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Writing for Late Night Television: Monologue, Jokes, Bits, and Sketches

Semester and Year FA 2017
Course Number WRTNG-UG1508
Section 001
Instructor D.B. Gilles
Days M
Time 3:30 PM - 6:10 PM
Units 4
Level U



This course introduces students to writing for the world of Late Night Television. Every talk show host has a unique voice and style. Work may include learning how to write opening monologues for  The Daily Show  with Trevor Noah,  Last Week Tonight  with John Oliver,  The Late Show  With Stephen Colbert and  Jimmy Kimmel  among others. Other subjects we will cover include understanding the difference between a sketch and a bit, how to structure a joke, and how to find material. Work will also involve writing sketches such as those on  Saturday Night Live, Between Two Ferns  with Zach Galifanakus,  Inside Amy Schumer  and we’ll examine the techniques of Upright Citizens Brigade. Students will learn how to go from idea, to building the sketch, to completing it. Writing assignments may include creating original on-going sketch characters, monologues for  Full Frontal  with Samantha Bee, writing Portlandia sketches and fake news items ala Weekend Update.


All Syllabi

Course Type

Advanced Writing Courses (WRTNG-UG)