Former Head Writer of the Tonight Show Picks His Joke of the Week
Congrats to Larry Kirschner 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: Larry Kirschner, Follow him on Comedywire
Setup: This model was discovered at age 60
Punch line: They call her Model T.
Larry’s great joke is the result of Punch Line Maker #4: Find a play on words in the topic.
One handle of the topic, “age 60,” has the association “old,” which has as a sub-association “old car.” The other handle of the topic, “model,” has the association “fashion model.”
Larry’s punch line, “Model T,” is a play on words because it can be two different things: the stage name of some fashion model and also Henry Ford’s car from the early 20th century. So using “Model T” links “fashion model” and “old car” in a surprising way and gets you the laugh.
Larry made full use of Joke Maximizer #1: Shorten as much as possible. His three-syllable angle — “They call her” — does what an angle should do and couldn’t be any shorter. And his laugh trigger — the most surprising element of the punch line — is only one letter: T.
Larry also used Joke Maximizer #2: End on the laugh trigger. A less-effective, rough-draft version of the joke might have been, for example, “Model T is her stage name.”