I'm Jon Rineman, former Head Monologue Writer for the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. I helped write Seth Meyers’ 2011 White House Correspondents’ Dinner which some believe drove Donald Trump to run for President. Ask me anything.
Hi Reddit! In addition to Fallon, I’ve also written for Jay Leno and WWE. The now infamous joke that I wrote for Seth Meyers is the first joke in this video:
Many people at that dinner (e.g. Maggie Haberman at the NYT and Adam Gopnik from the New Yorker) believe that night was a pivotal moment in Trump's decision to run. Warranted or not, people like to remind me that I wrote that joke, and it has haunted me since Nov. 4, 2016. Because of that, I figured that election day 2020 would be a good time to host this AMA (especially since none of us might be here tomorrow).
It's a pretty weird (but 100% true) story, and you can read the basics of it here:
The fun continued when I suffered a mini stroke (on the NYC subway) in 2018, but have recovered and am now teaching writing at Emerson College. My latest project is an adult party card game called Anti-Social Skills. You can play it at ASSkills.com. That’s right, I’m now the “asskills guy.”
(If you don’t care about the Trump joke and just want to shoot the shit about Late Night -- how I got the job, transitioning to Tonight Show, the “hair tussling incident etc -- WWE, making a game, The Beach Boys, or the Boston Celtics… that’s cool, too.)
EDIT: Hey everyone, this has been great. I'm going to go hang out with my daughter for a bit, but let's hop back on here later tonight to answer more questions. 7:00 good?
EDIT 2: Thanks for all the amazing questions, everyone. This was really fun! If you want to know anything else, post it in the thread and I'll answer them tomorrow!
EDIT 3: I need to take some time to be with my daughter but will check back in Wednesday PM. These are amazing questions and I will try to answer as many as possible.