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Every TV show needs writers, especially late night shows, that have to keep up with current events but do so in the funniest way possible. The Late Show with Stephen Colbert is looking for some new writers, but they're making the process unbelievably hard.
Instead of calling in late night writers who've left other shows, or sending out an employment notice to agents who represent comedy writers, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert is going directly to the people for help. According to Deadline, the show has released a help wanted ad for a new staff writer, and, just so we're clear, this process will mostly be extremely difficult for anyone who applies for the position. The first hurdle? The deadline for submissions is Tuesday, as in, tomorrow. So, let's get down to the nitty gritty of how fans can throw their hats into the employment ring for this gig.
There are a lot of writing samples needed for this job, so let's start with what The Late Show asked for first. They need you to write two cold open segments for the talk fest. The cold open is the 30 to 60 second pre-taped segment that plays before the opening credits roll. This could be anything from Stephen Colbert backstage or in his office, to something as random as what the job ad calls "wacky weirdness." Luckily, they included some links to YouTube clips to help you figure out what might be appropriate. So, good luck with that.
The Late Show would also, of course, like you to write five monologue jokes, since that's a huge part of what makes talk shows special among television programs. You gotta be able to write a solid grouping of jokes for the opening, otherwise, what good are you as a late night writer, really? Anyone applying will also need to write one topical news segment. This would be done at the desk and can include a myriad of props or graphics if necessary, and should use some kind of game or something else to help explain the news story.
Before you get too excited thinking that this will be easy, there's more. You should also write three confessions (where Stephen Colbert admits to something that feels "true and relatable" so that the occasional confession can be kinda loony), and two segment pitches (one that could include a guest from the show) that would need to include some possible jokes that would work for those segments.
Man. The Late Show is not playing with their expectations for this application. But, it all makes a lot of sense if you think about it. Anyone writing on a show like this will need to be able to churn out ideas for all of these parts of the show on a daily basis, even if those ideas aren't used all the time. And, you better really love writing, comedy and pushing yourself to come up with new ideas, or you will not survive in a pressure filled job like this. As a capper to the ad, the show gave out some general advice, like using things you're actually interested in to come up with ideas, and having sources for all your info. Honestly, if you manage to get all this done by sometime tomorrow, you deserve a job on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Good luck to all you comedy writers looking for work!