Former Head Writer of The Tonight Show Picks His Joke of the Week

Congrats to Jimmy Luberto for winning this week’s joke pick!

Pro comedy writer Joe Toplyn, Former head-writer of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Late Show with David Letterman, picks his joke of the week:

Winner: Jimmy Luberto, Follow him on Comedywire

Joe’s comments:

Setup: “Humble-brags” about being overworked are the new status symbol, study says.

Punch Line: I was going to post a funny response but my boss wants a 30-page report on his desk by 4 pm.

To write this great joke, Jimmy used a variation of Punch Line Maker #2: Link the topic to pop culture.

The main handle of the topic is “humble-brags about being overworked.” To use Punch Line Maker #2, you think of something in pop culture that the handle, or an association of the handle, suggests.

But instead of taking the usual route of linking an appropriate celebrity to the handle, Jimmy linked himself. That’s how the punch line became Jimmy humble-bragging.

When a late-night TV writer uses this variation of Punch Line Maker #2 we hear a great joke like this one, from Jay Leno: “According to the tabloids, while Brad Pitt was in France, Angelina Jolie was in Los Angeles partying with a handsome hunk. Nonsense…We had one drink!”

Four-time Emmy winner Joe Toplyn is a former head writer for David Letterman and Jay Leno. He also wrote the book “Comedy Writing for Late-Night TV.”