Rachel Axler ’99 has a dream job.

In front of a gathering of about 30 people at the Slifka Center on Tuesday, “Daily Show” staff writer Rachel Axler spoke about her career path and her experience over the past two-and-a-half years at what she called her “dream job.”

Axler — a Williams College graduate who earned a degree in English and theater in 1999, and one of 11 writers on the staff of “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” — told the audience she did not envision doing television writing until she was in college.

“I actually didn’t have a background in comedy,” she said. “It was just something I was good at. I had a personal monologue of jokes in college, but that was it.”

Read the whole thing to learn about the importance of drive and networking in getting your own dream job. (This is a hint to Ephs interested in finance who have not applied for my summer internship.)

In addition to applying to a competitive job, Axler said, she was attempting to become the first woman on the show’s writing staff in three or four years. In her interview, Axler was asked numerous questions about how she would work in an environment dominated by men, she said.

The show’s leaders had become especially cautious because a female writing assistant on the set of “Friends” had recently filed a lawsuit because she had felt uncomfortable in another male-dominated setting, she said.

Correct. And that is one of the big problems with the legal enforcement of discrimination claims. If women A sues Friends, then woman B (Axler) finds it harder to get a job at The Daily Show than she otherwise would.

Jacob Abolafia ’10, who attended the talk, said he was interested to hear about Axler’s life in the TV industry.

“She was original about her perspective of women in comedy writing,” Abolafia said. “She had interesting things to say about her career. More events like this should take place at Yale.”

No. They should occur at Williams. One of the reasons that I rail so much about the stupid stuff that Williams administrators and faculty spend time on is because resources are limited. Why has no one invited Axler to speak at Williams?

Print  •  Email