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Posts tagged as writers

A Look at the Unlikely Career Path of 'Late Night' Writer Bryan Donaldson

Bryan Donaldson — or as he's known on Twitter, @TheNardvark — is profiled on Vulture today, and it's worth a read if you like stories of unlikely comedy world hires. After working as an IT guy in Illinois for 20 years, Donaldson rose the Twitter ranks until he landed a writing gig on Late Night with Seth Meyers last year, which started with a direct message from head writer Alex Baze. "I wasn't going to consider uprooting my family at age 40 and starting a new career in New York, where I'd never been before," Donaldson said. "But my wife basically said I'd be an idiot if [...]

Talking to 'The Onion's New Editor, Cole Bolton

It’s a story as old as time itself: man dislikes his job, decides to pursue a career in comedy, sends a bunch of unsolicited work into The Onion, and eventually becomes editor of the world’s most popular satirical news site. Well, maybe it’s not that conventional, but it is the general career outline of newly-appointed Onion editor Cole Bolton. A former associate economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and research associate at Harvard Business School, Bolton’s comedy experience was practically nonexistent before he joined The Onion as a contributing writer in 2006. But despite never once being a member of a college improv troupe, Bolton’s passion and [...]

Amber Ruffin, Andrew Law, and Michelle Wolf Joining 'Late Night with Seth Meyers' Writing Staff

In the wake of SNL's recent hiring of LaKendra Tookes and Leslie Jones as writers, Late Night with Seth Meyers has also added a black female writer to its staff with Amber Ruffin, the Chicago Tribune reports. Ruffin has appeared on Key and Peele, is a graduate of iO and Second City, former performer at Amsterdam's Boom Chicago (where Meyers also did a stint), and is currently part of the video sketch comedy troupe RobotDown. She auditioned for SNL during its diversity push back in early December and was reportedly a finalist for the gig before losing out to UCB's Sasheer Zamata. She will [...]

Talking to Tracey Wigfield About Writing for 'The Mindy Project' and '30 Rock'

When 30 Rock finished shooting in December of 2012, Tracey Wigfield had 10 days to decide to move to LA to work on The Mindy Project. She made a great choice. After joining the show midseason and writing the episodes “Santa Fe” and “Frat Party,” she was named one of Glamour’s 35 Under 35: Top Women in Movies and TV. Most impressive of all, in September she won an Emmy for co-writing the 30 Rock finale with Tina Fey.

Now in the middle of The Mindy Project’s second season, I got the chance to talk to Wigfield about starting as a writer’s assistant, improv, and why Christmas episodes are [...]

Katie Rich Hired to Write for 'SNL'

Saturday Night Live has added another writer to its ever-growing staff. Katie Rich, a performer at Chicago's Second City and iO theaters, has been hired to write for the show, Chicago Tribune reports. Rich is an alumni of Northwestern University who spent three and a half years in Second City's touring company before moving to the mainstage cast.

Katie Rich is the fifth new addition to SNL's writing staff this year following Michael Che, Mikey Day, Claire Mulaney, and Tim Robinson, who was a featured player last year. With the show's co-head writer Seth Meyers set to leave sometime in the next couple months to start [...]

'Late Night' Writer Amber Ruffin: Key and Peele Are "Destroying Black Stereotype Character Humor"

"Key and Peele have done more for black America than anyone would be willing to give them credit for. They forced the people who see black people as less than to see them as equal. … They are destroying black stereotype character humor."

- Late Night with Seth Meyers writer Amber Ruffin in a new interview with WNYC on race and comedy.

Talking to New 'Daily Show' Head Writer Elliott Kalan

Over the last decade, comedy writer Elliott Kalan has risen up the Daily Show ranks, starting as an intern before becoming a production assistant then a segment producer then a writer until, last month, being made the show's head writer. Kalan took over for Tim Carvell, who left to be the showrunner for John Oliver's new HBO show, Last Week Tonight. I recently had the chance to talk to Kalan about what the new job entails, how The Daily Show's writers' room works, and doing standup.

10 'Parks and Rec' Writers Who Have Played Characters on the Show

Parks and Recreation is airing its 100th episode tonight. Ever since the series started nearly five years ago, showrunner Mike Schur has made it a point to frequently use his writers in acting parts on the show as Pawnee residents, most of them with super silly names that aren't even spoken on screen. In an interview with us last year, Schur explained the decision to feature the writers so frequently like this:

I think it really ultimately comes from SNL because on SNL, the line between writer and performer is very blurry and the performers write a lot of their own sketches. Sometimes, the writers appear on the show. In general, the [...]

Here's How Much Money TV Writers Make

Gawker has a nice look at how much money TV writers make up today, with detailed info on pay levels for writers across cable and network TV. The numbers depicted are just minimums and most TV writers at each level probably make more than that, depending on their experience and the success of the show, but the list covers everything from writers who are just given a story credit on a comedy ($8062 minimum for network and $5432 minimum for cable) all the way up to senior staff writers on shows with over a 20-week guarantee ($6036 minimum on both cable and network).

Check out their table of [...]

A.D. Miles Will Continue as Jimmy Fallon's Head Writer on 'The Tonight Show'

When Jimmy Fallon moves to The Tonight Show in February, he's taking his head writer with him. Comedian A.D. Miles, who's held the head writer position on Fallon's Late Night since it began in 2009, has closed a deal to continue doing the same job on The Tonight Show, Deadline reports. Miles, who co-starred on Comedy Central's Dog Bites Man and appears in a lot of David Wain's stuff like Wet Hot American Summer, Wainy Days, and Role Models, frequently appears on-camera on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon in segments like "The Ragtime Gals," "Joking Bad," and "Downton Sixbey."

As previously announced, ?uestlove and The [...]

A Guide to Your Favorite Late Night and Sketch TV Writers on Twitter

There are tons of great late night and sketch comedy shows on television these days, and behind each one is a staff of writers hard at work to ensure their respective late night host or starring cast puts on the funniest and most finely tuned performance possible. We're in the midst of a rerun week for shows like Conan, SNL, and The Daily Show, so with that in mind, here's a complete writing staff breakdown of some of the best sketch and late night shows on TV, including a handy guide to whose Twitter feeds you can invade to get your minute-by-minute comedy fix.

'The Daily Show' Promotes Elliott Kalan to Head Writer

With correspondent John Oliver and head writer Tim Carvell now off in HBO land, The Daily Show has shaken up its staff and hired a new head writer. Deadline reports that Elliott Kalan, who started as a Daily Show production assistant in 2003 and has been a writer since 2008, has been promoted to head writer. Longtime producers Steve Bodow, Jen Flanz, and Adam Lowitt have also been promoted to executive producers, and Tim Greenberg and Hillary Kun were also promoted to co-executive producers. Click through to watch Kalan in "Elliott Kalan: Tomorrow's Andy Rooney Today!" where he begged CBS to hire him as their next curmudgeonly [...]

'SNL' Adds Two Black Female Writers, LaKendra Tookes and Leslie Jones

Earlier this week, Saturday Night Live added Sasheer Zamata to its cast, the show's first black female cast member in over five years, and now, they've hired two black female writers. LaKendra Tookes and Leslie Jones, who both auditioned during to be SNL cast members last month, have been added to the writing staff, THR reports. Their first show will be the next new episode on January 18th, with host and musical guest Drake, during which Zamata will also make her debut.

Lorne Michaels's long-running sketch series faced scrutiny in the fall for the lack of diversity amongst its new cast, prompting the show to [...]

Here's Your 'Late Night with Seth Meyers' Writing Staff

Late Night with Seth Meyers is starting up on February 24th, and the show's writing staff started working this week. Producer Mike Shoemaker and writer Alex Baze Instagrammed a couple photos of the writing staff, revealing who's working on the show. The show's writers so far are Alison Agosti (UCB LA, Twitter), Alex Baze (Weekend Update head writer), Bryan Donaldson (Twitter), Peter Grosz (Colbert Report), John Lutz (SNL, Lutz from 30 Rock), Chioke Nassor (Above Average's Storytime, The Exquisite Corpse Project), Conner O'Malley (Chris Gethard Show, Vine), Seth Reiss (Comedy Bang! Bang!, head writer for The Onion), and Ben Warheit (The Awesomes, Above Average's Waco Valley). Seth Meyers will [...]