The Phoenix Network:
About  |  Advertise
Adult  |  Moonsigns  |  Band Guide  |  Blogs  |  In Pictures

Fallon Upward

Local Laughs
By MIKE MILIARD  |  September 16, 2009

Boston is thoroughly dominating NBC's fall line-up. Every weeknight on the Peacock network, starting at 10 pm and ending at 1:30 am, it's a triple dose of local late-night talent: Jay Leno, followed by Conan O'Brien, followed by . . . Jon Rineman.

Okay, you might not have heard of that last guy. But you may have heard his jokes. The 25-year-old stand-up comedian and writer doesn't yet have his own show like Leno and O'Brien (proud sons of Andover and Brookline, respectively). But Rineman, a North Hampton, New Hampshire, native who stuck around Boston after Emerson, honing his chops at clubs like the Comedy Studio and Mottley's, started a new gig just last week — as the newest writer for Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.

It's not his first experience writing for late night. Semi-regularly for the past four years or so, Rineman had submitted jokes on a freelance basis for Leno's Tonight Show monologue and Saturday Night Live's Weekend Update.

It wasn't always rewarding. "There's a lot of hours of sitting by yourself at your computer writing jokes that will probably not get on TV," says Rineman. But "the goal all along was to get good enough so I could get a job on one of these shows."

Sometimes these things have a way of working themselves out. Earlier this year, Rineman had thrown in the towel, moving back in with his folks in New Hampshire. He'd applied for a "regular" job back in Boston, figuring the late-night thing probably wasn't gonna happen.

"Long story short, the job didn't work out, my car needed some repairs, I needed some money," he says. "I'd heard that Late Night might be taking some freelance stuff. So, shot in the dark, I e-mailed them. They let me start submitting, and a month and a half later, they wanted me to come down for an interview."

So far, joining brand-name comedians like A.D. Miles, Morgan Murphy, and Anthony Jeselnik in the writers' room has been a blast. "Everyone's always open to new ideas, and they've been very welcoming so far. So it's been a great first week."

There could hardly be a better time to write for late-night TV than these days, too, what with the blogosphere and mainstream media so often picking up and amplifying the hosts' ghostwritten bons mots, particularly the political quips.

It's a lot of work, though. The first day on the job, Rineman very nearly scored an O-fer. "The one joke I got on the first day was like the last one that made it." What was the bit? He's not sure. "That's the thing — you write 40 to 50 jokes a day. I don't even remember what it was, to tell you the truth."

  Topics: Television , Media, Television, Talk Shows,  More more >
  • Share:
  • Share this entry with Facebook
  • Share this entry with Digg
  • Share this entry with Delicious
  • RSS feed
  • Email this article to a friend
  • Print this article
Re: Fallon Upward
So, they're practically handing out comedy writing jobs in NY? No, seriously...congrats on the new gig. 99.9% of freelancers will never see a writer's room in their lifetime. I WISH it were that easy out here in LA to break through the door...but my big break may be coming soon.
By Jokewriter on 09/17/2009 at 8:03:20

Today's Event Picks
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   FALLON UPWARD  |  September 16, 2009
    Boston is thoroughly dominating NBC's fall line-up.
  •   INTERVIEW: ULI EDEL  |  September 11, 2009
    Edel talks about terror and glamour
  •   STORIED TREASURES  |  September 10, 2009
    How much would you pay for a nutcracker James Dean used — precisely how, we can't guess — to pleasure himself? Or a cow-shaped creamer that once belonged to Norman Rockwell during a particularly dark period of his life?
  •   HIGH DIVES  |  August 31, 2009
    Dive bars. Where the drinks are cold and stiff. Where the air wafts with the unmistakable but not-altogether-unpleasant tang of suds long since spilled. Where the neon shines bright and true and the jukebox plays good and loud.
  •   INTERVIEW: JOHN OLIVER  |  August 27, 2009
    John Oliver is English. There's no getting around it, really.

 See all articles by: MIKE MILIARD

RSS Feed of for the most popular articles
 Most Viewed   Most Emailed 

  |  Sign In  |  Register
Phoenix Media/Communications Group:
Copyright © 2009 The Phoenix Media/Communications Group