Q&A with Susan Silver
Local author Susan Silver’s new memoir, Hot Pants in Hollywood: Sex, Secrets, and Sitcoms,
has just come out. To celebrate its release, we asked her a few questions.
1) How did you come to write Hot Pants in Hollywood?
I had always wanted to write a book about the incredible amount of iconic people I’d met in in my life…kind of like Zelig,or Ms. Zelig.
I started on it a couple years ago and it morphed into this book.It’s kind of three books in one:
my early life as a Midwest girl wanting to go to Hollywood, my first working
and writing experiences as a female in a man’s world, and finally going through
what all Baby Boomers do…marriage, divorce, reinventing yourself,
search for love and taking care of elderly parents.
And I’m still here! I hope it inspires others and gives a few laughs as well.
Michael Gross in Avenue Magazine
Downing Drinks for a Jaw-Dropping Memoirist
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.
“This Morning” Show, TV Canada.
Author Susan Silver Recalls Her Experiences With Mary Tyler Moore, Bill Cosby and Jim Morrison
‘Lunch’ with the boundary-breaking sitcom writer and author of new memoir Hot Pants in Hollywood
By Diane Clehane, ADWEEK
Ever since I got my advance copy of Susan Silver’s new book Hot Pants in Hollywood: Sex, Secrets & Sitcoms, I have spent every spare moment reading it. Talk about a page turner!
At her book party last Wednesday, hosted in the Garden Room at Michael’s by Susan’s “closest platonic male friend” John Demsey, she wowed the crowd (which included The New York Post’s Richard Johnson and author Ed Klein) by sharing a few tasty tidbits from her hilarious, touching and sometimes shocking memoir. The book chronicles her years as a trailblazing comedy writer on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Bob Newhart Show, Maude and The Partridge Family. Susan is something of a female Zelig, having had encounters over the course of one helluva an interesting life with everyone from Steve McQueen to Shimon Peres. All of these episodes are described in the book in delicious detail, so when she invited me to rejoin her at Michael’s to celebrate the official April 27 publication date, I jumped at the chance. Read the full article here.
Susan Silver, one of the first female TV comedy writers, went to school with Jim Morrison, appeared in a movie with Elvis Presley, and was set up on a date with Lenny Bruce. But the story she told at Michael’s to debut her memoir, “Hot Pants in Hollywood,” was about the time Bill Cosby gave her a ride home in his “little, green sports car.”
Silver told Estée Lauder exec John Demsey, former congressman John LeBoutillier, TV reporter Diane Dimond and Clinton chronicler Ed Klein that Cosby spotted her at a taping of “Hootenanny” in the early ’60s.
“When we got to my apartment building, he lunged at me, and, in a Lucille Ball effort to escape, I opened the door and fell out of the car and was on the curb with my legs up in the air,” Silver said. “Then, he closed the door and left. Thank God!”
The following is excerpted from Susan Silver’s “Hot Pants in Hollywood: Sex, Secrets & Sitcoms,” which will be released April 27.
(Author’s Note: Iris Rainer Dart, my then writing partner who later went on to write “Beaches,” had gotten pregnant and we had stopped working together. It was 1971. We were managed by comedy legend Garry Marshall and had written one script for “Love, American Style.”)
After Iris and I split up as a writing team, I was starting all over again, trying to “make it on my own” as those famous “Mary Tyler Moore Show” lyrics said. I told Garry that I’d seen her new show and knew I could write it. How did I know? It’s called “chutzpah,” French for “balls.” And I had some, it seems. Actually, she was situated in the Midwest, worked in a small local TV station, and so had I, both those things. It seemed like fate.
Read the full article here on Women and Hollywood.
Susan Silver wrote for some of the most iconic sitcoms of all time, creating laughs for “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” “The Bob Newhart Show,” “Maude,” “Partridge Family,” and more. She was one of the first females in an industry dominated by men. Now she dishes about the highs and lows of her comedy career and life in her memoir, “Hot Pants in Hollywood: Sex, Secrets & Sitcoms.”
Quick Hits-New York Post, April 2, 2017
Book Launch, Hot Pants in Hollywood, by Susan Silver, April 20, 2017
For the Brandeis University installation of the Lenny Bruce papers,
in Oct. of 2016, I was honored to speak.
My part was the amusing one amidst the more formal academicians talking about first amendment rights and censorship and the iconic career of Lenny.. Yeah…and then I come on….
Refinery 29, Jan 26, 2017
Huffington Post, July 13, 2013
Decades.com January 30, 2017
From the article-
3) It had an unprecedented number of female writers.
In 1973, 25 of the 75 contributing writers on the show were women. To put that 1:3 ratio in perspective, consider that, at that time, the the Writer’s Guild claimed approximately 3,000 members and only 411 were women. One of the key writers, Susan Silver, was profiled under the headline “The Writer Wears Hot Pants.” Sure enough, she was sporting hot pants in the photo.
8 facts that make ‘Mary Tyler Moore’ a revolutionary show
Podcasts and Radio
Susan Silver was one of the original writers of The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Bob Newhart Show, Maude and many other sit-coms. She wrote two Top Ten Movies of the Week, feature films and pilots for her own sit-coms.
Listen to The Total Tutor, Neil Haley interview Susan Silver