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

Congrats to Efrain Colon 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: Efrain Colon, Follow him on Comedywire

Joe’s comments:

Setup: Victoria’s Secret Unveils 3 Million Dollar “Fantasy Bra”

Punch Line: It’s the most expensive thing to cover breasts since Obamacare.

Efrain’s great joke is a rare example of how you can combine two Punch Line Makers.

He apparently started with Punch Line Maker #4: Find a play on words in the topic. The handle “bra” has as one association “covers breasts,” which has the different meaning “provides insurance coverage for breasts.”

Then Efrain turned to Punch Line Maker #2: Link the topic to pop culture. He asked himself what thing in pop culture is suggested by “provides insurance coverage for breasts” and also by “expensive,” which is a second association of the topic. The answer, “Obamacare,” became his punch line.

That joke requires an above-average amount of mental gymnastics from the audience but it works great because Efrain made sure to use Joke Maximizer #1 — Shorten as much as possible — and Joke Maximizer #4 — Make everything clear.

Congrats, Efrain! Joe will be sending Efrain an autographed copy of his book, “Comedy Writing for Late-Night TV,” the book that teaches you how to write jokes like a pro.

Be sure to keep writing and staying engaged every day. The more your write and the more you vote, the better your chances of becoming next week’s winner!


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.”

One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.