Defend The Indefensible: Jay Leno

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I heard the line about Leno being infinitely funnier in the 80s so often that I checked out his Letterman appearances on YouTube, and damn if they weren't basically him doing a sliiiiiiightly edgier version of his Tonight Show monologues with Letterman in the role of Kevin Eubanks. And his doritos ads make him seem even more punchable than he does on late night.

If you know of ANYTHING ACTUALLY FUNNY leno has ever said or done, please post it here.

da croupier, Tuesday, 12 January 2010 00:36 (nine years ago) Permalink

your mom

super sexy psycho fantasy world (uh oh I'm having a fantasy), Tuesday, 12 January 2010 00:37 (nine years ago) Permalink

i only wish he'd be outed as a necrophiliac

da croupier, Tuesday, 12 January 2010 00:39 (nine years ago) Permalink

Jay Leno outed as necrophiliac

wmlynch, Tuesday, 12 January 2010 00:47 (nine years ago) Permalink

loooooool

da croupier, Tuesday, 12 January 2010 00:48 (nine years ago) Permalink

i fuck with "headlines"

touch me i'm acoleuthic (Whiney G. Weingarten), Tuesday, 12 January 2010 01:05 (nine years ago) Permalink

i mean, come on

http://j-walkblog.com/images/jlheadlines.jpg

touch me i'm acoleuthic (Whiney G. Weingarten), Tuesday, 12 January 2010 01:07 (nine years ago) Permalink

gold! yeah i fucked with headlines for a couple years after dave left but getting the timing down was a pain in the ass

Sit 'N Creep (tremendoid), Tuesday, 12 January 2010 01:09 (nine years ago) Permalink

Jay Leno, GREAT ACT-OR:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bbwZs1gTkQc

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 12 January 2010 01:10 (nine years ago) Permalink

otm about headlines, entertaining in the same way something like lamebook.com is

iatee, Tuesday, 12 January 2010 01:11 (nine years ago) Permalink

then dave stole it and it wasn't even as good! he always seems kind of embarrassed

Sit 'N Creep (tremendoid), Tuesday, 12 January 2010 01:15 (nine years ago) Permalink

i mean, but then, to be totally fair, conan's deflating of headlines is even funnier

touch me i'm acoleuthic (Whiney G. Weingarten), Tuesday, 12 January 2010 01:18 (nine years ago) Permalink

^^yes

Hoisin Murphy (jaymc), Tuesday, 12 January 2010 01:59 (nine years ago) Permalink

Leno is almost never funny. He is pleasant, unthreatening, comfortable, and friendly, but not funny.

Daniel, Esq., Tuesday, 12 January 2010 02:13 (nine years ago) Permalink

he's actually really easy to defend if you've ever seen him on top gear or heard him doing car related podcasts - just a really likeable, awesome-seeming dude who is probably very cynical about his work (and his show is dreadful, make no mistake). i mean, he owns millions of dollars in cars, i would act like an asshole on tv for that

yakko warner (cankles), Wednesday, 13 January 2010 19:51 (nine years ago) Permalink

headlines are funny but it's the ultimate filler. if you're reasonably well-known, you get fans sending them in, pick the best ones, done. the fact that they are the only consistently funny thing on the show says it all.

Tracer Hand, Wednesday, 13 January 2010 20:00 (nine years ago) Permalink

he's actually really easy to defend if you've ever seen him on top gear or heard him doing car related podcasts - just a really likeable, awesome-seeming dude

He's a regular at the Concours d'Elegance in Pebble Beach every August, and friends of the family who've met him say pretty much the same thing.

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 13 January 2010 20:09 (nine years ago) Permalink

otm about headlines, entertaining in the same way something like lamebook.com is

ehhh... kind of.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HC1d8nQ_z9I

I did lol @ "It's not gay, it's European."

kenan, Wednesday, 13 January 2010 21:09 (nine years ago) Permalink

I haven't watched the clip, but that sounds like a steal from a Seinfeld episode (the man-purse).

nickn, Wednesday, 13 January 2010 21:30 (nine years ago) Permalink

It was the text of the ad, so it wasn't even a written joke. Just a funny classified ad for a watch.

kenan, Wednesday, 13 January 2010 21:31 (nine years ago) Permalink

So yeah, Tracer OTM, that stuff literally writes itself.

kenan, Wednesday, 13 January 2010 21:32 (nine years ago) Permalink

I don't have actual hard evidence, but i do know that Bill Hicks has him saying "i used to be funny" during a bit which concludes with him shooting himself in the head while interviewing the actor who played Joey in Blossom, his splattered brains forming the NBC peacock on the backdrop behind him.

zvookster, Wednesday, 13 January 2010 22:27 (nine years ago) Permalink

Cruelest, funniest Leno impression ever.

kenan, Wednesday, 13 January 2010 22:51 (nine years ago) Permalink

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hbUlvlHF9Ys

kenan, Wednesday, 13 January 2010 22:52 (nine years ago) Permalink

He's a regular at the Concours d'Elegance in Pebble Beach every August, and friends of the family who've met him say pretty much the same thing.

I've talked with him twice - once at one of the Concours and then during a tour of his garage complex in Burbank. It's all true... he's a super-affable guy who's still basically the same nerd he's always been. He's surprisingly normal for a comedian. Are there any who aren't depressed, in AA, on drugs, or just creepy off-stage? He's not a comedy genius (nor do I believe he ever was) but he's exceptionally gifted at working a crowd, putting guests at ease, and keeping things moving along. The Tonight Show isn't SNL. Plus the guy has a hell of a work ethic - that cliche about half-the-job is just showing up on time really seems to apply to him.

Carson had the same qualities but had a knack for making anything and anyone seem interesting. I don't think Leno could ever interview someone like Carl Sagan successfully.

Elvis Telecom, Wednesday, 13 January 2010 22:54 (nine years ago) Permalink

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UoONWAgXddg

yakko warner (cankles), Thursday, 14 January 2010 03:08 (nine years ago) Permalink

Leno on Letterman, '88 (you don't need more than a minute for the flavor):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bBRCXbk7EIA&feature=related

and Chris Elliott doing Leno around the same time:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KNmCBsQPEmA

Some loltastic outfits there.

Rage, Resentment, Spleen (Dr Morbius), Saturday, 16 January 2010 15:51 (nine years ago) Permalink

This one's more interesting for Leno using an L-Shaped Room reference:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PdCD81GmpME&feature=related

He IS a decent standup here.

Rage, Resentment, Spleen (Dr Morbius), Saturday, 16 January 2010 15:57 (nine years ago) Permalink

also "I don't have your kind of money, I'm a working comic."

Rage, Resentment, Spleen (Dr Morbius), Saturday, 16 January 2010 16:00 (nine years ago) Permalink

Lol at Dave's "We have an office full of love slaves"...

ô_o (Nicole), Saturday, 16 January 2010 16:46 (nine years ago) Permalink

then dave stole it and it wasn't even as good!

sorry dave! still wasnt as good (on the new show). in the 80's i mainly got to watch letterman on friday. kinda miss the top ten list being a big deal

Sit 'N Creep (tremendoid), Thursday, 21 January 2010 09:04 (nine years ago) Permalink

defending Leno with headlines is pretty iffy, it's not like he finds the headlines, or does anything with his presentation of them that makes then funny or funnier

some dude, Thursday, 21 January 2010 09:42 (nine years ago) Permalink

haha i was going to say that originally but defending the dude is already enough of a reach why not let him have it?
BECAUSE HE STOLE IT

Sit 'N Creep (tremendoid), Thursday, 21 January 2010 09:47 (nine years ago) Permalink

I should mention at some point that I got to meet Jay Leno on 2 Jan 1998, just a day after Michigan stomped Washington State in the Rose Bowl that yeah. My buddy Blair & I were in the audience, having flown out there to watch the game. We were in the front row and still wearing Michigan gear when we got called up onstage to talk to Jay. He found out that we were both engineering students, and make a few cracks about trains. Seeing the show live reminded me of why I never, ever watched it.

We did get a Polaroid with him, and yes, he was wearing his full-body denim gear. If you children are lucky, I'll be able to find a copy of the photo I scanned in.

I still regret losing my LNwCoB t-shirt I bought that day in one of the many moves since then.

kingfish, Thursday, 21 January 2010 10:05 (nine years ago) Permalink

My souvenir from my first trip to NYC at age 13 was a "Late Night with David Letterman" sweatshirt. It is beloved enough that I left it at my grandmother's house, and there it shall remain, along with all my childhood toys, until the day when all the grandkids will sadly have to put these things in our own grown-up closets.

kenan, Thursday, 21 January 2010 10:19 (nine years ago) Permalink

On my first trip to NYC at age 10, my dad spotted Letterman stage manager Biff Henderson walking down Broadway and harangued him into posing for a photo with us.

Hoisin Murphy (jaymc), Thursday, 21 January 2010 13:55 (nine years ago) Permalink

I am pretty sure Steve Allen did funny headlines in the '50s.

Johnny Carson also 'stole' like crazy from Allen bits, and Letterman admits to doing so. It's just TV.

Rage, Resentment, Spleen (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 21 January 2010 14:29 (nine years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YrbkkQ_oCnQ

Matt Armstrong, Tuesday, 15 February 2011 23:12 (eight years ago) Permalink

taradublinrocks/Tara Dublin. Pretty much everything. #ThingsThatAreFunnierThanLeno

lol

Daniel, Esq., Wednesday, 16 February 2011 21:53 (eight years ago) Permalink

Patton Oswalt likes to swear up and down that Leno was the most talented comic of his generation before he sold out.

Princess TamTam, Wednesday, 16 February 2011 22:20 (eight years ago) Permalink

i like patton oswalt, and i've heard him say that. but i just can't believe it. leno hasn't been funny in so long i can't imagine a time where he was. you remember him in that horrendous action movie (maybe mid-80s)? we're talking about a long period of lameness.

Daniel, Esq., Wednesday, 16 February 2011 22:21 (eight years ago) Permalink

The only old old Leno footage I've seen is from tv, so I don't know what his club act was like in the early years, but I can't imagine he was ever that terribly funny. The only difference I could think of is that he used to be a single poor guy and now he's a wealthy married guy.

Johnny Fever, Wednesday, 16 February 2011 22:53 (eight years ago) Permalink

yeah. his delivery is hamfisted and terrible. i can't see how "selling-out" changes that one way or the other.

the fact that his joeks are lame doesn't help his delivery, tho, i must admit.

Daniel, Esq., Wednesday, 16 February 2011 22:56 (eight years ago) Permalink

a father of some guys i went to college with was one of leno's writers. i met him once. he was about as corny as leno. it's not like they've got a hot staff of hilarious writers being kept down by leno. this is the aesthetic they are purposely cultivating. (lots of dad jokes)

Mordy, Wednesday, 16 February 2011 22:58 (eight years ago) Permalink

I linked this upthread but what the hey:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bbwZs1gTkQc

1978!

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 16 February 2011 22:58 (eight years ago) Permalink

Get down tonight.

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 16 February 2011 23:03 (eight years ago) Permalink

that 1975 routine is painfully unfunny.

Daniel, Esq., Wednesday, 16 February 2011 23:04 (eight years ago) Permalink

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4guJZcwAXT4

an '86 "belts through his stand-up routine while letterman laughs" couch appearance, with a rather ironic bit where he mocks Lorne Greene for doing Alpo ads for 15 years. "How many Mercedes can the guy drive, huh?"

da croupier, Friday, 7 February 2014 04:06 (five years ago) Permalink

http://img2-2.timeinc.net/ew/covergallery/img/1992/apr171992_114_lg.jpg

they all laughed - but who's laughing now?

balls, Friday, 7 February 2014 04:09 (five years ago) Permalink

i'm pretty sure croup used some Leno jokes on me at the end of that Mekons show 3 years ago

images of war violence and historical smoking (Dr Morbius), Friday, 7 February 2014 04:11 (five years ago) Permalink

tmi

balls, Friday, 7 February 2014 04:12 (five years ago) Permalink

weird to name-drop me when i'm right here

da croupier, Friday, 7 February 2014 04:14 (five years ago) Permalink

ok, i'm going up the fire ladder like Dennis Miller

images of war violence and historical smoking (Dr Morbius), Friday, 7 February 2014 04:16 (five years ago) Permalink

he's not very funny but he's crying on tv right now and talking about how other people made him look smarter than he is and how his family died

we slowly invented brains (La Lechera), Friday, 7 February 2014 05:31 (five years ago) Permalink

Dude gave a shout out to unions, so points for that.

da croupier, Friday, 7 February 2014 08:33 (five years ago) Permalink

i can't get past his outfit in that last video

his family died?

espring (amateurist), Friday, 7 February 2014 09:08 (five years ago) Permalink

Yeah in his farewell he was like "my mom died, then my dad died, then my brother died...my whole family died" and he was crying and that was kinda sad to watch. Then Garth Brooks played and it was pretty bad.

we slowly invented brains (La Lechera), Friday, 7 February 2014 13:26 (five years ago) Permalink

He shouldn't have played "Papa Loved Mama" at that particular moment.

Eric H., Friday, 7 February 2014 13:29 (five years ago) Permalink

This gyu is som funnt!

waterbabies (waterface), Friday, 7 February 2014 16:19 (five years ago) Permalink

how long before some AARP network can slot him

NBC still owns him through September, but the word is that he's going to do something on CNN. So Morbs otm.

Johnny Fever, Friday, 7 February 2014 16:39 (five years ago) Permalink

Dude gave a shout out to unions, so points for that.

― da croupier, Friday, February 7, 2014 3:33 AM (7 hours ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

During the 1997 UPS strike he had Teamsters on practically every night, usually clumsily shoehorned into a comedy bit, but it was probably the most high-profile support they got from anyone in showbiz (or the media, for that matter).

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Friday, 7 February 2014 16:40 (five years ago) Permalink

The old Letterman bits still hold up for me, and when I was 12-13 they were hyperventilatingly hilarious. But from the first moments of his first guest-hosting gig for Carson, the crankiness and spontaneity were gone for good.

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Friday, 7 February 2014 16:46 (five years ago) Permalink

I don't think I've watched Leno since those Doritos commercials and the night Dad brought this home:

http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_kw9flncMR71qz8ui7o1_400.jpg

Bryan Fairy (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 7 February 2014 16:52 (five years ago) Permalink

When Billy Crystal brought out that somewhat arbitrary parade of stars, I figured he'd included Oprah just to spite Letterman.

Johnny Fever, Friday, 7 February 2014 16:55 (five years ago) Permalink

It was eerie how most of the tributes felt purely dutiful and devoid of enthusiasm.

da croupier, Friday, 7 February 2014 17:00 (five years ago) Permalink

Even Crystal ended his speech (which included proud memories of racial profiling and lorena bobbitt jokes - or subtle digs posing as proud memories) with something like "I promised to be the last guest. Promise kept."

da croupier, Friday, 7 February 2014 17:05 (five years ago) Permalink

The Martha Stewart one was just weird and gross.

Johnny Fever, Friday, 7 February 2014 17:08 (five years ago) Permalink

Main last-show interview:
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/jay-leno-depth-post-tonight-674139

Dylan spoke to PEOPLE (Eazy), Friday, 7 February 2014 17:10 (five years ago) Permalink

As startling/touching as his tears at the end were, the sentiment was undercut by the sense that he was trying to give a mea culpa for the ugliness of this kazillionaire clinging to his old job even after they gave it to a deserving successor (that NBC was his "family" after his own died, and that he couldn't be expected to start a new one elsewhere). Throughout the awkwardness of acknowledging the Conan period/pretending it didn't happen could be felt.

da croupier, Friday, 7 February 2014 17:10 (five years ago) Permalink

from that hollywood reporter interview: Johnny was 66 when he left. This always felt about the right age. The last time I got canned I said that it didn't really seem natural at 57 to be leaving, but 63, 64 feels about right.

actually, he said ON TV that the only person who should be hosting late night after 60 is Johnny.

http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/6d1caacad1/jay-s-2004-announcement?rel=player

da croupier, Friday, 7 February 2014 17:21 (five years ago) Permalink

Did I miss something, no more Jay Leno on late night television?

JacobSanders, Friday, 7 February 2014 18:22 (five years ago) Permalink

felt very odd to wake up this morning to a world without laughter

balls, Friday, 7 February 2014 18:29 (five years ago) Permalink

Did I miss something, no more Jay Leno on late night television?

Thursday night's show was Jay's final Tonight Show for NBC. He may wind up elsewhere, but Jimmy Fallon takes over on the 17th.

Johnny Fever, Friday, 7 February 2014 18:35 (five years ago) Permalink

That took forever! Maybe we'll get lucky and he'll have a car show or just stay off tv and play with his cars.

JacobSanders, Friday, 7 February 2014 18:45 (five years ago) Permalink

Hardly saw him at all in the last 15 years, but around 2003 he did a monologue joke on the theory that the US would divide Iraq into 3 sectors: "regular, premium, and unleaded." I though that was pretty good for Jay Leno.

images of war violence and historical smoking (Dr Morbius), Friday, 7 February 2014 18:51 (five years ago) Permalink

i wish the guy would let somebody do a documenatary on him. like in that interview when he's all "Dave says i'm insecure? how am i insecure?" Gee, Jay, keeping a "work two jobs, keep half the paychecks in the bank" mentality when both jobs get you millions a year? Hanging around a network that has always shown disdain for you despite big ratings because you're afraid to try another?

da croupier, Friday, 7 February 2014 19:03 (five years ago) Permalink

four years pass...

Flu Reviews (what I watched while sick)
COLLISION COURSE: Pat Morita and Jay Leno team up for one of the most anti-Asian racist romps since the 1940s. Leno plays a wisecracking Detroit detective who jabs Morita with endless references to Benihana, Godzilla, Honda, sushi, etc. pic.twitter.com/SHxnIy15lk

— Dennis Perrin (@DennisThePerrin) November 10, 2018

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Monday, 12 November 2018 15:44 (four months ago) Permalink

Jay Leno's interview on WTF is oddly compelling as a case study of a true mercenary. Top three moments: when Leno boldly states "if you're taking the company money, you're a company man", Leno's story at the end about watching two strippers fighting (Leno's laughter here is pure ghoul), Leno & Maron both talking about Steve Lubetkin's suicide.

I've met Leno a couple of times at car events in California (he knew my mom by name) and I couldn't really get a read on him. Maron goes easy of course because Leno's a great comedian, right? We didn't all just hallucinate that decades ago? But after listening to him for ninety minutes he walks and talks just like pure soldier-of-fortune mercenary. Go out there and kill, get paid, level up, etc. I ate at a noodle bar in Beijing with a trio of these types - former UK/US army dudes who couldn't'/didn't rotate home from Afghanistan and went somewhere in the world to collect disdain. Of course they each talked about their gun collections. I can confirm that Leno talks about his cars similarly.

Elvis Telecom, Thursday, 22 November 2018 01:48 (four months ago) Permalink

it had not even occurred to me that he was still alive

j., Thursday, 22 November 2018 01:50 (four months ago) Permalink

yeah, the WTF episode was unsettling after Marc’s genial “hey he’s a guy, whaddaya gonna do” intro, followed by 90 minutes of Leno refusing to even answer any question that didn’t have the answer “I did it to win, that is the only reason to do things” and coming off 100% as a robot sociopath

Bing The Mighty Seat (sic), Thursday, 22 November 2018 03:15 (four months ago) Permalink

three months pass...

stfu jay leno

(•̪●) (carne asada), Wednesday, 13 March 2019 14:11 (one week ago) Permalink

Not sure what this is about, but otm

but i'm there are fuckups (Karl Malone), Wednesday, 13 March 2019 14:13 (one week ago) Permalink

Yeah, probably that

Trϵϵship, Wednesday, 13 March 2019 14:20 (one week ago) Permalink

president dumb shit tweeted "something something... jay leno otm"

(•̪●) (carne asada), Wednesday, 13 March 2019 14:22 (one week ago) Permalink

Tough crowd, I tell ya [pulls at collar].

nickn, Wednesday, 13 March 2019 16:42 (one week ago) Permalink

honestly all the political stuff on the late night shows is terrible

jay leno going "have you heard about this folks?" and then mentioning something that was in the news that week was also very bad but whatevs

( ͡☉ ͜ʖ ͡☉) (jim in vancouver), Wednesday, 13 March 2019 16:45 (one week ago) Permalink

Still don't really understand what the thread revive was about, but I was amused in the linked article when Leno's one instance of utilizing metaphor was, of course, in comparing the human body to a car. I'd like to believe that using (or comprehending) anything other than car-related comparisons is completely beyond him.

Goody Rickels on the Dime (Old Lunch), Wednesday, 13 March 2019 18:25 (one week ago) Permalink

Meyers and Colbert do some incisive stuff now and then.

The guy who coasted on Monica Lewinsky jokes for 3 years can stfu tbh.

circa1916, Wednesday, 13 March 2019 18:27 (one week ago) Permalink

Eh, Leno's just spewing the same flavorless pabulum as ever. If it isn't a car, he can't get himself worked up enough to form a serviceable opinion.

Goody Rickels on the Dime (Old Lunch), Wednesday, 13 March 2019 18:35 (one week ago) Permalink

I just had a moment of intense self-satisfaction wrt coining the phrase 'macciatovellian' to describe his half-engaged Tonight Show maneuverings. Feel free to use that in your late show monologue jokes.

Goody Rickels on the Dime (Old Lunch), Wednesday, 13 March 2019 18:51 (one week ago) Permalink

dude who writes the A Closer Look segments for Seth Meyers is very good

steven, soda jerk (sic), Wednesday, 13 March 2019 18:56 (one week ago) Permalink

foolishly clicked through to the Leno piece

And I would get hate mail from both sides equally, and I went, ‘Oh that’s fabulous. That’s exactly what I want.’

actually I WANTED everyone to hate me because my jokes were bad, I think it's extremely cool actually

But when people see you as one-sided, it just makes it tough. And plus, you know, I did it when, you know, Clinton was horny and Bush was dumb. It was just a little easier. You know, now it’s all very serious.”

yes, just imagine how hard it would have been to make the blandest possible dipshitted political jokes, if the Bush administration had ever done anything serious

steven, soda jerk (sic), Wednesday, 13 March 2019 19:04 (one week ago) Permalink

trying to make a roomful of drunks laugh every night in your 20s does not necessarily develop good judgment

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 13 March 2019 19:10 (one week ago) Permalink

I would get hate mail from both sides equally, and I went, ‘Oh that’s fabulous. That’s exactly what I want.’

https://i.imgur.com/IbmIYLi.jpg

steven, soda jerk (sic), Wednesday, 13 March 2019 19:13 (one week ago) Permalink


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