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Anne Beatts, revolutionary comic writer, died at 74




Beginning in 1975, Beatts was part of a team of talented writers that included Rosie Shuster, Alan Zweibel, Marilyn Suzanne Miller and cast members such as Dan Aykroyd and Chevy Chase who helped make Saturday Night Live a cultural phenomenon. Along with Shuster, she would help develop the beloved family of nerds, the Loopners, and Beatts would later build on her own recognized experience as an outsider in high school for her own Square Pegs series.

Anne was a throwback to a time when words were weapons. RIP Anne, Zweibel wrote on Twitter.

Established in 1982, Square Pegs was then a rare teen-centric sitcom starring Sarah Jessica Parker in a leading role as a high school freshman trying to fit in. Square Pegs only lasted one season, but was praised for anticipating and even leading teenage comedies John Hughes would soon become famous.

The show was also just plain cool, reaching out to teens with a common interest in their interests that made young people feel like they were being seen before the Hughes films had a similar effect, the new magazines wrote. Yorker Jen Chaney in 2020. No other TV shows at the time. reportedly focused an entire episode on Pac-Man addiction or a new wave themed bat mitzvah starring current band Devo performing Thats Good.

Beatts was originally from Buffalo, New York, who then attended McGill University and got a first hiatus writing a comedy for National Lampoon, where many future Saturday Night Live performers and writers worked. In Lampoon, she began dating her fellow writer Michael ODonoghue, who was hired by producer Lorne Michaels for what became Saturday Night Live.

I was never a true reader of Lampoon, Michaels told Rolling Stone in 1983, but Anne was recommended to me by Michael ODonoghue. She thought I hired her for the wrong reasons because ODonoghue was her boyfriend then and when we met she was both friendly and suspicious. She was a bit combative. But that was in 1975. Everyone was a bit combative in 1975.

Other Beatts credits included writing for Murphy Brown and The Belles of Bleeker Street, producing A Different World, and writing assistance for the musical Leader of the Pack. She is survived by her daughter, Jaylene; sister Barbara Resucha; and nieces Jennifer and Kate Dreger.

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