In her hilarious essay collection You’ll Grow Out of It, Klein, head writer of Comedy Central’s Inside Amy Schumer and a former Saturday Night Live writer, muses on what it means to be a woman who doesn’t ever feel much like one.
How does writing a book compare to writing for television?
I love writing for TV. But in terms of the experience of sitting down and being able to write for as long as you want, it is incredibly freeing to write a book. When you write for TV or movies... This is going to sound so pretentious, but there is a little bit of poetry in it, in that you are trying to stick as much comedy and story in as small a space as you can—especially in the cases of SNL and Schumer, which are both sketch shows.
Was it difficult to sift through personal information for the book?
Clearly I think if you are writing any kind of book like this, you are an oversharer. I am kind of okay to reveal anything about myself. It is important to know where to draw the line between what I might share about myself and what I might share about someone who is not particularly interested in writing a book about themselves. So I am really careful when writing about my family. Ex-boyfriends? Less so.
Given some of the unflinching descriptions of your personal life, especially in the realm of dating, do you think you would have written this book if you weren’t married?
In terms of being able to continue dating? [Laughs] I do. There are other issues that come up writing a book when you are married. There is a person who I would like to stay married to who has to sign off on some of the stuff. My husband is great and incredibly understanding, but there are certainly conversations that come up.
There have been a few recent books by women television writers about their life experience. What makes yours different?
To me, the through line was feeling like I am a woman who was always aware as a kid that I was supposed to think or feel a certain way. This is what the first chapter is about. I never felt quote unquote like a girl. And then obviously as you get older you feel a little outside of what “like a girl” is supposed to be. I think everyone feels that way, because it is a completely constructed experience in our society. The book is less about a woman in television than it is me reflecting on my experience of trying to come to terms with how I am a woman in this world versus what the expectations are supposed to be—and the moments where that feels very uncomfortable and weird.