Twitter Lands IT Guy From Peoria a Job on Late Night

Vulture charts Bryan Donaldson's unlikely career path
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 16, 2014 10:15 AM CDT
Updated Apr 16, 2014 11:17 AM CDT

(Newser) – When Bryan Donaldson started tweeting in 2011, it was just a way for him to have an outlet for his jokes—jokes that didn't quite have a place at his job, an insurance company in Bloomington, Ill., where Donaldson worked in IT. Tweets like, "The meanest thing you can say to someone is 'you look like you’re probably a pretty good bowler'" and "Wow, this P90X program really works! I bought all the DVDs and now I can’t afford food" eventually got him 40,000 followers, including Alex Baze, head writer and producer for Late Night With Seth Meyers. (How? Donaldson showed up on lists like this.) Baze decided to widen the applicant pool when he started hiring writers, looking at some of his favorite Twitter users as candidates—so he called Donaldson in for an interview without realizing the Peoria resident had absolutely zero connection to professional comedy or the world of showbiz. To Donaldson's shock, he got the job, and soon his wife and daughter will join him on the East Coast, Vulture reports.

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Baze recruited two other writers off Twitter, but both of them have backgrounds in comedy. Not so Donaldson: "He’s like a giant farm guy, is what he looked like to me," Baze recalls of his first impression upon meeting Donaldson. "He’s probably six-one. Really broad shoulders." And he had "no agent, no showbiz accoutrements of any kind." He still doesn't, but he did have his first on-air joke in Meyers' Late Night premiere monologue, and he appeared in one of the skits. (He also helps out with computer stuff at his new job: "Great jokes. Also, how come my cursor won’t move?" Baze jokes of their interactions.) The only bad news is that he's not tweeting as much, seeing as his job now is to come up with 40 jokes per day. Even so, he's worth a follow. (Read more Seth Meyers stories.)

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