Former Head Writer of the Tonight Show Picks His Joke of the Week
Congrats to A.J. Glagolev 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: A.J. Glagolev, Follow him on Comedywire
Setup: Cashier, butcher help deliver baby at California market
Punch Line: “I understand these are extraordinary circumstances, Ma’am, but your baby needs to take a number.”
A.J.’s great joke could have been the product of Punch Line Maker #3: Ask a question about the topic. Possible questions would begin with “who,” “what,” “when,” “where,” “why,” or “how.”
A “how” question prompted by the topic might be “How did the butcher help?” A.J. answered that question by using an association of the handle “butcher,” which was “take a number to be served.” That association became the basis of his punch line.
But A.J. didn’t just write a punch line like “But it was a little awkward when the butcher said he wouldn’t help until the baby took a number.”
Instead, A.J. used Joke Maximizer #12: Consider an act-out. By wording his punch line as a line of dialogue from somebody mentioned in the topic, A.J. added a little extra surprise, and funniness, to his joke.
Notice that even while using an act-out, A.J. took care to end on the laugh trigger, “take a number.”