Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Amid the second week of the Writers Guild strike, Fox News showbiz correspondent Bill McCuddy tells Page Six a cute story about his past as a SCAB

Carson's Secret Deal

DURING the last writers' strike in 1988, Fox News entertainment guy Bill McCuddy wrote for Johnny Carson. The late-night king famously crossed the writers' picket lines saying he would pen his own material. But McCuddy and other comics sent Carson lines, through agents who secretly put out the word that non-union scribes could send in pithy punch lines. "He came out that first night and opened with my joke. It was one of the greatest moments of my life," McCuddy says. The line later recounted in Newsweek as a defining moment in Carson's return: "Hard to know what the writers want when they go on strike because the picket signs are blank." McCuddy went on to provide lines for Dennis Miller and a Top 10 List for Al Gore on David Letterman's show, but says the Carson monologue convinced him to abandon ad copywriting.

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