Anne Beatts, pioneering ‘SNL’ writer and ‘Square Pegs’ creator, has died

Anne Beatts, a pioneering writer for “Saturday Night Live” and National Lampoon who also created the sitcom “Square Pegs,” died Wednesday, according to a statement from NBC. She was 74.

A two-time Emmy winner for “SNL,” Beatts became the first female contributing editor to the humor magazine National Lampoon before being tapped as part of the founding writing team on the NBC latenight program in 1975. She worked on a number of memorable sketches, including several featuring Gilda Radner, among them the “Nerds” with then-writing partner Rosie Shuster. Beatts was also a writer on the 1980 film “Gilda Live,” a filmed version of Radner’s Broadway show.

In a 2009 interview with the Television Academy, Beatts recalled of those early days on the show, “Rosie Shuster and I collaborated a lot, and for most of the time we were the only two women. … We would always feel the responsibility to make sure that ‘the girls’ in the cast, as they were known, were covered.”

Beatts left “Saturday Night” in 1980 and created “Square Pegs,” a teen-oriented comedy that starred Sarah Jessica Parker but ran only one season.

Subsequent credits included “The Cosby Show” spinoff “A Different World” and producing “The Stephanie Miller Show.” Her writing also included books — co-editing a collection of women’s humor called “Titters” — and a column for the Los Angeles Times.

Beatts returned to “SNL” to contribute to its 25th anniversary special in 1999. Most recently, she had been teaching writing at Chapman University in Southern California through its school of film and media arts, having also taught at USC and Cal State University at Northridge.

Original “SNL” cast member Laraine Newman tweeted, “Our Anne — an OG SNL writer passed away yesterday.” In 2020, Vulture critic Jen Chaney wrote an appreciation of Beatts, saying, “Whether they realize it or not, every teen series and movie that followed ‘Square Pegs’ owes it, and Anne Beatts, a debt of total gratitude.”

She is survived by her daughter, Jaylene Beatts. The cause of death was not disclosed.


The Morning Rock with Eric Slayter

Mornings Rock…on 108!┬áThe Full Morning Package. Eric Slayter Delivers it all…The Entertainment feed, News of The Weird and Un-Natural, Headlines Sports and More Music in The Mornings! Weekdays 6-9AM

The Sunday Morning Revival

The Biggest Rock of The 80’s Turns your Sunday up to 11! The Sunday Morning Revival Hits you with 3 Hours of The Music that scared parents from Coast To Coast! On Sunday Morning from 9A-Noon Tune in and Turn it Up!

All Request Drive at 5

Every Afternoon from 5-6, Chase Elder is Driving it Like He Stole it! Your Drive Home goes All-Request! Hit him in the 4 O’Clock and let him know what you need to get Home! The Request Lines are open at 320-0108!

The 90’s at Noon

The 90’s at Noon! 60 Minutes that defined Generation X! The Grunge, The Alternative and The Artists That Made you Love music Even Louder! Monday Through Friday Grab Some Lunch and Turn It Up! The 90’s At Noon! Thanks for Having Lunch with The Rock Station!