November 24, 2003.
Web Posted at: 1:15 pm UTC
Christmas has come early this year!
Yessir, for a late night TV show monologue joke writer, you couldn't ask Santa for anything better than to have Michael Jackson in legal trouble. Lord I feel as excited as I did when I was 10 and it was only a few hours until Christmas morning. In fact, just like then, I'm having trouble getting to sleep at night; I've been lying awake at night clutching the sheets and dreaming about what wonderful developments about the gloved one that the news will bring the next morning. My wife, however, won't let me get up and check the news wires until at least 6:00.
Naturally, though, in the midst of the MJ news explosion, I managed to sell a joke to David Letterman late last week that had nothing to do with his freakiness. No, this one, from last Friday's show (11/21) was about another old stand-by for us joke writers: George W. Bush. Click here to hear the audio! (format: MP3, size 100kb).
The crowd had an interesting reaction to this one. They seemed a tad – SURLY. Getting a strong reaction means I'm doing my job, although the jokes I'm most satisfied with are the one that make Dave laugh.
November 20, 2003.
Web Posted at: 2:35 pm UTC
I flipped on the TV last night and caught a special in progress on the JFK assassination. Some mildly interesting thing on how great the media is and thank god for television reporters or the country might not have known the facts of that awful day in Dallas forty years ago, like that Kennedy was murdered. Yes, let's all thank god for television news!
Anyhow, while the old black and white photos and film were being shown I recognized the voice of Jane Pauley providing narration. “Must be some 'Dateline' thing or something,” I thought to myself (i.e. for the love of god, keep flipping to a different channel!). But, at the last second, as I was about press the up channel button on the remote, I noticed the logo of the local PBS channel in the lower right corner. My finger immediately froze.
That's right. Give yourself a minute to let that sink in. Jane Pauley was on PBS!
Sweet lord. What's happening to PBS? Jane Pauley is but one step removed from Stone Phillips. Jane Pauley used to be one step removed from Bryant Gumble! BRYANT GUMBLE!!
This is wrong. Very wrong.
I don't know. Maybe I'm overreacting. Just thinking about this whole incident is making my stomach hurt.
Perhaps I'll focus on the positive things in life, like the fact that Michael Jackson is finally about to go down – er, you know what I mean.
November 17, 2003.
Web Posted at: 1:20 pm UTC
Stop me if you're heard this one before.
I drink lots of water. I mean lots of water. I start drinking water when I get up and I don't stop until I'm in my jammies and in bed. I started this a number of years ago when I heard somewhere it was good for you. I probably heard it on TV, so, naturally, I jumped all over it.
As a result of all my water consumption, I spend lots of time in the bathroom, particularly at work. One of the many advantages of spending lots of quality time in the men's room is that you get familiar with the hygiene habits of all those nameless faces (and, unfortunately, lots of the named ones too) that you see in the halls all day. The following scenario happens to me far too often:
I enter the men's room, pick a fixture and do my business in an efficient manner (note to you fellas out there: if you shake it more than twice you're officially playing with it.).
I close up shop and start washing my hands.
While I'm washing my hands, another patron finishes his business and blows by me, right out the door, without washing up. And let me just say that said patron sometimes does more than just water the urinal cake, if you know what I mean.
Aside from the obvious reason that this is just plain unhealthy, it's particularly unpleasant for me because – although my hands are clean – I am now faced with the prospect of getting out of the bathroom using the same door handle that's just been contaminated. Thanks a lot, buddy.
I am happy to report that some times other people do actually wait to use the sink after me. For example, one time there I was washing my hands when I looked up in the mirror and there was an older man in a nice suit waiting patiently to wash his hands. To my surprise it was none other than war hero and Senator John McCain! True story, I swear.
Politics aside, John McCain will always be held in high esteem by this American. I salute you John McCain for being not only an American hero, but – more importantly – a SANITARY American hero.
November 15, 2003.
Web Posted at: 9:57 pm UTC
Good old crazy California has done me well again. This is the third week in a row Dave Letterman has used a joke I wrote about a story from California. Click here to hear the audio! (format: MP3, size: 342kb), or go to my Late Night Joke page.
Thank god for that god forsaken state! Keep em coming, you crazy bastards!
November 14, 2003.
Web Posted at: 9:45 am UTC
I saw on the news yesterday that the world's oldest person died earlier this week in Japan at the age of 114. I could've sworn I just read about the world's oldest person dying about two weeks ago. Come to think of it, I'm pretty sure I saw the same story a few weeks before that. Yes, in fact, I am sure about that. I have the jokes to prove it:
From my 11/13 submission to Letterman:
Mitoyo Kawate, the world's oldest person, has died in Japan at the age of 114.
We're all just glad she lived to see the “The Andy Griffith Show” reunion special.
From my 11/3 submission to Dave:
The world's oldest person Kamato Hongo of Japan died at the age of 116 last week.
Here at CBS we were sorry to hear this news; we were hoping she'd make it through sweeps.
She said one of the keys to her longevity was sleeping for two days and then staying awake for two days.
I guess this means Keith Richards will be around for a while.
This one from 10/6:
The oldest person in the U.S, 114 year old Elena Slough of New Jersey, died on Sunday.
You know what that means, ladies – Mike Wallace is available this weekend...
This one from 9/29:
The world's oldest man has died in Japan at age 114.
Or, as we called him here at CBS – a key demographic.
Holy crap! These people are dropping like flies!
Shouldn't somebody be looking into this? This may not seem like a crisis to you, but I'll bet it would seem a bit more important if you were 113.
Then again, this probably wouldn't bother me as much if I had sold one of those jokes.
Sweet lord, thank god it's Friday.
November 13, 2003.
Web Posted at: 10:25 am UTC
ATTENTION! Chumworth on the News Format Change!!!
Due to declining ratings and ad sales, Chumworth on the News is forced to make a format change. Henceforth, we will now be an all-country station. Let's start by cranking up some Wynona!
Seriously, though, you may be wondering what happened to the topical and occasionally humorous jokes that once appeared on this page? Well, as some of you know, I recently signed on as a freelance monologue joke writer for The Late Show with David Letterman. Previously, I was doing the same thing for The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Due to the fact that (a) Dave buys my jokes a lot more frequently than Jay did and (b) Dave is, was and always will be the the man of late night TV, I am now focusing solely on writing topical jokes for The Late Show. As part of my deal to write such jokes, I'm contractually prohibited from posting that material for general public consumption.
This begs the uncomfortable yet obvious question of what the heck WILL be posted here? Well, due to other contractual and even some dermatological reasons, I can't say exactly just yet, but here's a preview:
I went to the skin doctor recently. She says I have some sort of fungus on my right foot. She gave me a prescription for an ointment to get rid of it. I went and got the prescription filled and it cost me $35 for a small tube. For $35, I think I'd rather let my foot – or pretty much any other part of my body – itch. Besides, I kind of like scratching my foot – or pretty much any other part of my body.
Ok, fine, you got me. This is going to be a regular old blog. How original of me!
For those of you jonesin' for the old topical jokes, click here to check out my page of jokes that have been used on either The Late Show or The Tonight Show (including audio clips!). And be sure to sign up for my mailing list; I may very well be sending out jokes that weren't bought to those lucky few who sign up.
Thanks to everyone for their support over the years. Gotta go scratch my foot.