“It’s hard enough to make one of these things entertaining or funny, but when you’re walking that line between therapy or comedy writing — you don’t get paid for therapy,” Silveri told THR.
It’s difficult enough to write anything, let alone something so personal. When asked about writing about his experiences growing up during The Hollywood Reporter‘s Comedy Showrunner Roundtable, Speechless creator Scott Silveri described the process as “really liberating,” specifically when it came to the first draft.
“It was very close to my actual experience, and it was suffocating. It’s hard enough to make one of these things entertaining or funny, but when you’re walking that line between therapy or comedy writing — you don’t get paid for therapy,” he said.
Some changes Silveri had to make to the original script for Speechless dealt with the significance of his brother’s disability and his experience revolving around it. But when you’re writing about your life, the people involved are quick to correct those embellishments added for entertainment value, the showrunner noted.
“[The] times I’ve been in those rooms with people writing their own things, sometimes when they say back, ‘That’s not how it happened’ — well, what if it did? Would have that been more interesting?” Silveri told THR.
More roundtables featuring comedy and drama actresses, actors, showrunners and reality creators will continue through July in print and online. Tune in to new episodes of Close Up With The Hollywood Reporter starting May 25 on Sundance TV, and look for clips at THR.com/topic/roundtables with full episodes on THR.com after broadcast.