A generation of aspiring stand-up comedians have worked far, far behind-the-scenes of late-night TV comedy, contributing jokes as freelancers via fax. Fax? FAX! For you kids, a fax machine sent facsimile paper copies of your paper to someone else over the phone lines. Technology.

If you were one of the lucky ones, you got your name added to the fax lists, and you, too, could submit jokes on a daily basis to Johnny Carson, David Letterman, Jay Leno, and even Saturday Night Live. Well, that's no longer the case in 2010 for freelancers to Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, because they all received this new year's mass rejection letter, which cited "WGA restrictions" for cutting them loose. Wondering what those restrictions could be, since I haven't heard anyone from Letterman's or SNL's list reporting getting a similar letter. Time to check in with the Writers Guild, I suppose.

UPDATED: Letterman apparently got rid of most of the freelancers in October?!? SNL is still OK with Weekend Update submissions if you're on the list. Leno, well, what do you think? Also, thanks to CCInsider for reminding me that the WGA did say in this Los Angeles Times story last year that they weren't happy about all of the freelancing.

Dear Late Night Faxers,

First and foremost, thank you for contributing monologue jokes to the show each day. Due to WGA restrictions, however, we are suspending the freelance joke submitting process for Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. We will no longer be sending out premises or receiving any submissions.

Please feel free to apply for monologue writing positions as they open up. Thank you again for your excellent work and have a wonderful holiday season.

Sincerely,
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon