If we learned anything from Throw Mama From The Train (and we did), it’s that “a writer writes … always.” That is Billy Crystal and Danny Devito’s mantra when they aren’t trying to kill Anne Ramsey. It is also at the heart of Contract TK, a new project from a talented group of late-night writers.
Hosted in its first week by writers Greg Iwinski (Last Week Tonight, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert) and Sasha Stewart (The Nightly Show, The 2016 White House Correspondent’s Dinner), Contract TK is a new volunteer project on Youtube. In it, both in front of and behind the camera, late-night writers who are currently striking have gathered together to do what they do best. They tell jokes. They joke about the strike, the AMPTP (Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers), David Zazlav, and even take a shot at the awful version of Layla (you know which one).
Like David Zazlav faced with a sex scene on Fleabag, I’d like to pause things for a second. I want to reiterate what is stated at the end of Contract TK. The project was created with zero budget. It is supported by grassroots volunteers and is in no way a message from the WGA. Also, if you’d like to help people impacted by the strike, you can click here.
OK, back to Zazlav. Iwinski and Stewart get off some good shots at the WBD CEO, as they should. He looks like someone gave life to a golf bag. One joke in particular about Zazlav’s now infamous “love of work” statement rings even truer in this context. A love of work does not exclude a sense of worth. Yes, writers love what they do and will do it for free under the right circumstances. What they won’t do is act like they can survive on scraps while people like Zazlav can show tapes from Play it Clean Video (shout out to Utah) to his million-dollar yacht guests (I’m still not over it).
With the possible inclusion of SAG, the WGA strike is only getting stronger. Ideally, there won’t be another episode of Contract TK because these lovely, talented people will be given the deals they deserve. Until that happens, I’m filled with faith at seeing writers creating together and supporting each other like this. It’s the same energy you see on the picket lines, and it’s one of the many reasons that the AMPTP is fighting a losing battle.