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Listening In as Writers Return to Late-Night Shows

MELISSA BLOCK, Host:

Many of the 10,000 members of the Writers Guild of America returned to work yesterday after a three-month long strike.

MICHELE NORRIS, Host:

Suddenly, hosts of late night talk shows have a lot to say especially about the end of the strike itself.

Mr. JON STEWART (Host, "The Daily Show") Wait a minute - words in the prompter? Script on my desk? Vending machine upstairs out of Funyuns? The writers are back.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW "THE DAILY SHOW")

Unidentified Group: Yay.

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE)

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW "THE COLBERT REPORT")

STEPHEN COLBERT: We'll look to the really important news, folks, the writers' strike is over. I mean it.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW "THE TONIGHT SHOW")

JAY LENO: I guess the strike ended when the corporations agreed to the writers' main demand that no one ever have to write another Paris Hilton movie again, okay?

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW "LATE NIGHT WITH CONAN O'BRIEN")

CONAN O: I just want to say that personally, it's great to have them back - in fact, they wrote that.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

BLOCK: That's Conan O'Brien of "Late Night with Conan O'Brien," also Jay Leno on "The Tonight Show," Stephen Colbert on "The Colbert Report," and Jon Stewart on "The Daily Show."

NORRIS: After weeks of relying, supposedly, on their own quick wit, TV comics found themselves able to lean on the talent of teams of humor professionals.

BLOCK: They wasted no time getting back to the business at hand, (unintelligible) on the events of the day starting with politics.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW)

Unidentified Man #1: Last night's all primaries in Virginia, Maryland and the paradoxically powerless District of Columbia.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW "THE TONIGHT SHOW")

LENO: Not a good night last night for Hillary Clinton, man, she got the pantsuit beaten off of her.

I haven't seen Hillary Clinton this worried since they opened that Hooters in Chappaqua.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

LENO: Hillary Clinton continually reminds voters that she has been tested, which makes sense. You never know what Bill might have brought home. So it should be...

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

BLOCK: And baseball steroids scandal.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW "LATE NIGHT WITH CONAN O'BRIEN")

BRIEN: Earlier today, Roger Clemens testified for Congress about his alleged use of steroids and human growth hormone. Yeah. He says he didn't do it. Yeah. But there was an awkward moment when Clemens leaned on the table and it shattered.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW "THE TONIGHT SHOW")

LENO: And it went from bad to worst today for Roger Clemens. Did you see the hearings? Oh, did you see what happened today?

BLOCK: Yeah, I did.

LENO: Oh, gosh. Today, before Congress, Amy Winehouse testified she shot up with him. Oh.

BLOCK: And there were some other worthy topics.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW "LATE NIGHT WITH CONAN O'BRIEN")

BRIEN: A man in Florida was arrested for hitting the manager of a Taco Bell in the face with a bagful of tacos.

Afterwards, the Taco Bell manager said, you know, it's weird, my tacos usually don't attack me 'til I'm in the bathroom.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW "THE DAILY SHOW")

STEWART: Last night, for the first time ever, a beagle won best in show at the world's most prestigious canine festival. A decisive victory in the war on terrier.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW "THE TONIGHT SHOW")

LENO: Hey, have you seen these valentine ads for pajamagram.com where you send a lingerie to your wife or girlfriend? Have you seen them? Now, don't confuse that with pajama-grandma.com. Now, that's where Estelle Getty comes to your house with a teddy. You don't want that.

NORRIS: And those writers who put down picket signs and picked up pens. The end of strike is doubtless good news but let you be the judge whether the return of one liners on late night television is an event worth celebrating. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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