The Jay Leno Show

I’m watching this on Hulu, and am surprised how similar it is to his take on the Tonight Show.

Meaning dull as fuck and funny maybe once every hour. How the hell does he stay on TV?

Because NBC was too afraid that if they dropped him, he’d go to another network and murder them.

Or, as Tim Goodman said in one of his columns about it:

NBC hasn’t been a thinking person’s network - if you’re talking about big picture programming - in years. Many years. This is a bean-counter network that covers its embarrassing lack of vision and series development in all kinds of talk about the shifting nature of broadcast television and how you have to change the model to stay viable. Which is, of course, exactly why NBC is a fourth-place network in a four network race.

Remember, this is the same network that has allowed Heroes another chance, and shoved Chuck into next summer. I really hope the Leno show backfires on them bigtime.

Letterman has always been better.

But he’s not doing his interviews from behind a desk!

I gave it a chance given how high the stakes were, got to the car wash bit and changed the channel.

I heard he might be doing a Top Gear style segment where he has celebrities drive around a small track. Seen any of that yet?

He’s doing headlines! That’s always been funny.
That is, until he opens his stupid mouth.

That reminded me a lot of the episode of The Larry Sanders Show where in an effort to shake up the show to revive ratings they took away Larry’s desk and replaced them with two puffy chairs. Leno last night looked about as uncomfortable as Sanders did in that ep.

I watched last night out of curiosity and was really startled at just how little they seem to have bothered. It really was the Tonight Show given a lick of paint and shoved forward 90 minutes. The laziness and lack of imagination is absolutely shocking. It deserves to fail.

Struck me exactly the same way – he came out, did his usual shake-hands-with-the-audience thing, and dove right into his monologue; there was nothing in his delivery or rhythm that suggested anything new.

Completely lacking in any excitement, first-night jitters, or really any sense of anticipation whatsoever.

Still, I’ll leave it programmed into the DVR for a few days at least, just to skim through it to see if they do anything interesting.

Seriously, what were you guys expecting? Leno personifies American middlebrow humor at its most bland, rote, and predictable. When has he been anything other than an incredibly well-paid, self-satisfied, unfunny hack?

I could see tuning in hoping for a train wreck, maybe. Too bad it disappointed on that front.

I’m an optimist at heart, I guess – since it was the first night, I figured they’d try to do at least something remarkable. But, they stressed “Comfort TV! Exactly the same as always!” instead.

Read his interview with Rolling Stone. He is an awesome guy. He still does over a hundred stand up shows a year. He spends none of the money he gets from NBC, and is a very humble guy to boot.

That doesn’t make his show good.

And are you really sure about that? He has quite an extensive car collection that isn’t by any means cheap.

Unless he lies in the article (which isn’t online) he states that he only uses the money from his stand up.

Hell, you do 150 stand up shows a year, 20k-200k a pop depending on the venue? That is a lot of moolah.

Carolla has talked about it a number of times as well - he’s never spent a penny that NBC has given him, and only makes money from his standup/speaking apperances.

Funny/unfunny he’s a super classy guy.

How does not spending the money you earn make you classy?

Dude, he’s not pulling down $20K a pop. No way.

He gives a weekly stand-up show at the comedy club in Hermosa Beach and there is absolutely no way he’s making $20,000 a show. You’d need to expand the seating by several magnitudes to justify $20K a night. It’s a small club.

They have little Jimmy Norton on tonight for a segment. Being a huge fan of his, I’ll give the show one last shot before I write it off for good, but last night’s hamfisted Kanye schtick was predictable.

I get a definite Carson feel watching Leno and have for several years. Funny and original with good skits and other bits. Then it all just gets tired and the jokes become skewed to those who are ancient. In addition, they are telgraphed.

AS a human being, he is probably exemplary, but as far as a nightly host, I ahve grown weary of him. Although I can no longer stay up for Letterman, I always preferred his sarcasm and schtick.

Also, I don’t like that NBC is basically giving up on mature dramas that would have aired in that time slot…not that there have been a whole helluva a lot woth watching, but now there definitely will not be any.

Mostly I’ve like Leno over the years. Letterman got old for me a long time ago - the other competitors are hit and miss, I’m not a big Conan fan.

Not to say I watched Leno all that often, but once in a while.

So I watched part of last night’s show. It was weak, in my opinion.

Leno felt out of his element.

He tried to maybe force the monologue a bit - as if he had to catch up on all the stuff that happened while he was out.

Both skits I saw were odd. Not very funny, and unnecessarily crude in bits. Some uncomfortable gay humor with Kevin, and some crude hose-waving in the car wash bit. Not really right for middle America at 9/10, and not particularly funny either.

I’m hoping it was just some kind of first-night jitters and/or sloppy writing, and that he finds his groove (and, frankly, cleans things up a bit). We’ll see…