I am taking no position on the writers’ strike that is sending late-night comedy shows into re-runs and halting some Hollywood productions. I will just draw your attention to a group that usually receives no attention, though they are the creative source of what makes money for the famous people.
Jay Leno is not funny of himself. He does not make up his jokes. He delivers them well, which is to his credit, but his jokes are made-up by writers.
As has been said elsewhere, many people seem to assume that actors make up their dialogue as they go and are responsible for the movies they star in. No, actors recite lines from a script that someone had to write.
People go to movies because their favorite movie star is in it. More sophisticated folks go to movies because of their favorite director. But almost no one goes to a movie because it was written by their favorite screenwriter. In fact, the screenwriter’s name can hardly be found, unless you are patient enough to sit through the credits at the end, where a sharp eye can note the screenwriters, along with the key grip, the gaffer, and the caterer.
Yes, movie and television scripts are usually the product of many writers working together and rewriting each other’s contributions. And the director does have the final say, often re-working the lines and the story as the movie is being made. This, of course, adds to the indignity of the writers’ position, since their original intention is seldom honored or even respected. Still, whenever you come across funny lines, plot twists, clever dialogue, and profound themes, thank the writer.