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

Congrats to Zack Guido 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: Zack Guido, Follow him on Comedywire

Joe’s comments:

Setup: Playboy playmate Dani Mathers ordered to clean graffiti as punishment for naked gym photo

Punch Line: She’s also been ordered to do so with huge sponges, tons of soap suds, a bikini, and in slow motion.

This week brings another great example of how to use Punch Line Maker #5: Visualize the topic.

Zack might have started by forming a mental picture of the topic based on its most attention-grabbing handles — “Playboy playmate” and “clean graffiti.” His mental picture might have been of a smokin’ hot young woman scrubbing a wall.

Then Zack could have exaggerated some association of that mental picture. Zack might have associated that babe scrubbing a wall with a babe washing a car.

He may then have exaggerated that association into that familiar scene in many movies where a gorgeous babe washing a car becomes somebody’s sudsy, splashy, sexual fantasy.

Finally Zack created his punch line by adding specific details to flesh out that imagined scene. Remember that Joke Maximizer #9 advises, “Get specific.”

Zach also used Joke Maximizer #4: Make everything clear. His joke is logical. It makes sense that a woman who invaded another person’s privacy would be sentenced to become a public spectacle herself. A joke that doesn’t bump an audience with a logic flaw has a greater chance of getting a laugh.

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.”