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

Congrats to Matt Sohl 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: Matt Sohl, Follow him on Comedywire

Joe’s comments:

Setup: Tiger Woods Arrested for DUI in Jupiter, Florida

Punch Line: Now he’s earned himself an orange jacket.

Matt’s great joke is the product of Punch Line Maker #1: Link two associations of the topic.

One handle of the topic, “Tiger Woods,” has the association “won the Masters Tournament ,” which has the sub-association “green jacket.”

The second handle of the topic, “DUI,” has the association “jail” and the sub-association “wear orange.” Matt’s punch line links “green jacket” to “wear orange” to create the laugh trigger, “orange jacket.”

Notice that people like me who aren’t golf fans may have a harder time making the Tiger Woods/green jacket association. To help those people get the joke, Matt wrote “he’s earned himself” in the angle instead something more general like “he has.” The former wording helps people to connect the laugh trigger to something that Tiger was awarded, like a golf tournament prize.

Matt also kept his joke as short as possible (Joke Maximizer #1) and ended on the laugh trigger (Joke Maximizer #2).

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.”