Comedy hopefuls jump-start careers with ‘Late Night’

Five Temple students auditioned to become the next intern for Jimmy Fallon’s prime time show.

Five Temple students auditioned to become the next intern for Jimmy Fallon’s prime time show.

Rudy Mezzy said he dreams of making it big in the world of late-night comedy.

Aaron Miller (left) rides friend Jimmy Curran’s wheelchair. His audition tape for Late Night was a tour of Main Campus.

Mezzy, a junior broadcast, telecommunications and mass media major, is just one of a handful of Temple students who recently put their comedic skills to the test by sending brief videos to NBC’s Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, with hopes to be hired as interns at the show.

For the past month, Late Night has held an internship contest, in which college students from across the country send brief videos stating why they should intern for Jimmy Fallon.

“My video was good because it tells you about me, and it was cut well. The audio is good, and all the jokes are original,” Mezzy said.

To prepare for his future, Mezzy incorporates his late-night persona into everyday life.
“Oh no, I’ve Fallon, and I can’t get up,” Mezzy said in his submission tape, giving a thumb’s up to the camera.

While it’s often difficult for a college student to land an internship with any nationally broadcast television show, there have been a handful of Temple students who have broken into late-night TV.

“We’ve had two students in the past intern on a late-night TV show,” Film and Media Arts Internship Director Eugene Haynes said. “One was at [Late Night with Conan O’Brien], and I got a student now who is interning with Saturday Night Live.”

“After they applied, I encouraged them to go to Rockefeller Plaza and knock on some doors and make [their] presence known … and a lot of times, that is a very important thing to do.” Haynes added. “I think those students helped themselves a lot being there in person.”

To apply for the internship, students had to be in at least their second year, have a 2.5 GPA and be able receive credit.

Of the many who sent videos in, two Temple students have seen their submissions become popular online. Junior advertising major Aaron Miller had one of the most-viewed videos in the contest, with nearly 1,000 views.

“I don’t know how that happened. I submitted it pretty early, so maybe that’s why I have so many views,” Miller said. “I got some comments and ratings, so it was cool to see it in the top-viewed videos.”

Senior communications major Dominic Moschitti had a portion of his video aired live on Sept. 3 on Late Night. The video, which features Moschitti going through a series of short scenes that display his qualities, such as athleticism, gives the illusion that he’s throwing a football to himself — an effect Moschitti created by editing two scenes together.

“I wanted to shoot it over a weekend, but then I checked the Web site and found out it was due the next day,” Moschitti said. “We kind of rushed and put [the submission video] all together quickly. I think it turned out pretty good.”

“I don’t think I’m going to win,” he added, “so I’m not getting my hopes up. I guess it does help.”

NBC Web site’s contest rules state videos must not contain “the name, likeness or voice of any person other than the entrant.” But broadcast journalism majors Andrew Whitlatch and Patrick McCloskey took a different approach to the contest and auditioned in a video as a pair.

“Interns are free, so why not offer more bang for their buck?” McCloskey, a senior, said.

McCloskey and Whitlatch, a junior, have a comedy radio show on the university’s student-run radio station WHIP called Courtesy Laugh, which they plugged in their video. The duo also used the show’s theme song to help establish their comedic résumé.

“You see a lot of people just sitting in front of their Macs going, ‘Hi, I’m creative,’” Whitlatch said. “We wanted to show that we could strive to make something without any incentive.”

The auditioning Temple students were acquainted before entering the video competition. Mezzy and Miller worked on some comedy competitions together, and Whitlatch and McCloskey are planning to feature them on Courtesy Laugh.

The four said they don’t see it as a competition between Temple students.

“It would be cool just to have Temple represented on Jimmy Fallon,” McCloskey said.

On Sept. 18, Jimmy Fallon chose Jason Sheedy of the Savannah College of Art and Design as the winner. His video feature Sheedy giving a brief synopsis of his home life and his school, and he won in spite of featuring more “likenesses” than himself, including his mother and three other people.

“One thing we were shocked about was that he was from a very small college,” McCloskey said. “We thought Fallon would choose an intern from a nationally known campus, but more power to the intern for winning despite that obstacle.”

The winner’s duties will include providing humorous coverage of their school and creating content for the show’s blog.

All the students expressed a desire to pursue a career in comedy and, while they didn’t win, said they enjoyed putting something out there that makes people laugh.

“This has been a great experience for me,” Miller said. “I have met a lot of new people, and some people come up to me [and say,] ‘You’re that guy from the Jimmy Fallon thing!’ It boosts my ego just a little bit more.”

Brian Dzenis can be reached at

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