Funny Women: Daria Morgendorffer
“People call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat or a prostitute.” — Daria
Daria is actually a cartoon character, but I think she might be one of the funniest women I’ve ever seen. Daria was a spin off of Beavis & Butthead. The character was created to serve as the foil of the dimwitted boys. She was given her own series because MTV was looking for a way to ride the wave of the disaffected teen girl shows of the late 90s, like My So Called Life.
The show was on the air for five years from 1997 to 2002. When the series begins, Daria is a high school sophomore moving to a new city. When it ends, Daria is an 18-year-old graduating senior headed to the fictional Raft University in Boston. Along the way she’s made a friend or two, gained and lost her first boyfriend, and explored teenage suburbia with keen insight and acerbic wit.
The man principally responsible for her creation was a Beavis & Butthead producer. Glenn Eichler and Susie Lewis Lynn created the spinoff together. Eichler is now a staff writer for The Colbert Show on Comedy Central and recently won an Emmy for his writing on that show. Daria was a social satire, and Eichler recently commented that he felt that his work on The Colbert Show was essentially an extension of what he did on Daria, calling out hypocrisy.
Daria shot scripts from a lot of female writers, and many of the production staff were women. Of the eighteen writers for all of the show’s scripts, eight of them were women, which is a higher proportion than most of the television comedy shows on the air at that time, or even now.