing and apparently dated Sorkin). Which makes you think that Matt on Studio 60 is a character based on Sorkin himself...which makes you think, yeah, he might just be living out a dream on screen.

    That said, I think Harriet probably is fond of Jeannie and knows that it's best for everybody and the show if she forgives and forgets. She's trying to be the better person, I think.

    So many layers!!!


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