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

Congrats to Scott Kelley 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: Scott Kelley, Follow him on Comedywire

Joe’s comments:

Setup: OJ Simpson celebrates freedom with round of golf in the backyard of his new home

Punch Line: Gets new endorsement deal with Nike golf gloves.

Scott might have used Punch Line Maker #1 — Link two associations of the topic — to create this great joke.

The two handles of the topic that make it interesting are “O. J. Simpson” and “golf.” Among his many other associations, O.J. calls to mind “glove.” And one of the associations of golf is “golf gloves.” Scott’s punch line links those two associations.

The O. J. Simpson murder trial was over twenty years ago, so Scott had to decide whether an audience today would still associate O.J. with that bloody glove. I agree with Scott that most people would, because that piece of evidence was the subject of O. J.’s lawyer’s famous line “If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit.”

Scott also took care to give his joke an angle — “gets new endorsement deal with” — that flows logically from the topic. And he put the laugh trigger, “gloves,” at the very end of the joke.

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.”

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