Anne Beatts, groundbreaking comedy writer, dead at 74

NEW YORK – Anne Beatts, a groundbreaking comedy writer with a taste for sweetness and the macabre who was on the unique personnel of “Saturday Night Live” and later on established the cult sitcom “Square Pegs,” has died. She was 74.

Beatts died Wednesday at her dwelling in West Hollywood, California, according to her near mate Rona Kennedy. Kennedy, a film producer and a fellow school member at Chapman College, did not right away know the trigger of loss of life.

Starting up in 1975 and jogging for five seasons, Beatts was amongst a workforce of gifted writers that incorporated Rosie Shuster, Alan Zweibel, Marilyn Suzanne Miller and this kind of cast associates as Dan Aykroyd and Chevy Chase who aided make “Saturday Evening Live” a cultural phenomenon. With Shuster, she would invent the beloved young nerds — the nasally, Marvin Hamlisch-adoring Lisa Loopner (played by Gilda Radner) and higher-pantsed goofball Todd DiLaMuca (Bill Murray), and assist coin these types of catchphrases as Lisa’s, “That’s so humorous I forgot to snicker.”


Beatts would later draw on her own acknowledged history as an outsider in significant school for her possess sequence “Square Pegs.”

“If you seem appeared at the nerds, she understood that planet,” Zweibel explained to The Involved Press. “She and Rosie managed individuals characters with like. She knew that world. If you seem at ‘Square Pegs,’ the title by itself speaks volumes.”

Premiering in 1982, “Square Pegs” was then a rare sitcom centering on teen-age girls and starring Sarah Jessica Parker in an early function as a initial-yr large faculty scholar striving to healthy in. “Square Pegs” lasted just a single season but was loved by critics and later on praised for anticipating — and topping — the teen comedies John Hughes would before long turn out to be well-known for.

“The present was also just plain cool, talking to teens with a shared desire in their passions that built younger persons truly feel noticed before the Hughes flicks would have a equivalent outcome,” New York magazine’s Jen Chaney wrote in 2020. “No other demonstrate on Tv set back again then would have centered an entire episode on a Pac-Male addiction or a New Wave-themed bat mitzvah that showcased the precise band Devo accomplishing ‘That’s Great.’”


On Thursday, Parker tweeted: “Struggling to locate ample and acceptable descriptive text to explain her singular self. I have to have time. Trigger I’m coming up shorter. Gosh, she was definitely one thing. RIP Anne. Thank you. For recollections very couple 17/18 yr olds get to make.”

Beatts’ later on credits provided producing for “Murphy Brown” and “The Belles of Bleeker Road,” creating “A Diverse World” and assisting to write the phase musical “Leader of the Pack.” She is survived by her daughter, Jaylene sister Barbara Resucha and nieces Jennifer and Kate Dreger.

Beatts was a native of Buffalo, New York, who ultimately settled with her household even further downstate in Somers. She grew up amid viewers and joke letters and spoke of honing her have wit if only to continue to keep up.

Following attending McGill College, she received an early split creating comedy for National Lampoon magazine, wherever quite a few long run “Saturday Night Live” performers and writers worked. She give up the journal in the mid-1970s, out of aggravation of getting missed by the mostly male staff members. But though there she began dating fellow writer Michael O’Donoghue, who was hired by producer Lorne Michaels for what became “Saturday Night time Live.”


“I was by no means a true reader of Lampoon,” Michaels informed Rolling Stone in 1983, “but Anne had been encouraged to me by Michael O’Donoghue. She assumed I was selecting her for the erroneous causes — for the reason that O’Donoghue was then her boyfriend — and when we achieved, she was a mixture of helpful and cautious. She was a small combative. But that was 1975. Everybody was a tiny combative in 1975.”

Beatts, who at first turned Michaels down in section since she failed to like television, currently was regarded for an unusual perception of humor that was shared by many on “Saturday Evening Reside.” In a mock Volkswagen ad that ran in Lampoon, she provided a notorious slogan, referring to Sen. Ted Kennedy’s 1969 motor vehicle accident on Chappaquiddick Island: “If Ted Kennedy drove a Volkswagen, he’d be President right now.”

In an electronic mail to The Linked Press, “Saturday Night time Live” cast member Laraine Newman wrote that Beatts “brought the toughness of Countrywide Lampoon together with her when she wrote on our present. But she did not find out it at Lampoon. She previously had it. These kinds of a contradiction as well mainly because she was a incredibly sweet human being.”

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