Pros Pick Their Jokes of the Week (Aug 17th)

Congrats to both Phill Spittle and JP McDade!

Pro comedian Joe Toplyn, Former head-writer of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Late Night with David Letterman, picks his joke of the week:

Winner: Phill Spittle, Follow him on Comedywire

Joe’s comments:

Setup: Cows taken into supermarkets for milk price protest

Punch Line: Let’s hope no one decides to protest the price of honey

Phill’s great joke may have sprung from Punch Line Maker #3: Ask a question about the topic. Phill may have asked, “What other creatures could be taken into a supermarket?” He answered that question in a surprising way by using an association of “cow,” considered something that “could injure people,” which brought him to the sub-association “bees” and the basis of his punch line.

Phill also applied a lot of Joke Maximizers to his punch line. The joke is fleshed out enough to be clear but it has no unnecessary words. The laugh trigger — the most surprising word in the punch line — is at the very end.

And Phill didn’t telegraph his punch line. A less funny version of the joke, where the punch line is telegraphed, would be, “Let’s hope nobody takes bees into supermarkets to protest the price of honey.”

Congrats, Phill! Joe will be sending Phill an autographed copy of his book: “Comedy Writing for Late-Night TV.”


Tom Leopold, former writer at Seinfeld and Cheers, selects his comedy dedication recipient:

Winner: JP McDade, Follow him on Comedywire:

JP is a stand-up comedian in NYC and a writer on Even though he’s one of the newer users on Comedywire, he’s been crushing it with some professionally written jokes. Keep crushing it!

Tom will be giving JP a free one-hour creative session to discuss comedy and his body of work.

Originally published at on August 17, 2015.

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