"I can't write a character unless I love them. And if I love them it means that I've taken their flaws and their faults, too. I wish I could do that 100% in real life."
About This Interview
In her two-and-a-half-hour Archive interview, Treva Silverman talks about her early interests and the first time she recalls getting a laugh, at age six. She describes her early career in comedy, writing for television specials and as a writer for Joan Rivers. She discusses her work as a writer on the popular '60s series The Monkees, commenting on the characterizations created for each performer and the process of writing series episodes. She speaks about her writing for such late '60s series as Captain Nice and He & She, both of which were well-received but short-lived, as well as the landmark drama Room 222. She speaks in great detail about the series for which she is most associated The Mary Tyler Moore Show, for which she won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series and Writer of the Year (Series) in 1974. She talks about working with series creators James L. Brooks and Allan Burns and the fact that the show observed no pecking order with the writers ("the best line wins"). She talks about the creation of the "Georgette" character (played by Georgia Engel) and the basis of many of "Rhoda's" (Valerie Harper) traits and storylines on her own personal life. She details such classic episodes as "Today I Am a Ma'am," "Rhoda the Beautiful," and "The Lou and Edie Story." She then talks about her semi-retirement from writing and her later contributions to writing in television and films. Allan Neuwirth conducted the interview in Sherman Oaks, CA on September 18, 2007.