Not It Anymore


Lisa Kudrow and Michael Patrick King cocreated the HBO series The Comeback, a penetrating and often brutal satire of reality TV, sitcoms, and show business in general, in 2005. The show revolved around the unforgettable character of Valerie Cherish (played brilliantly by Kudrow), a faded sitcom actress so determined to regain her celebrity she agrees to be the subject of a reality show documenting her return to television. Kudrow and King were able to speak with Esopus this summer; a transcript of the interview, along with an assortment of artifacts from the show’s conception and production, appear in the issue.

RELATED EVENT: ”The Comeback” screening and discussion at the Museum of the Moving Image

Born and raised in Encino, CA, Lisa Kudrow began her career by performing with the improvisational-comedy troupe The Groundlings in Los Angeles. After taking on minor roles in Cheers and Mad About You, she won the part of Phoebe Buffay on the NBC series Friends, ultimately winning a Primetime Emmy Award, two Screen Actors Guild Awards, a Satellite Award, an American Comedy Award, and a TV Guide Award. Kudrow has since acted in a number of films and television shows, including Romy and Michele’s High School ReunionAnalyze ThisThe Opposite of SexFeel Good, Booksmart, and The Girl on the Train. Kudrow was nominated for two Emmys for her portrayal of Valerie Cherish in The Comeback and was a cowriter, coproducer, and star of the Showtime series Web Therapy. Upcoming projects include Max’s film The Parenting and the miniseries Time Bandits. 

Michael Patrick King began work in the entertainment industry performing stand-up before writing for several TV series, including Murphy Brown and Will & Grace. In 1998, he was hired as a writer on HBO’s Sex and the City; King eventually directed several episodes and became co-executive producer, garnering two Primetime Emmy Awards. King was also the writer, director, and producer of the feature films Sex and the City and Sex and the City 2. He co-created the television comedies The Comeback, 2 Broke Girls, and AJ and the Queen. He lives in Greenwich Village.