CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article said that Bryan Tucker spoke at Back Bar at Top of the Hill. Tucker spoke in the Great Room at Top of the Hill. The story has been changed to reflect this.
UNC’s journalism school has been the starting point for many dignified professionals, but alumnus Bryan Tucker, who writes for “Saturday Night Live,” said he is far from dignified.
“While my peers wanted to delve deep into the issues, I wanted to tell jokes about my ding-a-ling,” he said.
Tucker came to the Great Room at Top of the Hill Tuesday night to give the inaugural Jeff MacNelly lecture to a sold-out crowd about how comedic writers use politics for material.
Tucker is a writing supervisor for the late-night show SNL, and he has also written sketches for the likes of Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle.
Susan King, dean of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, said the school wanted to bring someone who would give a different but equally important message as the school’s last sponsored speaker, Bloomberg News Editor-in-Chief Matthew Winkler.
“We had a strategy,” King said. “It’s a political year: How can we do two major lectures that would emphasize critical issues in election year?”
Even though Tucker said a career in journalism was not for him, he emphasized that he learned many skills in the school that helped him in his career as a comedy writer.
He said brevity and clarity — fundamentals of journalism — are crucial to comedy.