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June 30, 2017

How the popular genre started.

Nearly twenty-five years ago, a close-knit gang of frustrated young journalists working for GQ Magazine in New York City found themselves struggling to compete in an oversaturated medium. An industry fighting for originality was desperate for a new form of storytelling.

Here is the exclusive story of how these journalistic mavericks introduced the world to a storytelling device that has taught us endless amounts of information about television shows we’ve already watched too much already.

Robert Miller (writer): The news-cycle was pretty slow at the time and we always had a TV on in the office.

Tim Jackson (writer): An episode of Bewitched was on or something. Might have been I Dream of Jeanie.

Robert: And we just figured, what if we just interviewed a handful of people involved with the show about how it was like to make the show.

Tim: But instead of an interview or whatever, we’d call it an oral history.Make it seem extra important and thourough.

Jillian Peterson (editor-in-chief): I said fine.

Robert: Jill was great about it. So we just recorded the conversations and that was that.

Tim: Basically, we just did interviews. Just longer and with less writing on our part.I don’t remember really editing much of it. We just let the recorder go until it stopped - a lot of these old cast-members would just go on for hours.

Robert: …we had an intern transcribe it.

Stacy Lange (intern): Those guys were lazy as fuck.