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]
American Television Writer
Scott Douglas Jacobsen
Editor-in-Chief, In-Sight Publishing
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