John Pickhaver runs at a joke from the other direction and makes you think a bit before you LOL. As a freelance contributor to “Saturday Night Live’s” Weekend Update segment, he writes punch lines to setups four days a week. That late-night TV milieu allows him to channel two things he loves: politics and short-form comedy writing.
“There’s so much material out there,” he says, referring to government and political shenanigans, his favorite topics. “Some of what the candidates say is so extreme, so absurd.” But his method is to go beyond the obvious madness.
To hone his chops, Pickhaver takes improvisation classes, does open-mike standup, and, of course, Tweets on the reg. “I like the instant feedback,” he says. He works as a production assistant on “The Goldbergs” to stay in the comedy arena and pay the bills.
Pickhaver also goes long, by writing scripts, contributing to the comedy section of Huffington Post, and running marathons. At HuffPost, he says, “I fell into a brand of satire. But sometimes the comment section reveals that people fail to get that it’s satire.” Which is pretty funny in itself.