The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (TV Series 1992–2014) Poster

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Jay is No Johnny!
ShelbyTMItchell6 September 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Nor never could be. As there is only one Carson. And one Ed McMahon and one Doc Severson. But still, Jay works his own charm and is seen as a really nice and down to earth guy. Sure he is not also Letterman nor funny as Letterman.

But Jay treats the guests at least with decency and kindness. Plus he tries to make them at ease. Unlike Letterman does. But like Johnny, Letterman has his own sense of humor. While Jay has charisma and niceness about him.

But nobody can ever top Johnny Carson nor never will! But Jay is about pretty close!
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He's back but doesn't deserve it
djroomba4 March 2010
Jay Leno does not deserve to come back to the coveted Tonight Show spot. Conan is the guy who earned the spot that he truly wanted ever since he saw Johnny's show as a kid by doing 16 years of truly influential, groundbreaking and critically applauded comedy. The level of quality and quantity of material that Conan turned out every night on Late Night was truly outstanding and in the opinion of this reviewer has not been matched by many other comedy shows and certainly not any other talk show host in history. Conan's gratitude and adulation when he finally received his dream job did not go unheard and he specifically thanked Jay Leno on no more than three significant situations: On his Late Night farewell, as a guest on Jay Leno's last show and on his first Tonight Show.

In extreme contrast, when Jay Leno unashamedly began his return to the 11.30 slot, just like in 1992, Leno had absolutely no words, positive or otherwise, to say about the person who had just left the chair. Instead Jay Leno continued doing the very same easily digestible, hardly strenuous material he had been doing for 18 years. Anyone who had any hope that Leno might evolve to somehow warrant his un-relinquishing need to hang on to the show has been proved wrong by his March 1st premiere.

After a typical monologue(making almost no mention of Jay's premiere) spliced randomly with unfunny new sight-gag 'segments' like "The World's Tightest Pants" Jay did a taped piece involving him looking for a new desk. This was the cue for another unfunny segment where C list celebrities like Randy Jackson and Adam Corolla invaded people's homes while Jay sat at their various desks. That was the limit of the punchline. Jay then revealed his desk as if it was some momentous occasion and interviewed a hyper Jamie Foxx whose attempts to get the crowd to cheer along Leno were humorously futile. Same unfunny business as usual for Jay Leno...
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Normally well worth a watch...
lespike18 January 2004
Obviously being in the UK I might not see this show in the same light as it's seen in the US, but I discovered the show in April-ish 2003 when it started broadcasting on the little known UK channel Ftn (also broadcasts on CNBC Europe, although only a couple of episodes a week)...

Soon grew to love the show's topical humour (we've normally heard of the particular subject in the UK) as we don't really have a show that broadcasts on the same level for the whole year. The guests are also obviously well known to us, so pretty much the whole programme makes sense and is always worth a watch!

Only when it comes to the musical performances do I get a little stuck as not all the bands have much (or if any) UK exposure.

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Leno is cornball
rileyentertainment21 January 2010
Jay Leno and his version of THE TONIGHT SHOW are simply not funny. His style of humour is cornball. His lame jokes do not elicit laughs from the audience but groans. His voice is irritating. His regular features like JAYWALKING are stupid and not original. Wearing a denim shirt with jeans looks ridiculous. What he has just done to Conan O'Brien is unforgivable. My bet is that many people in Leno's committed audience (retirement home patrons) have either forgotten him or died and won't be back. I say his ratings will be flat and within one year he will be yanked from NBC for good. Bets?? Many people in the entertainment business will boycott his show. He will never woo the younger audience NBC very much needs. Hot bands will refuse come in his show. Jay, please go away.
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Above all He's ANIMATED!
BatStarIndyFreak17 November 2002
For all who say that Dave is better, I have to say he's a STIFF! Every time I've looked at Dave while Jay has been doing reruns all I see is that he stands there like his feet are glued to the stage, and gives a monologue that doesn't even last as long as Jay's do. I find Jay to be much more animated, using spunk to give us some added flavor to the jokes. Dave smiles, Jay smirks. Dave's BORING! I think I've seen 3 top ten's I've enjoyed out of about fifteen total I've seen. I find Jay to be a very professional interviewer, having a blast with each guest. Headlines rock! Jaywalking rocks! Sidewalking rocks! I find GREAT chemistry between Jay and Kev. It will ALWAYS be Jay, NOT Dave.
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Movie-Guru18 June 2002
People underrate this show too much. I think its hilarious. Jay Leno may not write his jokes but hes damn good at telling them. His comedy is real subtle and in-your-face. Conan 'O Brian is just as funny, but his comedy is much different from Lenos, his is more childish (which is funny just the same) while Leno's is more sophisticated. Please people, don't underrate this show.
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Best of late night
bigben55 May 2003
If it's one thing Jay Leno does better than any of the late night comics I've seen it's that he is the best at recovering from a bad joke. His everyman's style is very appealing, relatable and funny. I also love the shows variety, its not uncommon for him to pull the rug out from under feet and make things funny out of weird and unusual situations. I love Jay's correspondence and both Jay and Kevin are good for bouncing off each other. Oh yes, and I also love the Headlines.
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How do you not like Jay Leno
messages-lc17 August 2014
Warning: Spoilers
I'll always be sad I skipped out on my tickets during one of Jay Leno's last shows in LA in 2013. Jay headlined this show for over 20 years, and I grew up watching Jay crack good-natured jokes at every celebrity's and politician's expense. I miss seeing him every night, in a definite case of "you don't know how much you need it until it's gone."

Jay's monologue was always the best part of the show, and the intermediate bit between the monologue and the guests was usually pretty great. "Headlines" was always a favorite of mine, as was Beyondo. Though the Jay-walking segments weren't my favorite, they managed to inspire me to become a better person and citizen. I usually skipped the necessary corporate/studio promotional material - aka guest interviews - because they didn't have enough of Jay. Still, Jay had great chemistry with everyone, and I never had to worry about an awkward interview.

The show hit its peak with Ed Hall's self-deprecating humor and Kevin Eubanks heading the band while cracking up at Jay's unfiltered banter. They always had a touch of old-fashioned class mixed in with their dirty jokes and ridiculousness, and that's something Conan's more yuppie d*****baggery (I still like Conan) and Jimmy Fallon's new-age clearly- forced silliness (an astute viewer can tell Jimmy hates his job) can't quite pull off. One thing I absolutely hated: Ross. He's gone on to work with perennial nasty, wrinkled old bag Chelsea Handler, so I can see why I was never a fan.

Jay was the consummate professional, loyal to his staff, and a really great guy. He made fun of everybody on an equal basis, and tried to stay away from the mean-spiritedness that can ruin an entire night for a viewer or the lampooned public figure. The Tonight Show with Jay Leno was great, and I miss the joy Jay brought to his work and into American homes.
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LILES2218 March 2004
This show is still horrible. Easily is the lamest and unfunny talk show ever to be on the air. Jay Leno is one of the worst stand up comedians I've ever seen. He has no comic timing, he is not well spoken, he doesn't write good material and he repeats punchlines. The one liners that he makes during interviews with guests never make any sense whatsoever and are never funny. Kevin Eubanks is completely annoying and lame and him and Jay have ZERO chemistry. They are both total idiots. The bits they do on the show are also completely idiotic and never funny. I've never laughed at Leno's monologue. Its like watching someone drown every night. Dude, if you can't come up with even 30 seconds of good material, why are you trying to do 10-15 minutes every night?? TIP: Quality, NOT quantity!!! It's an absolute crime that Jay is getting paid millions of dollars, meanwhile there are so many struggling comics that are a hundred times better than Jay could ever hope to be. He's unfunny, he's boring and he's a corporate bend-over. He's a disgrace to comics everywhere. The only reason NBC didn't hire Letterman (not that I'm a huge Letterman fan) is because they knew Dave wouldn't be a puppet and let himself be ruled by a bunch of corporate suits. I predict that the Jimmy Kimmel show will kick Jay's but in the ratings and he'll be off the air soon.
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Nowhere near as good as Letterman or O'brien
$TEVE McD23 July 2000
Of the 3 late night talk shows,Leno's is definitely the worst.The problem is,he rarely comes up with any jokes himself,unlike Letterman and O'brien,who have the rare gift of being able to think of things to add to their material on the spot eg-the monologues and it actually be funnier than their given lines.Leno,however simply does not have this ability,and it is the writers you admire and not the host,which shouldn't be the case,as the most important thing is to love the host.

Another thing the show suffers from is that it feels more like a comedy show than a talk show.There are far too many unfunny comedy sketches and obviously set up occurences for it to have the unpredictable feel of Letterman,which thrives on its spontinaity.It tries much too hard for laughs.A very annoying and unnecesarry part of the show is the black band member(I can't remember his name)that is really only there to let out huge and put on sounding laughs at everything Jay says and to be the butt of a lot of Jay's jokes.

I don't hate the show,I mean if there's nothing else on,I'll watch it but it comes nowhere near its two competing talk shows.
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