NBC’s Late Night Writers Workshop Names 2020 Class
Universal City, CA
As part of NBC’s long-running initiative to forge a path for diverse writers, NBC has named Brandon Burkhart, Gracie Canaan, Reem Edan, Kyle Harris, Emily Menez, Sam O and Kate Sisk as the new class of its annual Late Night Writers Workshop.
Entering its eighth year, the Late Night Writers Workshop is the industry’s longest-running program dedicated to discovering and developing late night and sketch comedy writers of diverse backgrounds.
Chosen out of a highly talented pool of 900 candidates,the new class participated in an intensive virtual five-day program that prepared them for staff writer roles on late night and sketch comedy shows.
Created in 2013, NBC’s Late Night Writers Workshop has a proven track record of discovering and developing emerging late night and sketch comedy writers, and has become a successful pipeline for the network’s programming. Alumni have gone on to become producers and writers on top late night and sketch comedy shows. Writers from last year’s class were staffed on shows soon after completing the program: Mona Mira was staffed on “A Little Late with Lilly Singh” and Chloe Radcliffe joined “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.” Additional alumni include Jenny Hagel (“Late Night with Seth Meyers,” who also appears onscreen in the “Jokes Seth Can’t Tell” segment), Eddie Mujica (“Connecting”), Greg Iwinski (“Last Week Tonight”), Kate Sidley (“The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”) and Alison Tafel (“The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon”).
“Over the past eight years, the Late Night Writers Workshop has made a significant impact on the late night and sketch comedy landscape. Many of our alumni now write for top shows across the industry, and we are confident this new class of talented writers will follow suit,” said Lisa Katz and Tracey Pakosta, Co-Presidents, Scripted Programming, NBC Entertainment. “The current seismic shift in our culture has illuminated how critical it is to include the lens of diverse people to provide cultural context to current events. These writers will enter the industry at a time where their voices are needed now more than ever.”
To ensure the safety of the program participants and the NBCUniversal employees, this year’s five-day Late Night Writers Workshop took place virtually. It was organized and facilitated by Grace Moss and Will Schnabel of NBC’s Programming Talent Development and Inclusion team. The participants received an in-depth look at writing on late night and sketch comedy shows through virtual seminars and guest speakers. This year, the class heard from Katie Hockmeyer, Executive Vice President, Late Night Programming, NBC Entertainment in addition to writers from top late night shows, including Chelsea Davison (“A Little Late with Lilly Singh”), Mark Kramer (“Last Week Tonight”), Amber Ruffin (“Late Night with Seth Meyers”), Naima Pearce (“Tooning Out the News”) and writer-comedian Emily Winter. Program alumni – Jenny Hagel (“Late Night with Seth Meyers”), Jonathan Giles (“A Little Late with Lilly Singh”), Greg Iwinski (“Last Week Tonight”), Mona Mira (“A Little Late with Lilly Singh”), Chloe Radcliffe (“The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon”) and Alison Tafel (“The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon”) – also served as guest speakers.
Each session also consisted of writing instruction, insightful feedback and collaborative assignments that mirror the late night comedy writing experience. The writers ended the program with new sketch material and insight into the dynamics of a late night writers’ room.
Following the program, NBC will continue to advocate for each of the program writers by putting them up for open staffing positions on the network’s late night shows and helping them secure representation.
The 2020 class are: