Blomquist, a 2000 School of Communications graduate, is among
a group of writers for Comedy Central's "The Daily Show"
who won the 2003 Emmy Award in the category Outstanding Writing
for a Variety, Music or Comedy Program. Among the other nominees
were Robin Williams and the writing teams for "Saturday Night
Live," "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" and "Late
Show with David Letterman."
the funny people at "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart," a popular
cable television program that bases
its material on current events, early this year. The
long road to a regular comedy-writing gig began while he was at
Elon; on the advice of professors, he worked in an internship with
WTNH-TV in his home state of Connecticut, with the hope of landing
a New York job the next summer.
applied for an internship at 'The Daily Show' but all the slots
were filled," he recalled. "They passed my resume on to
a Comedy Central sketch/hidden camera show called 'Upright Citizens
Brigade.' That was great. I got to work as a hidden-camera guy.
They also let me write a few things for the Comedy Central web site."
He also interned with the same show the following winter term.
from Elon, he worked in the comedy trenches in New York, first as
a unit production assistant for a Comedy Central show titled "Strangers
with Candy." "It involved waking up at 4 in the morning,
driving the wardrobe truck to the set, setting up hair, makeup and
craft service, then breaking it all down at the end of the day and
being the last to leave," he said. "I think I averaged
about four hours of sleep a night."
Next he worked
as a coordinator for a Comedy Central puppet/cartoon show called
"TV Funhouse," a Robert Smigel project. "All of the
writers for that show were my heroes, so it was both thrilling and
daunting," he recalled. "They were all the great 'Conan'
guys: Smigel, Dino Stamatopoulos, Tommy Blacha, Greg Cohen, among
Next, he worked
in a series of "unglamorous production-assistant jobs, driving
trucks, carrying heavy stuff and making sure the soda coolers had
enough ice. Working on more awful TV shows than I care to remember."
His break came
when he sent a "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" submission
to Smigel. Smigel liked it and agreed to pass it on to Conan's head
writer, Mike Sweeney. "Although it never led to a gig at Conan,
Smigel invited us to help write his Funhouse cartoons for 'Saturday
Night Live,'" he said. "I helped out on four of those,
and it was my first TV-writing credit." Blomquist also started
writing material for Smigel's puppet alter-ego, Triumph the Insult
He sent a submission
to the "Daily Show" in December, 2002. "They asked
for a second submission, liked it, and the rest is obscure cable-TV-writer
history," he deadpanned.
He now contributes
to all of the elements of the comic news program, including headlines,
desk pieces, field pieces and star Jon Stewart's "chats"
with correspondents on "location."
Show' is a news-parody show, so the material all comes from what's
going on in the news - both the stories and how the media are covering
them," he said.
"Since getting hired, I've consumed an incredible amount of
news. I read a couple of different newspapers every day, I'm constantly
checking into CNN.com and CNN is usually on TV in my office."
Show" airs on Comedy Central Monday through Thursday at 11
p.m. and also reruns a couple of times a day.
are all of the really, really funny ones," Blomquist added.
for students who dream about a job in New York? "Get an internship
here," he said. "It usually means working for free, but
it leads to good things. And there might be a couple of years of
putting ice in coolers before that happens."