I decided to watch Jay Leno’s first prime time show on NBC recently to see if it was worth watching. Overall, I was disappointed.
The introduction of the show held some promise. His musical director Kevin Eubanks came up with a somewhat more stylish theme that is less frantic than what they used on Tonight.
Jay opened the show with his usual monologue making fun of the current news. It included the familiar cutaways such as Leno confronting himself in a “reality show” spoof. Nothing new or exciting there.
Then he introduced the first “comedy” routine about a musical car wash. It was not funny. Rather, it was very lame and far too long.
Next he brought out his first guest: Jerry Seinfeld. I don’t know why, but I have never found him to be amusing. And his appearance with Leno was no different. Seinfeld joked about Jay’s inability to book Oprah for his opening show bragging that he knew her and could book her. Then he had her appear in a descending monitor where she and Seinfeld carried on a conversation while ignoring Jay. Nothing funny there.
Finally we saw a spark of the old Leno. Using clips of the President’s recent TV interview, Leno imposed his own questions resulting in some funny bits. The best was when Jay ask Obama if he liked the show and received a clearly negative response. Jay then asked the president how his romance with his wife was progressing and Obama’s answer was a request that people send in suggestions.
His “musical” spot was a total waste of time. I really have little to say about that act, other than the fact that two foul-mouthed rappers and a long-legged hip hop diva in an ugly hat are just not my idea of entertainment. Kanye West was simply not believable in his tearful condemnation of himself for causing hurt to Taylor Swift on a recent awards show.
Finally, Jay did his “headlines” bit, which was mildly amusing.
So when 10 p.m. comes around each night, I will check my preferred TV channels, Discover, Travel, National Geographic and NPR. Or I will tune into the local news. If it is a slow news day, or if I have already seen the programs on the other channels (they do repeat their programs often) I might tune in NBC to see what Jay has going that night. Or I might just turn off the TV and read a book.
The great thing about reading is the unlimited choice of material available. That is especially true when you have your own private library. I do not expect there will be many nights when Leno wins out over my current read. Sorry Jay!
Frank Gillispie is founder of The Madison County Journal. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. His website can be accessed at http://frankgillispie.tripod.com/