Jo Coppola

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Jo Coppola was a prominent 1950s columnist and television critic for Newsday and the New York Post.[1] She was the first TV critic Newsday ever had,[2] and also wrote for Commonweal,[3] and others.

In 1959 she wrote the script for the short film Summer of Decision, a 30 min long film produced by the Council on Social Work Education, directed by William A. Graham and starring Suzanne Pleshette, Kevin McCarthy and Nicholas Pryor.[4]

Notable quotations[edit]

Good comedy is social criticism—although you might find that hard to believe if all you ever saw were some of the so-called clowns of videoland.... Comedy is dying today because criticism is on its deathbed ... because telecasters, frightened by the threats and pressure of sponsors, blacklists and viewers, helped introduce conformity to this age... In such a climate, comedy cannot flourish. For comedy is, after all, a look at ourselves, not as we pretend to be when we look in the mirror of our imagination, but as we really are. Look at the comedy of any age and you will know volumes about that period and its people which neither historian nor anthropologist can tell you.

—as quoted in The Realist issue 1, 1958

"Please be assured...of our continued efforts to avoid giving offense to any segment of our viewing public." [...] this edict would mean death for true comedy. A comedian, for instance, could satirize war only if he didn't offend nuclear scientists, the Army, the Navy, the Marines, the State Department, certain businessmen and our veterans... true comedy... must induce self-laughter, which is nothing but mature criticism. Since we live in an age when criticism is not welcome, is it any wonder then that true comedy, which reflects its age, is dying?



  1. ^ Williams (1958) p.287 quote: "Miss Coppola is well known for her work as a television critic for Newstfay and the NY Post"
  2. ^ Keeler (1990) p.281
  3. ^ Hadjuk (2008)
  4. ^ Not a TV Pilot – Summer of Decision (1959)


Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]