It's doubtful that an AI chatbot can be as funny as Stephen Colbert

Late-night TV shows are currently on hold due to the ongoing strike by Hollywood writers, leaving a void in entertainment. As a possible solution, some have questioned whether AI could fill in the gap. The strike was prompted by issues around not only pay but also the increasing use of AI in scriptwriting by major studios, which the Writers Guild of America (WGA) opposes.

The Writers Guild of America (WGA) has equated the implementation of AI in the screenwriting process to plagiarism, citing its potential to diminish the working standards and compensation of writers. As a result of the ongoing strike, late-night TV has been severely impacted, as the shows heavily depend on the creative input of writers to transform current events into humorous content. As a consequence, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, and The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon have all suspended their operations until the strike is resolved.

We decided to challenge ChatGPT and evaluate its ability to match the wit and humor of America’s beloved late-night hosts and their teams of writers. Within a matter of seconds, the AI chatbot generated a set of jokes, but the ultimate question remained – were they actually humorous?

Our initial task was to task ChatGPT with composing an opening monologue for Jimmy Fallon, the host of The Tonight Show, centered around the ongoing writers’ strike and the use of AI in screenwriting.

ChatGPT produced the following lines for Jimmy Fallon’s opening monologue:

“Hey there, folks! Welcome to The Tonight Show. As many of you are aware, the Writers Guild of America is on strike, and I, as a fellow union member, support their cause for equitable pay and improved working conditions.

“Without our talented writers, crafting spontaneous jokes can be quite a challenge. I mean, I’m not a machine, but if this strike drags on for too long, I might have to resort to AI-generated punchlines!…

Colbert expressed his skepticism towards the idea of relying solely on machines for comedy writing during a monologue. Although AI can generate jokes using algorithms, he questioned if they can truly deliver an original and spontaneous punchline like a human brain can.

As an example, Colbert shared his own joke, “Why did the tomato turn red? Because it saw the salad dressing!” The comedic value of the joke lies in its simplicity and corniness, which is reminiscent of the type of humor that appeals to both young and old audiences. Ultimately, it highlights the uniqueness of the human brain when it comes to humor.

As someone who regularly watches Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, I believe ChatGPT was successful in capturing Fallon’s genuine concern about the writers’ strike in its monologue. In a recent interview with Variety, Fallon had expressed that his show wouldn’t exist without his writers, and I feel that sentiment was evident in the AI’s writing.

While the “chicken crossing the playground” joke may not have been uproarious, it was on par with Fallon’s tendency to tell cheesy dad-jokes, which is a significant part of his appeal to viewers.

The question at hand is whether AI Colbert can outshine the wit of the actual Late Show host, Stephen Colbert. During Monday’s episode, Colbert’s opening monologue featured a segment regarding President Joe Biden’s announcement to run for re-election despite concerns about his age. The question is, could ChatGPT do a better job with a similar reference?

Source :

By Ryan

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *