Episode 220: BONUS: From “Golden Girls” to “A Divas Christmas” with Stan Zimmerman

On this special Bonus Holiday-themed episode, Susan and Sharon welcome Stan Zimmerman, co-writer of Ladies of the ’80s: A Divas Christmas.
Read Transcript

The Conversation

  • STAN TV: As a kid Stan created an imaginary “Fourth Network” in his bedroom, programming a show lineup 7-days a week -- including giving Lily Tomlin her own comedy-variety series!
  • Stan started out as a writer so young he had to wear a pair of fake glasses to pitch meetings to appear older.
  • In 1985, Stan and his writing partner James Berg were one of the first gay writing teams on network TV – but their agents insisted they stay in the closet for fear they’d be fired.
  • LOOKING FOR A ‘BEA ARTHUR TYPE’: How Susan Harris – the creator of The Golden Girls -- ended up snagging the real thing!
  • THE BIRTH OF ST. OLAF: Stan tells the story of finding Betty White’s character Rose Nylund’s hometown in the first season of The Golden Girls.
  • How Stan and James had to trim their scripts -- because they were getting too many laughs!
  • In the 1980’s, you could walk down Santa Monica Blvd on a Saturday night and hear The Golden Girls playing in all the gay bars!
  • What happened the night they filmed an episode on the day Bea Arthur’s mother died.
  • “ADULT EDUCATION” – how this classic episode came about when Rue McClanahan specifically asked the writers to “challenge my character”.
  • The huge network fight about airing the “Lesbian Kiss” episode of Roseanne.
  • Which Golden Girl was Stan’s favorite to write for?
  • And which one had terrible stage fright every time they filmed an episode?
  • How Joan Collins and Jacklyn Smith were almost in A Divas Christmas!

So join Susan and Sharon – and Stan – as they talk Meryl Streep, Fame, teachable moments – and emailing with Lily Tomlin!

Our Audio-ography

Premieres Friday, December 2nd. Watch Ladies of the 80’s: A Divas Christmas on Lifetime. 

Pre-order Stan’s book on Bookshop.org: The Girls: From Golden to Gilmore.

Help us make more episodes and get ad-free episodes and exclusive content on PATREON.


Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.



80s TV Ladies™ Episode 220: “From ‘Golden Girls’ to ‘A Diva’s Christmas’ with Stan Zimmerman”. Produced by 134 West and Susan Lambert Hatem. Hosted by Susan Lambert Hatem and Sharon Johnson. Guest: Stan Zimmerman. Sound Engineer and Editor: Kevin Ducey. Producer: Melissa Roth. Associate Producer: Sergio Perez. Music by Amy Engelhardt. Copyright 2023 134 West, LLC and Susan Lambert. All Rights Reserved.