We tuned into Leno's first hour hoping that the comedian might be able to pull out a stellar performance. Instead, what we got was a slap-dash version of The Tonight Show, but with even less funny jokes.
The monologue was horrific, and included a joke about how men like to control the remote while watching TV. Thanks for that original observation, Jay. A follow up segment with Dan Finnerty of The Dan Band singing to a girl in a car wash was tremendously unfunny. This show has been in the planning stages for months, and with the world watching for his first episode, this was the best that Leno could do?
His interview with Jerry Seinfeld was the highlight of the hour, with Seinfeld firing jokes off about the show, not knowing when it was on, and how when he quit his show he really quit the show. Jay should have taken his lead. Having Oprah do a taped segment and not even once acknowledge Jay is about as close to genius as the show got.
Speaking of Oprah, Leno then trotted out Kanye West, in the midst of the brou-ha-ha concerning his bad behavior at the Video Music Awards. Unfortunately, the scandal means that this clip will be show all across the internet for the next day to hear what Kanye had to say. It was something about how his mother's death and too much touring made him act like a dick. We're saving our reaction for a different blog post.
This one concerns the quality of Jay's broadcast, and other than Seinfeld, Oprah, Jay Z, and Rhianna, it wasn't very high. Even the familiar Headlines segment at the end of the show contained far too many penis, poop, and vagina jokes to make anyone other than a 14 year-old boy and your crazy uncle Mort chuckle.
This first episode was Leno's chance to shine, when he should have gotten out his best material and the funniest segments that he's been compiling for months. Instead, the best thing about it was another comedian and an apology that he lucked into. We don't know how this experiment is going to last through the month, nonetheless another year.