Women of television comedy, comediennes, funny ladies:
I believe in you. I adore you. I want to be you. But you’re doing it all wrong.
Many of your careers are at a standstill; some of you have literally dropped off the face of the Earth.
But there is so much potential there. Potential that has kept me uproariously entertained for the majority of my 21 years.
I will not stand idly by as it all goes to waste.
Let me, a sleep-deprived, over-caffeinated college junior, stand at the helm of your storm-wrecked career and direct the rudder towards the success that a woman of your talent deserves.
Help me help you.
JENNIFER ANISTON (“FRIENDS”)
I know it hasn’t been easy for you since swollen-lipped Morticia Adams waltzed in and took your man.
Maybe it hasn’t been your week, your month or even your year. But I’ll be there for you, and we’re going to fix this situation.
This is as difficult for me as it is for you, but you need to hear the truth: STOP DOING MOVIES.
It’s not you, it’s the movies! Every single film you’ve chosen to do has been doomed from the start. “Rumor Has It”? Really???
I would tell you to just choose better movies, but I’m not totally confident in your judgment in this arena.
Here’s the problem: You’re beautiful, you’re hilarious — yes, you’re funny! — hell, you’re America’s Sweetheart (or you were in 1996). But you are not a movie star.
You are a television star, and that’s okay!
Go back to the small screen where the world first fell in love with you.
Start reading television scripts. I don’t care whether you do comedy or “drama.” Let’s be honest, you’re doing comedy. What I do care about is that you choose smart, thoughtful writers and talented cast mates. Try, if at all possible, to go with a premise that involves neither incest nor turkey-baster self-fertilization.
Play opposite a mature man your own age. Maybe play a mom?
Loving the SmartWater video, by the way.
Also, I think you should give David Schwimmer a call. And speaking of ’90s sit-com stars:
DEBRA MESSING (“WILL AND GRACE”)
Where are you???
Show yourself! Do a comedy pilot. Judge a reality show. At least do a Pantene commercial. Or go on a talk show, such as:
CHELSEA HANDLER (“CHELSEA LATELY”)
Queen of Deadpan, you are the perfect dose of obnoxiousness mixed with charming self-deprecation. You brilliantly skewer celebrities and politicians (sometimes you are a little too mean); you dated 50 Cent (life point$$$); you seem to have a symbiotic relationship with your dwarf sidekick, Chuy (which gets weird at times).
Here’s the problem: You’re funny, relatable and endlessly talented, but the members of your “crew” of panelists who grace the roundtable portion of each episode are NOT. The panel typically consists of men who speak in dog-whistle falsetto while nervously looking to the audience for applause, eccentric women who spit one-liners that miss the mark, and Heather McDonald, who is fine I guess, but is she the best you can do?
And then you went and launched a scripted comedy, “After Lately,” that takes place “behind the scenes” of “Chelsea Lately,” and is meant to capitalize on how bizarre-yet-hilarious your underlings can be as they struggle to put together your live talk show. Honestly Chelsea, no one really cares about your inside jokes with these people.
Do us all a favor and re-monopolize the spotlight: Trade up for better cohorts and nix “After Lately.”
How’s Fiddy? Are you guys still a thing? Also, guess who’s still a thing:
BETTY WHITE (“GOLDEN GIRLS,” GENERAL SUPERSTAR)
You definitely don’t need my advice. What’s your secret? Also, you killed on “SNL,” which brings me to:
KRISTIN WIIG (“SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE”)
You are a comedic genius. I’ve never seen someone whose unique, insane brand of virtuosic talent is so exquisitely suited for live television. The voices and physical comedy you create with that impossibly lanky frame know no bounds.
Here’s the problem: Your “SNL” characters are practically household names — Penelope, the Target Lady, Gilly — but you aren’t. You throw your time and energy into tiny roles in awful movies made by your “SNL” cast mates (“MacGruber”).
I’m going to tell you what I told Jen: STOP DOING MOVIES.
Yes, television is your current medium, but looking for a scripted comedy pilot would be a disastrous move on your part: It’s the “live” component of “Saturday Night Live” in which you truly thrive.
I’ve watched you dance around with a fake receding hairline and pop bubbles with tiny prosthetic hands as Judice, and break through a glass window as the surprise-party-loving, appliqué-sweater-wearing Sue. There is literally nothing you can’t pull off in front of a live audience.
You do need to stay on “SNL” for a couple more years, though, making sure to do plenty of interviews and talk show appearances to promote yourself. But then, once people know who you are, you need to find a way to perform live comedy outside of “SNL.”
My two main suggestions for you are as follows:
Put together a live stand-up act and go on tour à la Chelsea or Kathy Griffin. Tape an HBO special. Watch the royalties roll in.
Audition for Broadway musical theater. You can sing — they make you do it all the time on “SNL.” You light up a live stage, you’re versatile and you’ve parodied enough Broadway stars to finally take on the role yourself. I’m specifically picturing you as the gruff-with-a-heart-of-gold-and-also-accidentally-hilarious dance teacher in “Billy Elliot.” I see an EGOT sweep in your future, which reminds me — I insisted on closing this column with:
TINA FEY (“30 ROCK”)
Keep doing exactly what you’re doing, but also, please hire me.