Are After Midnight Jokes Scripted? Yes and No—Taylor Tomlinson Explains.

After Midnight might seem like an off-the-cuff show, but Taylor Tomlinson revealed the panelists get a bit of help to set them up for success.

Tomlinson participated in a Reddit AMA on Tuesday, where she fielded questions about her career as a comedian and After Midnight. One fan was curious about how much information (if any) the show’s panelists are given ahead of time in order to think about their responses.

“We have an amazing writers room full of hilarious comedians who help prep all of the panelists so they go into the show with great jokes prepared,” Tomlinson replied. “There’s still plenty of room to improvise and make jokes off-the-cuff, too though. And certain games specifically call for improv.”

After Midnight‘s writers room is led by Jo Firestone, who was a writer on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and head writer for Ziwe.

Tomlinson also shared some additional thoughts on After Midnight, which launched in January. Asked which games she has most enjoyed so far, Tomlinson singled out “Who’s Your Zaddy?” as a staff favorite, and also recalled “laughing so hard” at “Who’s Got Milk?.”

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As much as Tomlinson seems to be enjoying her time hosting the CBS late-night show, she noted that it has put a crimp in her standup schedule. “[After Midnight] has definitely required more of my time/taken some time away from stand-up,” she told another Redditor. “That being said, I would have never taken this job if it meant I couldn’t do stand-up and stand-up will always be my first priority.”

A few commenters took the AMA as an opportunity to suggest a guest booking: Conan O’Brien. “I would LOVE it if Conan came on the show. A dream,” Tomlinson revealed.

Tomlinson doubled down on her appreciation of O’Brien when asked about the experience of appearing on a recent episode of the Conan O’Brien Needs A Friend podcast. “He’s exactly the same off-mic,” she said. “Hilarious, generous—everything you want your heroes to be.” 

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  1. Diane says:

    This show sucks!