1) Find your nearest tapeworm distributor and buy a two-pack.
2) Stand on a scale holding several hundred balloons.
3) Jeremy broke up with you 6 years ago. Let it go already.
4) Blood accounts for 70% of a human’s total mass…if you catch my drift.
6) Replace your normal, sugary, carbohydrate-loaded breakfast with confused, frantic panting.
7) Take a heaping scoop of Metamucil with every meal so that you can pass that barbell you accidentally ate.
8) Your pants. You won’t be needing them any longer.
So for the last few weeks, I’ve been waiting with baited breath to see if I had been accepted to the NBC Late Night Writers Workshop. It’s a week long program that takes aspiring writers and exposes them to all sorts of industry players, helping them learn about the process of making late night TV. Supposedly 1400 people applied. Here’s a blurb about the program from the website:
The NBCUniversal Late Night Writers Workshop is a program focused on exposing talented joke, sketch and comedy writers to NBCUniversal’s late-night & alternative lineup and readying them for a staff writer position. We are looking for writers who are “almost there” but need that final bit of preparation and exposure to key industry players. We particularly encourage female writers and those of diverse backgrounds to apply.
I suppose I don’t really have the diversity piece, although German-Irish is pretty diverse in my book. But I felt like the rest of the pieces were there. Unfortunately as of today, they announced that all ten spots had been filled. Contestants were asked to submit writing packets for evaluation. Packets were to include the following:
- 1-2 pages of topical monologue jokes. If you think it helps us, please indicate which host’s voice you have in mind (can be but does not have to be NBC host). Topical news jokes and pop culture jokes should make up the bulk of your material.
- 1-2 pages of original ideas for refillable late night “desk bits”. These can be ideas for elements like Jimmy Fallon’s “Thank You Notes”, pre-taped correspondent bits like “Jaywalking” or multimedia bits. For this portion, please provide descriptions of the bits and not scripts.
- 2 SNL-style sketches (no more than 5 pages EACH). One sketch should introduce an original character and one should be topical (something newsworthy or pop culture-based).
So I’d like to share with you a writing packet that will not get you accepted to this type of program.
Jeff Konkle’s Packet
My packet definitely had some opportunities for improvement upon reflection. One was that I misread the 3rd requirement and wrote out an entire desk bit instead of writing a topical sketch. The other was that I wrote that piece in the voice of Conan O’Brien, whose falling out with NBC was apparently a big deal. I wanted to showcase the fact that I could write in different voices, but I probably should have picked another NBC host to do that.
Really, I was hoping that my monologue jokes would be strong enough to cover up the flaws in the other areas. And I do think my jokes are strong. It’s the sketches that were my downfall and unfortunately that makes up the bulk of the packet. I have really never written sketches before so it was hard for me to tell what would work and what wouldn’t.
Back to the drawing board. I don’t remember who said it but someone in the comedy business said that if you want to make it, you have to become undeniable. I wasn’t undeniable this year. So we’ll try again next year, when I’ll submit under the pseudonym Dr. Maria del Mar Rojas.
(Cambridge, MA) – A new study published in the Harvard Science Review claims that parents experiencing the birth of their first child lose almost all capacity to say or do anything funny at all. The double-blind study focused mainly on people who were once considered funny or humorous by their peer group and followed those people through the final 3 months of pregnancy on through the first month of parenthood.
“Our research showed that people who were considered laugh riots by their friends and co-workers appeared to be less funny overall after only a few weeks,” explained Dr. Karl Rossi, lead researcher. “We are dubbing this disease “Risusia,” which is Latin for the sudden loss of laughter.”
One study participant, a local stand-up comedian, was rendered completely unfunny after the birth of his son. After years of developing jokes and thinking in a humorous way, the study participant could not formulate one cohesive thought that he deemed to be funny. Nothing. Like nothing at all. It’s not that things aren’t funny. There are still funny things. But the study participant could no longer explain why things are funny or make them funny to anyone else.
Researchers believe “Risusia” is caused by multiple factors including diet change, loss of sleep, and the fact that a child makes you get out of your own stupid head and focus on something other than yourself for a goddamn change. “It’s widely accepted that well-developed sense of humor is a form of mental illness anyway,” said Dr. Rossi. “Therefore, many participants who have acute Risusia seem to be eerily fine with it.”
I think the country is too divided. That’s why we have such trouble picking a President now. If I was President I would run on three platforms that I know everyone can get behind.
1) First order of business, the death penalty. I’m going to keep the death penalty but only administer it to people who throw paper towels in urinals. That’s the only crime that will result in execution by the State. What about murderers you ask? Usually people have a reason to murder someone. If you throw a paper towel in the urinal, you’re flouting the conventions of society and deserved to be removed permanently.
2) Second order of business, in order to go to war, every American citizen will be required to give up their beer money for three months in order to finance the endeavor. You really want to get involved in the Ukraine? Fine, but that means no Bud Light Lime for the whole summer.
3) Final order of business, no more internet commenting. The world will be a better place. And some people say that it’s too drastic. “But Jeff, if there is no internet commenting where will we review products and be racist without any repercussions?”
Ok, if you must have internet commenting then here is the deal: before posting, your comment will need to be proofread and approved by your Grandma. I think that will change the dialogue. Might be just a little bit more positive. That is unless your grandma also hates libtards or thinks that the video of “David After Dentist” is part of the reason why people shouldn’t get their children vaccinated.
Holocron Date 001.025.2015
It is insatiable, this thing. The dark only seems to make it louder, angrier, hungrier. The fifth night of this infernal standoff and my party has done what we can to neutralize the beast but it is to no avail. We find our ourselves trapped, running out of resources and delirious.
I have heard the beast’s caterwauls ring echo in the black of night, cloaking his exact location. I have seen him feast upon the bodily fluids of my companion, who, psychotic from sleep deprivation, simply sat back and allowed herself to be drained. I have smelled him as well. Oh, yes. I have smelled him.
My team is currently running diagnostic tests on a sample of the black sludge that the beast left in his wake during our last encounter. We believe it to be some sort of attractant, not unlike the adhesive nectar secreted by the Venus Fly-trap, luring prey in and enveloping them entirely.
It is yet possible that we will survive, however improbable it seems at this point. If we do make it out, my report to Central Command will be a grave warning to those who might encounter or attempt to replicate a beast of their own.
Hail To the Republic. Hail to Emperor Ctijin. May the Many Hosts have mercy on us.
Hark! The beast awakens…