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The head writer of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon is leaving the NBC late night series.
Rebecca Drysdale wrote in a Facebook post (as reported by the Chicago Sun-Times) that the decision to leave was mutual — and she also does not want to write more comedy bits about President Trump.
“They made it clear that I was not a good fit for the show, and I did not disagree,” Drysdale wrote, per the Sun-Times. “I wish it had gone differently and I had been able to be what they needed but that is not how it shook out.”
Drysdale, a veteran of Key and Peele and FX’s Baskets, joined The Tonight Show in April to take over for former head writer Nedaa Sweiss. (Earlier this week, NBC announced Sweiss would return to the show as an interim co-showrunner alongside the recently promoted Jamie Granet-Bederman.)
In her Facebook post, Drysdale wrote about her desire to get out of the Trump comedy business. At Tonight and on other jobs she’s had in recent years, “the project of 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.”
She added, “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.”
Drysdale’s exit is the latest in a series of behind-the-scenes changes at The Tonight Show. Granet-Bederman earlier this week was upped to showrunner of the series, replacing Gavin Purcell — who will return to an overall deal at Universal TV. Purcell had been in the post for about a year, taking over from NBC News veteran Jim Bell when he left both the show and NBCUniversal in late 2019. At the same time, Fallon also signed an extension of his deal to remain with the show past 2021.
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