A man who’s turned his love for classic television sitcoms into a book will be discussing the project with an appearance this week in central Iowa. Scott Lewellen of Des Moines is author of Funny You Should Ask: Oral Histories of Classic Sitcom Storytellers.
“I would say the main reason that I wrote the book was because I wanted to read it,” Lewellen told Radio Iowa. “I’ve always been interested in sitcom writing and sitcom writers and I didn’t think there was a really good book out about them, so I said, ‘maybe I could write one.'”
The book is a culmination of a 12-year project, as Lewellen interviewed 22 of the best and most prolific early television comedy writers.
“Most of the interviews actually took place in person, although I did some of them by phone because several of these people are scattered throughout the country,” Lewellen said. “I was able to locate a number of them through the Writer’s Guild. I got turned down for very few interviews, most people were happy to talk about their work as sitcom writers.”
Stories from I Love Lucy, The Andy Griffith Show, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, All in the Family, Sanford and Son, M*A*S*H, Cheers, and many others, are highlighted in the book.
Lewellen, who is co-founder of the marketing firm Saturday Manufacturing, will be signing and reading from his book this Wednesday (August 28) at 6:30 p.m. at Beaverdale Books, 2629 Beaver Ave., in Des Moines.