Jay LenoLatest News and Opinion
Posted Friday 8/10/18 at 6:01AM EDT
Jay Leno appears quite comfortable being the "timeless, deathless supervillain of the late-night-talk-show universe"
On Marc Maron's WTF podcast this week, the former Tonight Show recalled his late-night wars with David Letterman, Conan O'Brien and Jimmy Kimmel -- whom he reconciled with last year. The interview is notable in that Maron is a Conan ally, having been a regular on Conan's talk shows since 1994. As Rob Harvilla notes, "both of Leno’s major Tonight Show transgressions are hilarious to even contemplate now. The context is collapsing. The Conan debacle is less than a decade old but feels positively ancient: You boys were arguing about time slots? And comprehending his original sin—beating out Letterman as (Johnny) Carson’s successor in ’92—depends on your ability to still view the two candidates as different species." Harvilla adds: "The whole Maron interview is spectacular ... Maron’s goal is to get his guest to express regret, to apologize, to grovel at the feet of his many haters, from Howard Stern to Conan himself. But Leno doesn’t need, or at least doesn’t want, a redemption narrative. 'Who do you tackle? The guy with the ball,' he explains, affable as ever in reliving all that criticism and outright enmity. 'The quarterback. And to me, The Tonight Show was the ball.' In the end, (Leno) was merely a victim of his outrageous success. And so were we." ALSO: Leno is tired of complaints over political correctness: "This is why I don't bitch about political correctness, because to me, times change. Change with the times or die."
Posted Thursday 7/26/18 at 10:37PM EDT
Jay Leno thinks Roseanne Barr is "really troubled," says Sacha Baron Cohen's new show is "mean"
Source: ET Canada
“I’ve known Roseanne for 30 years,” Leno told ET Canada, which asked about her Roseanne firing over a racist tweet. “I don’t like to denigrate other comics. I mean, obviously there’s a problem there and it’s mental. I think she’s really troubled. You know, I don’t know if I feel sorry.” As for Cohen's Who Is America?, Leno says: "It just seems mean. I mean, some of those people just seem like nice people that got misled." He also clarified: "I mean, obviously he exposed some real creepy, awful people...(but) to trick them into saying (certain things), it makes some people feel empathy for them, which, to me, backfires.”
Posted Friday 6/29/18 at 5:15PM EDT
Jay Leno's former Tonight Show announcer pranked White House into getting President Trump to call him
John Melendez, who became famous as Howard Stern sidekick "Stuttering John," got the president to call him back from Air Force One after posing as New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez. Melendez played the prank call on his podcast. The screw-up has left the White House scrambling to figure out how Trump ended up placing the call, especially since his legislative team tried to kill the call in advance after learning that the U.S. senator wasn't trying to reach the president. "Stuttering John" was a prominent part of The Howard Stern Show for 16 years, famous for his ambush celebrity interviews. In 2003, he competed on the ABC reality show I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!, which led to a guest spot on The Tonight Show. Based on that appearance, Leno hired Melendez as his announcer in 2004, which angered Stern and resulted in a years-long feud between the shock jock and Leno. Melendez worked for Leno until his Tonight Show ended in 2014.
Posted Friday 5/18/18 at 11:54PM EDT
Why Cheers still matters 25 years after its series finale
Cheers ended its 11-season run on May 20, 1993 with 93.5 million Americans watching, the second highest-rated TV series finale of all time after M*A*S*H. "For all its highs and lows, Cheers represents a pinnacle of American pop culture, culminating in a record-breaking finale that caught the attention of millions of viewers," says Tyler Coates. "Twenty-five years after its final episode, Cheers remains one of the great American sitcoms." Coates visited the Cheers bar in Boston not that long ago, and says of the experience: "Being there was a reminder that TV is ultimately important; it’s one thing that can unite us all when we’re at our most divided, and the best TV show can appeal to everyone subtly enough that the audience might not actually realize how much they have in common with the others who watch it. Many years later, after all, we are still thinking about Cheers because it's still so present in the TV we consume today—and because it's nice to think about the distant past, relatively less fraught than our present, and ignore the problems of the world that didn't seep into the entertainment we enjoyed."
- Creators Glen and Les Charles and James Burrows look back at the series finale and the potential of a revival
- Cheers had one of the greatest closing scenes in TV history
- Here are nine essential episodes for getting caught up on Cheers
- May 20 is also the 25th anniversary of the Cheers cast getting wasted live on Jay Leno's Tonight Show from Boston
- At the time, Leno called the infamous live episode "a huge mistake. But that's OK. You win some and lose some"
Posted Wednesday 4/11/18 at 1:11PM EDT
Iconic Comedy Store owner Mitzi Shore, the "godmother of comedy" in Los Angeles, dies at 87
Source: Los Angeles Times
David Letterman babysat her children, Jay Leno slept on her club's back stairs and Jim Carrey tended bar for her. Shore influenced the careers of everybody from Robin Williams to Garry Shandling, Roseanne Barr, Jimmie Walker, Bob Saget and, of course, Letterman, Leno and Carrey. In fact, Carrey's Showtime series I'm Dying Up Here is inspired by his Comedy Store past, with Melissa Leo essentially playing Mitzi Shore. The Comedy Store released a statement saying Shore, who died after battling Parkinson's Disease, "was an extraordinary businesswoman and decades ahead of her time who cultivated and celebrated the artistry of stand-up comedy. She was also a loving mother, not only to her own four children, but to the myriad of comedians who adored her. She leaves behind an indelible mark and legacy and has helped change the face of comedy. We will all miss her dearly." The Comedy Store was her fifth child. She was, according to Los Angeles Times' Paul Brownfield, "all-powerful, during a remarkably fertile time for stand-up comedy — the 1970s and early '80s — when many of today's comedy stars showed up in L.A. to go onstage at the only place that mattered."
- Son Pauly Shore, Marc Maron, Whitney Cummings pay tribute to Mitzi Shore on Twitter
- The Comedy Store released a star-studded "Thank you Mitzi" video just three days ago
- Kathy Griffin: "Mitzi Shore was a pioneer who gave more comics their start than I can count...I did my first legit comedy gig at the Store"
- Watch David Letterman's The Comedy Store 15-year reunion Top 10 list
- Pauly Shore tweeted his mom's final days -- he took her for her final visit to The Comedy Store on Monday
# TOPICS: Mitzi Shore, Showtime, I’m Dying Up Here, David Letterman, Garry Shandling , Jay Leno, Jim Carrey, Kathy Griffin, Marc Maron, Pauly Shore, Whitney Cummings, The Comedy Store, Obits, Stand-Up Comedy
Posted Thursday 3/22/18 at 1:53PM EDT
Jay Leno mocks sexual harassers Matt Lauer, Kevin Spacey and Charlie Rose in surprise Tonight Show return
“How about Charlie Rose, walking around naked in front of interns," said Leno, filling in briefly for Jimmy Fallon. "When did newsmen start behaving like this? I don’t remember Walter Cronkite prancing around in front of Margaret Thatcher like, ‘Take a look at this, Margaret.'”
Posted Wednesday 1/10/18 at 6:16PM EST
Jay Leno says the trouble with late-night nowadays is “it’s all depressing Trump stuff”
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
“And they all do a great job,” the former Tonight Show host tells The Hollywood Reporter. “Seth Meyers is a great writer; Jimmy Kimmel” — whom he made peace with last year — “does a good job; Jimmy Fallon does a great job. I like Stephen Colbert, Trevor Noah (on Comedy Central) and Samantha Bee (on TBS). The trouble is that there's such negativity now. When I did the show, Bush was dumb and Clinton was horny and it was human problems. Now it's all anti-women, anti-LGBT, anti-Muslim, anti-Mexican, anti-Salvadorian; it's such a negative thing. God bless all the late-night hosts, they make it funny, but ultimately, it's depressing. You don't really watch late-night TV to get away from reality anymore; now it's more in your face. You laugh but then you go to bed going, ‘Oh man, the world is really pretty rough.’ And it's not, it's one man that causes all these problems!” When asked if he would be willing to do a talk show-like series like David Letterman is doing for Netflix, Leno says, "not really. I like what I'm doing. To me, I like talking to regular people and seeing what I can draw out of them. I'm sure Dave will be excellent, he always does a good show."
Posted Thursday 12/21/17 at 10:23PM EST
Late-night talk shows are “the last bastion of the patriarchy”
“Late-night talk shows remain firmly in the grip of the patriarchy,” says Aaron Barnhart, who notes that the last time a woman headlined a network late-night show was in 2001. Barnhart says he "added up the combined tenures of every female host in the history of late-night talk shows and got a total of 14 years... Jimmy Kimmel Live will mark 15 years next month.” The lack of women in late-night, he adds, “means something at a time when many are seeking to change the conversation about women in our culture. What better way than to have women leading the conversation?”
# TOPICS: Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Charlie Rose, Chelsea Handler, David Letterman, Jack Paar, Jay Leno, Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel, Joan Rivers, Johnny Carson, Stephen Colbert, Tavis Smiley, Late Night, Women and TV
Posted Tuesday 12/19/17 at 2:48PM EST
Jay Leno was spotted in San Francisco driving an upside-down Camaro
For Jay Leno’s Garage, Leno drove around San Francisco over the weekend in a 1990 Ford Fesitva with a ’99 Camaro body mounted on it upside down.
Posted Friday 12/01/17 at 5:37AM EST
Spike TV to air an I Am Sam Kinison documentary
The documentary on the late comedian is set to air on Dec. 19, featuring interviews with Jay Leno, Bob Saget, Bill Burr and Kinison’s relatives.
Posted Friday 10/20/17 at 11:40PM EDT
A Very Pentatonix Christmas is returning to NBC
Jay Leno and 13-year-old America’s Got Talent winner Darci Lynne Farmer will be part of this year’s holiday special starring the Grammy Award-winning a capella vocal artists.
Posted Friday 10/20/17 at 1:55PM EDT
Jay Leno pays tribute to David Letterman: “There was no animosity there”
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
“The one thing about Dave was, even when he was mean to me, it was funny, and that's all that matters,” Leno says in a Hollywood Reporter tribute to his former friend/late-night rival, who is being honored this weekend with the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. “I haven't spoken to Dave recently,” the former Tonight Show host adds. “He can be a quirky character. It's just Dave being Dave. When I see him with the beard, I smile because other people go, ‘Why does Dave have that beard? He looks creepy.’ That's just his sense of humor. But I'm thrilled that Dave is getting the Mark Twain award.” ALSO: Watch more than eight hours of Letterman interviewing Leno.
Posted Thursday 9/07/17 at 3:13PM EDT
CBS will celebrate The Carol Burnett Show’s 50th anniversary with a star-studded 2-hour special
The Carol Burnett 50th Anniversary Special, airing on Dec. 3 will film on Stage 33 of CBS Television City, the show’s original soundstage. Burnett will reminisce with original cast members Vicki Lawrence and Lyle Waggoner. She’ll also be joined by Jim Carrey, Jay Leno, Stephen Colbert, Jane Lynch, Bernadette Peters, Martin Short, Kristin Chenoweth and others.
# TOPICS: CBS, The Carol Burnett 50th Anniversary Special, The Carol Burnett Show, Bernadette Peters, Carol Burnett, Jane Lynch, Jay Leno, Jim Carrey, Kristin Chenoweth, Lyle Waggoner, Martin Short, Stephen Colbert, Vicki Lawrence, Retro TV
Posted Thursday 8/24/17 at 6:15PM EDT
Jimmy Kimmel: My feud with Jay Leno ended after he called about my new son
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
"Jay and I have made peace," Kimmel says. “After my son had his operation, he called me and he was very nice." Kimmel went on to say that “you can't argue with (Leno’s) success and his longevity. I will say, when I was in high school and college, he was one of my all-time favorite comics."