When the television comedy writer and author of the dating advice column “Searching for Mr. Adequate,” Susan Silver, started talking about the vibrator that stars–as the love interest, no less–in the first pages of her new memoir, Hot Pants in Hollywood: Sex, Secrets and Sit-coms, the crowd at Michael’s laughed heartily. They already knew this is not your typical feel-bad baby-boomer memoir, even if it is also the sort of reinvention story that frequently tops the best-seller list. And that was before she mentioned being excluded from all-male writers’ rooms because the boys liked sitting around in their underwear passing gas.
But then, the soigné host, Estée Lauder executive group president John Demsey, had attracted a sophisticated crowd to the garden room of the media-elite cafeteria to toast one of their own. Among those laughing along with the former show girl-turned-writer for The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Maude, The Bob Newhart Show and The Partridge Family: Judy Licht and Jerry Della Femina, Jeff Greenfield, Richard Johnson,, Susan Magrino Dunning, David Patrick Columbia, Mark Cross head Neal Fox and Martha Kramer. Even the bestselling author Ed Klein was cracking up, indicating that right-wing politics don’t always trump appreciation of left-coast comedic skills.