The Business of Writing a Joke With Comedy Writer Guy Nicolucci

The Business of Writing a Joke With Comedy Writer Guy Nicolucci


By Kendall Fisher, executive producer


We admire our favorite late-night hosts for their wit, their intellect, their ability to deliver a joke and their perfection in landing the punchline at the perfect moment. 

But they aren’t doing it alone. 

Comedy writing takes a village, as we learn in this episode of the “Grow Wire Podcast” with longtime writer Guy Nicolucci

As a guy who found his place commenting on culture rather than becoming part of it, Nicolucci takes us on his journey from a quirky, high school student who was often punished for his jokes to late-night writer for the likes of Craig Kilborn, Jon Stewart and Conan O’Brien (to name a few). 

He walks us through the process of writing a monologue and landing the punchline just when the audience needs it. He explains the equation behind a good joke and how to get in the mind of the person delivering it. (Stewart is more political than O’Brien; Jewel can deliver it in song and Mike Tyson in poetry.) He can’t help from laughing while reminiscing on behind-the-scenes stories of Jerry Lewis, William Shatner and Snoop Dogg, and even proves his inherent skill set by creating a joke based on a topic we chose right in the moment.

Nicolucci is quirky and witty, hilarious in a relatable manner and unapologetically himself. In fact, it’s one of the biggest lessons he said he’s learned in his career: “You do stuff at your own pace.” 

Take a page out of Guy Nicolucci’s comedy playbook, and tune in to this episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and YouTube.