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Back To Writing For Late Show Bloggers
By Brian Stelter
The return, with writers, of "The Late Show with David Letterman" on Jan. 2 will likely mean the end of LateShowWritersOnStrike.com, a blog by the show's writing staff that quickly became a popular source for strike riffs and rants.
The blog served as an outlet for jokes the writers couldn't pitch to David Letterman – and for the anger that emerged amid weeks of picketing in locations across New York City.
Eric and Justin Stangel, the normally press-shy brothers who serve as the head writers for "The Late Show," created the site after one week of picketing.
Update: 7:25 p.m.: On their blog, the Stangel brothers say the blog will continue. "You better believe we're going to bring attention to the strike as long as it lasts," Justin Stangel wrote.
The brothers said the blog allowed the writing staff to communicate the message of the strike in both serious and sarcastic ways.
Also, "We're a bunch of guys who work 12 hours a day, all year round, and all of a sudden we have nothing to do," Justin Stangel told the Los Angeles Times.
The writers also produced several videos, including one of Justin Stangel's daughter telling the producers not to "ruin Christmas." Eric Stangel and his wife had a child last week, Deadline Hollywood Daily noted.
In seven weeks, the simple five-page site has recorded over 165,000 page views. Like the television show, the blog has included recurring segments like "Monologue joke of the day." The writers have also posted faux top ten lists collected from random Web sites – examples include "Top Ten Bridal Jewelry & Wedding Party Gifts" and "Top Ten All-Time NBA Blocks Leaders (Per Game)" – and pictures of lonely "Late Show" office assistants.
The writers didn't try to hide their bitterness about the strike. In a post called "Talking to children about the writers strike," writer Steve Young pretended to explain why the guild and the studios are at odds: "Sometimes two parts of the entertainment business love each other, but have trouble getting along. The details of the argument aren't important. All you need to know is that the producers are trying to bludgeon the writers with bats, take their last few pennies, and leave them bleeding in the street."