It’s New Year’s Day. Or as Hilaria Baldwin said, “It’s New Year’s Day…No, wait a second, I mean, Es el Día de Año Nuevo.”
How I wrote it:
On Dave Letterman’s late-night shows we used to do a kind of desk piece consisting of jokes about how some topic would affect various celebrities. That’s probably why on New Year’s Day a desk piece idea popped into my head: “How Celebrities Are Celebrating the New Year.”
That led me to consider writing a joke using my Punch Line Maker #2–Link the topic to pop culture. In this case, the topic was “New Year’s Day” and the pop culture element would be some celebrity.
One celebrity who was very much in the news at the time was Alec Baldwin’s wife, Hilaria. She was being widely accused of faking her Spanish heritage and accent.
So to create a punch line, I decided to link “New Year’s Day” to an association of Hilaria Baldwin, namely “pretends to be Spanish.”
I decided that a good way to make that link would be to have Baldwin say “It’s New Year’s Day” in Spanish but be obviously pretending.
I got the Spanish translation from Google Translate. Even if the result isn’t exactly the way a real Spanish person would say it, I figured that’s okay because the whole point of the punch line is that Baldwin is only pretending to be Spanish.
To make it clear that Baldwin is pretending, I wrote the punch line so she would speak English and then awkwardly correct herself. I was tempted to have her flail around more in English, but instead followed the advice of my Joke Maximizer #1 to “Shorten as much as possible.”