This is what the start of a happy 3-month hiatus looks like. I met Meredith for coffee in early February—a month to the day before her new writing venture, Tina Fey's Unbreakable Kimmy Schimdt, was set to premiere on Netflix. (That would be today, March 6, for you comedy lovers with Netflix.) I'd been assigned a 600-word mini-profile on Meredith for Emmy magazine, which led to our animated Friday morning conversation. Among other things, I heard about how she parlayed a degree in painting from Cornell and an MFA from Parsons in New York into a 6-year writing gig on The Colbert Report, with a pit stop writing for Letterman along the way. She was smart and friendly, interesting and interested. Do I even have to mention that she was funny? Don't the 4 Emmys for comedy writing prove that? And she was humble, which hasn't always been the case with the show biz types I've encountered over the years. (How does she not mention the hilarious Funny or Die videos she starred in during our 2-hour chat?) Kimmy Schmidt is already earning raves. Meredith says Tina Fey and her 30 Rock co-creator, Robert Carlock, assembled an all-star writing team plucked from multiple milieus—from The Daily Show and The Colbert Report to SNL to a girl who wrote for Amy Schumer to sitcom vets who've written for shows like Happy Endings and Frasier. "We even had a couple people who wrote a web series," Meredith told me. "It's a little bit like Ocean's 11, where everybody's got something they're real good at." So what was Meredith's special talent? "I would say jokes are my skill. And breaking and entering." With that, she broke into the hearty laugh of someone who's enjoyed many a laugh around many a funny person. Tune in to Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt this weekend and join in the good times.
Do I know you? One man's attempt at a lifelong head count.
NOTE: If you think I might have a photo of you—most likely at least one great photo of you—don't be afraid to ask me to post it (firstname.lastname@example.org) along with a brief entry about how I know you. And if I've met or known you but don't have any photo evidence, feel free to send along YOUR favorite photo of you. (I'm fascinated by what that slideshow might look like.)