Target’s loss is Jimmy Fallon’s gain.
Five years ago, Chloe Radcliffe got laid off as part of the great Target purge. The sudden career change led her to try standup comedy for the first time, which, as it turns out, she’s really good at.
After taking the local comedy scene by storm and moving to New York a little over a year ago, Radcliffe is taking the next step in her inevitable comedy world takeover by joining the writing team of The Tonight Show.
“I have no clue how they knew who I was. [The show’s producers] specifically solicited a packet from me,” she says. (In case you’re wondering, this is comedy industry-speak for a writing sample and job application.) “Then I had a video interview, because I was already back home for the holidays.”
Sitting in her mother’s kitchen, Radcliffe chatted with Jimmy Fallon himself, another experience she says was surreal.
“During my interview, Jimmy walked in and said, ‘Nice to meet you. You’re so funny!’ and I said, ‘Uh, thank you. You’re so funny!’ It still feels wild.”
They chatted for a few minutes, Fallon taking the time to say hello to her mom. Radcliffe got word this past week that she would be joining the team at 30 Rockefeller Plaza. “When Jimmy signed off, he said, ‘Nice to meet you. Say hi to mom for me!’ I told my mom, and I think it made her year.”
Radcliffe, who has been a long-time producer of the local 10,000 Laughs Festival, has been on quite a roll these past few months, including setting a new sell-out record at Minneapolis’ Comedy Corner Underground this past fall, and getting a humor piece published in the New Yorker last month. While we anxiously wait for her to become a massive superstar and forget all about her Minnesota roots, for now Radcliffe is busy figuring out where the bathrooms are in her new office and trying not to freak out in front of her co-workers.
“I oscillate between being excited out of my mind and nervous out of my mind,” she says. “Last night, I had a dream that my first day at the job was filled with hundreds of tests. It was like a final-exam dream.”