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

Congrats to Jack Dowler 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: Jack Dowler, Follow him on Comedywire

Joe’s comments:

Setup: Over 100 Pounds of Marijuana Found in Hollowed-Out Firewood

Punch Line: Police were tipped off when they saw termites carrying in bags of Doritos.

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

One handle of the topic, “marijuana,” has the association “munchies,” which has the sub-association “Doritos.” The other handle of the topic, “firewood,” has as one association “termites.”

Jack’s punch line links “Doritos” and “termites” in a surprising but logical way by implying that termites in the wood would be stoned and have the munchies.

And his angle leads smoothly from the topic to the punch line by promising an answer to the logical question, “How did the police find that marijuana?”

Notice that Jack made his joke as funny as possible by using Joke Maximizer #9, “Get specific,” and writing “Doritos” instead of just “junk food.”

He also kept his joke short and made sure his laugh trigger was at the very end.

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.”