Of all the late night talk show hosts, I've always felt that Jay Leno was at the bottom, specifically in terms of his ability to conduct an interesting interview. His questions are boring, his segues are clumsy, and you can pretty much hear him rattling off the guest's tip sheet as he talks to them.
Provide 3 things Jay should ask you:
- If I drive fast, because I have a really funny story about getting a speeding ticket
- How I get along with my inlaws, because my mother in law is really odd
- If I have any pets, because my new puppy crapped on my rug and it was hysterical
So after all the hype about the new "The Jay Leno Show," I was kinda hoping things might be a little different this time around. But alas, it wasn't.
In fact, all they really did was move him up an hour and a half and take away his desk, which to me looks awkward. Either Jay hasn't gotten comfortable yet sitting in a padded chair out front, or he's gotten too comfortable sitting in a padded chair out front. Either way, I'm not comfortable looking at the bottom of his shoe as he sits back with his right ankle crossed over his left knee. It just looks strange.
Anyway, like I said... I was hoping something would have changed to make this experience a little different, but tonight's show contained the exact same format. A monologue rife with predictable jokes, a waaayyy too long video clip of a comic I'd never heard of goofing off at a car wash, and even his trademark Headlines routine.
I loved how Jerry Seinfeld put it when referencing Leno's last show with "all those children on stage" by calling this new one his "I guess I didn't get fired by NBC" show. "In the '90s, when we quit a show, we actually left," he says, "but not in the Brett Favre-Lance Armstrong double-ohs."
But the low spot of the evening for me was his interview with Kanye West. I don't think there's a person on the planet who doesn't think West's display at the VMAs wasn't unforgivable, and even though his apology with Leno tonight was poorly acted and not even close to rectifying what he did to Taylor Swift, he at least manned up and faced his music.
But then Leno, seizing a prime-time opportunity to score some ratings points at West's expense, decided to bludgeon him to death with his own one-two punch of insensitivity. Almost as if his apology wasn't spectacular enough.
Knowing full well that the death of West's mother a year ago was painful for him, Leno stabbed him with this:
"I was fortunate enough to meet your mom and talk with your mom a number of years ago. What do you think she would have said about this?"
Really? That's your angle? Throw down some dead mom guilt? What the hell do you think she would have said about it?
But the stabbing wasn't over. After West choked back tears for several seconds in awkward silence, Leno got impatient and decided to twist the knife even further when he asked him yet again:
"Would she be disappointed in this? Would she give you a lecture?"
Anyway, that's my review of The Jay Leno Show. I wasn't a huge fan before, but at least there was always some drama show in this time slot to fall back on in the past. Now I'm just stuck with David Caruso on CBS.
That's a tough call.