Omaha paper hires ex-Leno writer as fulltime humor columnist

Omaha World-Herald
Omaha native Brad Dickson, who worked for Jay Leno for about 15 years, has been writing a weekly sports column for the Omaha World-Herald. “Beginning this week, Dickson will expand his wisecracking to all types of current events from the world of news, sports and popular culture,” writes executive editor Mike Reilly. “Breaking Brad” debuts today.

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  • Dan Mitchell

    Ben, I can’t tell what you’re saying here. Are you being sarcastic, or do you really believe that this drivel constitutes a “laff-riot?” Do you really think such unremitting terribleness helps create “variety and depth?” And do you really think it’s better to have Dickson, a TV writer, writing stuff in his sleep than to hire a statehouse reporter, or even a talented columnist? Does the National Society of Newspaper Columnists really endorse turning newspaper columns space to bad Leno gag-writers? Do you really think that the decision to run this painfully unfunny, hackneyed material was a bold move by a freethinking editor, as opposed to a clueless move by a desperate editor?

    You saw, right, where he wrote, “Looters in Egypt stole two King Tut statues. I thought I saw one of the King Tuts, but it turned out to be Mick Jagger at the Grammys”? Right? You saw that? It’s quite typical. You’re endorsing the idea that a local newspaper that has laid off editorial staffers in droves is paying for stuff like that to appear in its pages?

    Of course, if you’re being sarcastic, you may ignore these questions. But you might consider that your joke didn’t go over. Which seems to be going around.

  • Ben Pollock

    Readers flee the increasingly single-note newspapers of the 21st century. Variety and depth made newspapers competitive with each new medium, talkies, radio, TV.

    Until now, with panicking owners. Critics, cartoonists and columnists are either canned — along with reporters and editors — or replaced by the small pool of syndicated generalists, whose work by definition lies in defined borders to be marketable.

    Best of luck to the Omaha World-Herald and Brad Dickson. On the way to Brad’s laff-riot, print and pixel readers will chance upon local-to-global reporting.

    – Ben Pollock, president, National Society of Newspaper Columnists,

  • Dan Mitchell

    This is unbelievably, appallingly, shockingly bad. The opposite of funny, and even more the opposite of useful, especially in newspaper terms. I wonder: how many editorial staffers has the World-Herald laid off recently? Is it better to hire a statehouse reporter, or so have someone writing stuff like (and keep in mind that Dickson *actually wrote this*): “Looters in Egypt stole two King Tut statues. I thought I saw one of the King Tuts, but it turned out to be Mick Jagger at the Grammys”?