Frolic: What was your inspiration behind Notes from the Bathroom Line?
Amy Solomon: Growing up, I was obsessed with Gilda Radner (I mean, I still am: I may or may not have a shrine to her on my bookshelf) and I bought anything related to her that I could get my hands on. At some point I found a book on eBay from 1976 called TITTERS: The First Collection of Humor By Women edited by Deanne Stillman and Anne Beatts, and I lost my damn mind. It’s this big, bonkers collection of essays and stories and parodies and more from so many amazing women in comedy. Titters has pieces by Gilda, Candice Bergen, Phyllis Diller, Laraine Newman, tons more. It always bugged me that there was never another collection of humor by women after Titters, so I set out to make a new one with all my favorite women (and nonbinary folks!) in comedy today.
What are some of your favorite questions in the book?
I can’t pick favorites because they’re all my little babies after all this time working on it, but I can highlight a few gems to flip to first. Natasha Rothwell’s “Ten Commandments of Karaoke” should be framed and displayed in every karaoke establishment. Riki Lindhome wrote an amazing piece about how her boyfriend once decided he wanted to get a flip phone to ~be more present in the world~ and it ruined her life. Mary Holland dreamt up this incredible treasure map called “Finding Myself” that Kay Arvidson illustrated and it’s so, so special. There’s truly anything and everything included in this collection; sheet music (Catherine Cohen), photography (Amanda Crew), screenplays (Mitra Jouhari), so much more. I’m in awe of truly every single contributor.
Why do you think comedy is so important right now?
I guess because it’s all…we…have? In a world where we can’t even see our pals, our only comforts left are basically comedy, food, and pets. Comedy, to me, is the most unifying thing in the world. Everything feels so insanely polarized and isolated all the time, but if you’re laughing at something together, that all falls away for a second.
What’s the funniest thing you’ve heard in a bathroom line?
This drunk girl once told me, “YOU LOOK LIKE THAT GIRL FROM THE NEW SHOW!!!” She was very insistent about it but could not remember the actress’ name nor the show’s name, so I have no clue if she was being kind or mean.
What do you hope readers take away from Notes from the Bathroom Line?
I hope they laugh laugh laugh and then follow all of the contributors on instagram and twitter!!! That’s all anyone wants in the end!!! Not sure if I’m joking or not!!!
Any upcoming projects you’d like to share? What’s next for you?
Honestly one of my dogs is really bad on the leash and goes insane when we see squirrels, so I really want to work on that. And then once it’s safer we’ll finally shoot Barry season 3 after an enormous hiatus!! I will cry when I get to hug Henry Winkler again.
Amy Solomon is a producer on HBO’s Silicon Valley and Barry. She currently runs Alec Berg’s production company, where she develops content for film and television. She lives in Los Angeles.