My 2014 Late Night Writers Workshop Packet


Last summer, NBCUniversal launched a new writing workshop geared specifically for late night. I’ve been a fan of late night TV–especially NBC late night TV–pretty much since I figured out how to turn on a television set, and writing for a late night show is basically The Dream.

Here’s the description of the program from the LNWW website:

The NBCUniversal Late Night Writers Workshop is a program focused on exposing talented joke, sketch and comedy writers to NBCUniversal’s late-night & alternative lineup and readying them for a staff writer position. We are looking for writers who are “almost there” but need that final bit of preparation and exposure to key industry players. We particularly encourage female writers and those of diverse backgrounds to apply.

I have the lady parts, so I was particularly encouraged to apply. Alas, I heard nothing. It was worth a shot. I’m a Cubs fan, so I’m more than familiar with waiting for next year.

Turns out, they moved up the 2014 submission period to January, so I put together a new packet. Here’s what was required:

  1. 1-2 pages of topical monologue jokes. If you think it helps us, please indicate which host’s voice you have in mind (can be but does not have to be NBC host). Topical news jokes and pop culture jokes should make up the bulk of your material.
  2. 1-2 pages of original ideas for refillable late night “desk bits”. These can be ideas for elements like Jimmy Fallon’s “Thank You Notes”, pre-taped correspondent bits like “Jaywalking” or multimedia bits. For this portion, please provide descriptions of the bits and not scripts.
  3. 2 SNL-style sketches (no more than 5 pages EACH).  One sketch should introduce an original character and one should be topical (something newsworthy or pop culture-based).

If you’re interested, you can view my packet here.

And here’s the good news: They called me for an interview! I had a Skype chat last Friday with two of the women who run the program. It was pretty mind-blowing to be talking NBC late night TV with people who actually work at NBC, and I’m sure my nerves came through. I ended up not advancing to the workshop, which was obviously a letdown, but the whole experience gave me a much-needed confidence boost. I feel re-energized to keep applying to other writing programs, both at NBC and elsewhere.

Thanks to everyone who’s given me unwavering support with this whole writing thing over the past year, including any of you who take the time to read this blog. It means more than you know. Or The More You Know. One of those. In any event: thank you.

Christine Moore