Late-Night Comedy Vet Joe Toplyn Gives Jimmy Fallon Advice For Competing Against Colbert

06/30/2014 03:37 pm ET | Updated Jun 30, 2014

After working as head writer for both Jay Leno and David Letterman, Joe Topyln is a seasoned veteran in the late-night comedy game. So how would he advise Jimmy Fallon to prepare to go head-to-head with Stephen Colbert when he assumes the "Late Show" throne next year?

During a conversation about his new book, Comedy Writing for Late-Night TV, Toplyn told HuffPost Live's Josh Zepps how he would handle the impending late-night showdown if he were working for Fallon:

I would look at taking the camera out of the studio a little bit more, for example. In the run-up for Colbert's premiere, I would bank a lot of pieces. I would shoot a lot of taped pieces, edit them very tightly so you know they're guaranteed to get laughs. That way, as soon as Stephen comes on the air, you just air those taped pieces and you've got big guns to counter all the publicity he's going to get when he shows up on the scene.

Toplyn added that he thinks Fallon will do great under the pressure, but he said the "Tonight Show" team shouldn't take Colbert's premiere lightly.

"There are things to do to prepare for this. It's like the flood's coming, the storm's coming," he said.

Check out the full HuffPost Live conversation with Joe Toplyn below.

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