The Late Night Wars

A hazy cloud of smoke hovered in the air over the giant table as the writers clustered haphazardly about on their uncomfortable chairs working through their uncomfortable jokes.

“Okay,” began a scrawny writer fresh from college who was toiling in the dungeons of late night television while attempting to sell his coming-of-age screenplay that was sure to be the next big thing, “how’s this one?”

Greg snapped the wrinkled page from the kid’s hands and read quickly.

“Dammit, new guy,” he said angrily, tossing the paper down to the floor where it congregated with reams of similarly discarded sheets of unfunny jokes. “We’re not going to do any ‘NBC equals Hitler’ gags. It doesn’t play well to the flyovers.”

“Guys! You have to see this!” Jeff yelled as he burst through the door. He laid a freshly-printed page on the cluttered table. Everyone gathered around and read quietly.

It was a press release from the show’s host. It was Greg who first understood what it meant.

“Gentlemen,” he said. “This is war.”

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