In an interview with Marie Claire, Conan’s Laurie Kilmartin explains how she journeyed from stand-up to Last Comic Standing to Team Coco, as well as her take on why there are so few women writing for late night. “Coming from stand-up, I think female comics get on stage for a very different reason than male comics do. This is a huge generalization, but I think guys get on stage to get laid, and women get on stage to get heard,” Kilmartin explains. “For female comics, it’s such a personal thing. I hardly know any female stand-ups who talk about generic stuff: It’s always really what happened to you. It is sort of a big switch to go from that to writing for someone else. And I think that that stops a lot of female comics from making that jump over.”
However, if you’re in the mood to mash your fists into your eye sockets and wonder if you should have gotten a masters in library science instead (the answer is no; I still have all these student loans to pay off), Marie Claire also has a breakdown of how many female writers are working for each late night show. How many shows have exactly one solitary woman on staff? Besides Conan, try The Colbert Report, The Tonight Show With Jay Leno, The Late Show With David Letterman, Lopez Tonight, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, and The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson. Makes the 2 female writers out of 18 over at Fallon look like Ladies’ Night, but with slightly more Rand Paul jokes.