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

Comedywire
Feb 5, 2018 · 2 min read

Congrats to Citizen Blaine 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: Citizen Blaine, Follow him on Comedywire

Joe’s comments:

Setup: F1 to end long-standing practice of using ‘grid girls’

Punch line: “F-1” is… what most men would like to do to the Grid Girls.

Blaine’s great joke is an example of Punch Line Maker #4: Find a play on words in the topic. In fact, Blaine found two plays on words, which makes his punch line even more surprising and, therefore, even funnier.

The first handle of the topic is “F-1” (which means Formula One auto racing, for those of you who didn’t know, and that included me). “F-1” has the association “F,” which has as a sub-association that well-known “F” word. “F-1” also has the association “1,” which has the sub-association “one of a group.”

The second handle of the topic is “grid girls,” which is associated with “gorgeous young women.”

Blaine’s punch line links “F-1” and “grid girls” with the idea, based on double wordplay, that most men would enjoy having sex with one of those women.

Blaine makes his joke as funny as possible by using several Joke Maximizers. He keeps his joke short by cutting out all unnecessary words (#1). He makes his joke easy to understand (#4); every word in his punch line has only one syllable. And he ends on the laugh trigger, the most surprising words in the punch line, “grid girls” (#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.”

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store