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Friday, February 07, 2014

I was a Joke Writer for Jay Leno

Jay Leno just ended his run as host of the Tonight Show.

I've got some great memories from being a monologue joke writer for Jay for three years in the late nineties.

Back then I was a producer, on-air wacky sidekick, and writer for a Morning Show in Boston, Karlson and McKenzie. They're still on at WZLX.

When guests came in I'm greet them, get them set up in the green room, and take them on air.

I met lots of fun people. One time Eddie Money came in without a shirt. We game him a station T-Shirt. Crazy.

Here I am with Kathy Griffin.

I used to write topical jokes based on the news of the day. When comedians came in, I'd always talk to them about it.

One time Jimmy Fallon came in with his sister to talk about his book, that he wrote with his sister Gloria, I Hate This Place: The Pessimist's Guide to Life.

That's from when he was on Saturday Night Live. He was nice back then too.

One time a local comedian took a look at the jokes I was writing and said that I should be writing for Jay Leno.

I asked him, "How would I do that?"

He explained that Jay have what's called Fax Joke Writers, and you were required to send in 10 jokes a day via Fax. If Jay chose to use one on the monologue, you'd get paid. He made the introductions, and I signed a contract.

One of the jokes Jay used was this one:
President Clinton was greeted by rioting citizens in Greece, who set fire to local stores.

One time my wife and I made the not too well thought out decision to take my niece and nephew (21) to Vegas.

Coincidentally, Jay was doing a show there. I called into the show and got four VIP tickets. I was told, if there was any problem, to ask for Jay to come out to straighten things out.

My nephew hoped there'd be a problem. ;-)

There wasn't. We got center front seats in a huge banquette. It was a fun time.

Best of luck to you Jay. Thanks for the memories. ;-)

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