More from the writers: Steve Bodow, Rob Dubbin speak out

From the New York Daily News:

‘Daily Show’ writer: Why I went from punch lines to the picket line
Thursday, November 8th 2007, 4:00 AM

Be Our Guest

. . .

It’s all about the Internet. Maybe you’ve heard of it. We think we should get paid for when our work appears or is sold online – just like we do when it’s on the tube or in theaters. We’re up against conglomerates such as CBS, Disney and Fox, which have, after much searching in their souls (sic), determined they’d prefer not to pay us.

Now, we writer types are notoriously bad with numbers. Our skills lie more in the deft crafting of well-turned phrases – “neat-o word-packet makery,” we call it.

But even we can tell that, for the right to rebroadcast our work online, “zilch” is a crummy offer. And that’s why Wednesday you were watching Jay and Dave and Conan and Jon crack weeks-old jokes. And it’s why we were marching around waving placards outside the “Law & Order” production studios.

. . .

4. Hollywood producers can be greedy. The real shocker in all this, I know. The execs have argued time and again that television content appearing online is strictly promotional, and under Guild rules, they don’t have to pay for promotional uses of our work.

So I checked this out – I’m nothing if not a fair-minded word-packet maker – and it was true! I watched last week’s episode of “The Office” over at, and it was promotional. It was promoting BlackBerrys and Fidelity Investments and Clorox bleach. Nice of NBC to give those ads away for free …

What’s that? NBC got paid for those ads? Just like if they ran on TV? It’s the same over on the very fine new Web site for “The Daily Show,” by the way: unlimited clips, sponsored in part by – get this – TiVo. I assume that’s some ad-sales guy’s idea of irony.

. . .

Read the full article here

Colbert Report scribe Rob Dubbin also weighed in at MediaPost Publications:

‘Saturday Night,’ Not So Live
by David Goetzl, Wednesday, Nov 7, 2007 8:00 AM ET

. . .

While “SNL” had a slim chance of avoiding on-air interruption Tuesday, other late-night shows had already experienced that fate–much to the dismay of Rob Dubbin.

Dubbin, a writer on Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report,” walked the picket line in Queens and expressed palpable frustration with the work stoppage. “I miss my job,” he said sternly.

Like Meyers, he said new-media distribution is “the future of our medium,” and added that it’s critical for writers now to gain some share in the upside.

During a lighter moment, but still with a long face, he said, “I hate not working on a day Rudy Giuliani is saying Bernard Kerik’s positives outweigh his negatives.”


  1. This is why the writers at TCR rule all…the fact that, despite how they’ve been treated, one of the writers misses his job.

    If any of the writers happen to be reading this comment, by some off-chance: believe me, guys, no one misses you doing your job more than we do.

    I don’t think “despondent” even begins to cover it…

    WE MISS YOU, WRITERS!!! Boy, do we miss you…

  2. each day without them is tearing me apart, i hope this is resolved soon…

  3. Heh, I love the quote about TiVo. I actually wrote to them the other night and mentioned that although I saw them advertised on all the time, I see no reason to purchase their product now that all my favorite shows will be in reruns because of this strike. So… yeah… I bet they’re scared now… ;)

  4. hard done by says:

    The ‘execs’ have been telling the writers everything online is purely promotional- whilst taking down all those clips off you-tube because they werent getting money from it and selling ad’ space AND making money from it ??

    I will have to keep repeating this till i can even beleive it.

    +Amy-nice move,smoothly done:)

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