Magazine article Variety

Adlon's Oasis

Magazine article Variety

Adlon's Oasis

Article excerpt

The first thing you notice about Pamela Adlon is her laugh. Deep, throaty and decibel-shattering, her cackle echoes throughout the cottage in Beverly Hills that serves as her personal writing space for her FX comedy "Better Things," which she not only produces, but also stars in and directs. The show has an official writers' room deep in Hollywood, but this cozy, tchotchke-filled nook serves as her "sanctuary," she says. It also serves as a refuge from her home, which is crowded with not just her own three daughters, but their coterie of friends. "I've aged out of my house," she complains, only half-joking. "My house gets so chaotic!"

Bobby or Bust

One of Adlon's most famous roles takes advantage of her trademark croak: She gave voice to Bobby on "King of the Hill" for 13 years, and won an Emmy for the effort. So a small Bobby statue now lives on her mantle, a gift from a guy who "tricked out" her white van. When she was in his studio, she noticed he just happened to have made a set of Bobby busts in resin. The coincidence doesn't stop there: Her father wrote an episode of "The Jeffersons" where George had a bust made of himself. "I just thought that was fucking bizarre," she says.

Father Figures

Scattered throughout are plenty of mementoes of her father - his "porn" collection, as she calls it (he penned a series of soft-core novels), as well as his word ball, which he used for inspiration. "My dad would always say about writing, 'You have to shake the cocktail. If you get stuck, just move everybody around. Change the characters. Switch them out,'" she says. "And for me, that's a really good metaphor for the way my life is right now. The way I'm writing the show and being able to bounce ideas off of different people and then channeling all of these situations has been an amazing thing."

Paint by Numbers

"I don't care about jewelry or cars or anything like that," says Adlon. …

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