Tragedy + Time = Comedy 53 – Things Guys Like (Part 3)

In-Sight Publishing

Tragedy + Time = Comedy 53 – Things Guys Like (Part 3)

Scott Douglas Jacobsen & Rick Rosner

June 8, 2017

[Beginning of recorded material]

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: You’ve written thousands and thousands of jokes. You’ve been paid well for doing it in late night. What are the odds of getting into comedy? What are the benefits of being in the comedy world, formally?

Rick Rosner: The odds aren’t good. You can do things to improve the odds greatly. One is be funny. Two is study how to be funny, enjoy the whole deal. It shouldn’t be a slog. There are some people who the process is not for them.

You got to be lucky. Even so, there are many fewer people writing pure just jokes and bits for late night than are in the NFL or the NBA or the NHL. At any given time, the number of people writing for late night is, depending on what you consider late night like SNL than that increases the number by 30 or 35 because they have a lot of people – or if you include the shows like the Daily Show then that increases it by a dozen, but the number is usually around 100 people. You’ve got 32 NBA teams each with 14 players.

You’re looking at more than 400 people in the NBA. The odds of being a late night or comedy writer are much smaller. Although, the pipeline isn’t as thick with people. There aren’t as many people who aspire to be late night comedy writers than as those that aspire to be in the NBA.

I have seen – and these odds probably hold across not just late night, but also staff searches for, say, a sitcom – these with calls being put out for submissions. You need an agent, generally, unless there is a friend relationship that gets you in there.

[End of recorded material]



Rick Rosner

American Television Writer


Rick Rosner


Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Editor-in-Chief, In-Sight Publishing


In-Sight Publishing


[1] Four format points for the session article:

  1. Bold text following “Scott Douglas Jacobsen:” or “Jacobsen:” is Scott Douglas Jacobsen & non-bold text following “Rick Rosner:” or “Rosner:” is Rick Rosner.
  2. Session article conducted, transcribed, edited, formatted, and published by Scott.
  3. Footnotes & in-text citations in the interview & references after the interview.
  4. This session article has been edited for clarity and readability.

For further information on the formatting guidelines incorporated into this document, please see the following documents:

  1. American Psychological Association. (2010). Citation Guide: APA. Retrieved from
  2. Humble, A. (n.d.). Guide to Transcribing. Retrieved from

License and Copyright

In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at and


© Scott Douglas Jacobsen, Rick Rosner, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 2012-2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen, Rick Rosner, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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