Tonight Show Head Writer Leaves Show, Vows to Never Again Work on Trump Jokes

Rebecca Drysdale. Photo: Andrew Toth/FilmMagic

After nearly seven months on the job, a head writer on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon has departed the show, calling it “a mutual decision.” She also expressed her desire to no longer work on comedy sketches about Donald Trump. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, on November 5, Rebecca Drysdale shared in a private Facebook post that she decided to part ways with The Tonight Show, where she was hired as a head writer in April 2020. In the Facebook post — which has since been deleted — Drysdale said her departure was a “mutual decision” with the NBC show, adding, “I was not a good fit for the show, and it was not a good fit for me.”

After thanking her former co-workers at the show, Drysdale also explained in the post that she no longer wants to be involved in comedy about Donald Trump, which she later said is unrelated to her Tonight Show departure. “I am making the decision for myself to never work on, write, or be involved with, another Trump sketch ever again. I have landed in several jobs and situations over the last few years where the project of making fun of Trump, or doing material about Trump, has led to divided creative teams, anxiety, tears, and pain. I can’t decide the outcome of this election, but I can make the choice for myself, to vote him out of my creative life no matter where we land when this is over,” she wrote, adding that she will “never write words to come out of his mouth, watch his image be edited or manipulated, or discuss how to make him funny again.”

Drysdale ended her since-deleted post explaining her stance on Trump jokes further. “I believe that comedy is a powerful tool. I believe that it can handle anything, no matter how unfunny. I don’t believe that making fun of this man, doing impressions of him, or making him silly, is a good use of that power. It only adds to his,” she wrote. “While we all watch, and wait, and wring our hands, waiting to know how this election is going to turn out, I am relieved that I can just sit and feel how I feel about it … What I will not have to do is figure out how to make Donald Trump funny tonight, or tomorrow night, and I am truly grateful for that.” Prior to The Tonight Show, Drysdale had writing and producing credits on Key and Peele, High Maintenance, and FX’s Baskets.

This post has been updated with clarifications from Drysdale.

Tonight Show Head Writer Departs, Citing Trump Sketches