There’s a famous line about Ginger Rogers and her struggle for recognition in a male-dominated Hollywood: “Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, except backwards and in heels.” It’s a great little phrase and you can (as Barack Obama did recently) easily sub out Rogers for any number of famous women. One such woman is Elaine May, an extraordinary screenwriter and director who, like Rogers, risked disappearing in the shadow of her male creative partner. To my mind, May was the Rogers to Mike Nichols’s Astaire.
It came without promotions. It came without ads. It came without packages, boxes or bags. One morning it was just there, announcing its existence to millions of mailing list subscribers through a tantalizingly sparse subject line: “A brand new thing from Louis C.K.”