NBC’s Today team this morning celebrated making the opening monologue in Jimmy Fallon’s celebrity-strewn Tonight Show debut last night. “The screaming actually came from their sled,” Jimmy Fallon had joked as he showed a clip of spandex-ed Al Roker and Matt Lauer making their return to …
Jay Leno Bows Out With Biggest ‘Tonight Show’ Week In Decades; Ditto Jimmy Fallon’s ‘Late Night’ Swan Song
Jay Leno‘s Tonight Show swan song churned up the franchise’s biggest weekly crowd since the week of NBC’s Cheers finale in ’93. Meanwhile, his replacement, Jimmy Fallon wrapped his Late Night hosting gig with that show’s biggest weekly haul since it followed Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show farewell, in May of ’92.
Leno’s actual Thursday night finale last week clocked the biggest crowd for an individual Tonight show broadcast since Jerry Seinfeld turned up after his primetime hit’s so-long episode, on May 14, 1998.
Since 1992, Jay Leno‘s top Tonight Show opening monologue target has been Bill Clinton, according to a study released by the Center for Media and Public Affairs at George Mason University. O.J. Simpson and Michael Jackson topped his list of celebrity targets, but their tally is chump change compared to Clinton’s, according to the study that tracked nearly 44,000 Tonight Show jokes.
Clinton was the subject of one out of every 10 gags about public affairs and/or public figures in his monologues, and O.J. Simpson was his top celebrity target. The study tallied 43,892 jokes about public figures and public affairs from 1992, when Leno became host of Tonight Show, through January 24, 2014.
Clinton accounts for 4,607 of that joke total. For comparison sake, George W. Bush came in for 3,239 jabs, and Jay targeted Kim Kardashian a total of just 57 times, according to the study. Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Clinton’s VPOTUS Al Gore, and Monica Lewinsky accounted for four of Leno’s top seven targets. Overall, the Top-20 list includes the past four presidents and vice-presidents, as well as the past six failed major party nominees for president. Democrats were the targets of 10,885 jokes, 15% more than the 9,465 jokes directed at Republicans. The study says that’s because Leno frequently targeted presidents and Democrats occupied the White House in 13 of his 22 years as Tonight Show host.
JAY LENO’s TOP 20 POLITICAL JOKE TARGETS:
On Jay Leno‘s last Tonight Show Tuesday, some of Jay’s favorite guest appearances were shown: President Obama reminiscing about when he and Donald Trump grew up together in Kenya, John Kennedy Jr. and Jerry Seinfeld reminiscing about Seinfeld’s Contest’s episode, former President George W. Bush giving Jay a …
UPDATE: 8 PM: Megyn Kelly said tonight on her Fox News Channel program that her Wednesday show segment, in which she said that Santa Claus and Jesus are white, was tongue-in-cheek and that anyone who says otherwise needs to lighten up. “Humor is a part of what we try to bring to this show, but sometimes that’s lost on the humorless,” she said on tonight’s The Kelly File. “This would be funny if it were not so telling about our society, in particular, the knee-jerk instinct by so many to race-bait and to assume the worst in people, especially people employed by the very powerful Fox News Channel.” On her show Wednesday, Kelly and panelists discussed a Slate piece written by a black woman suggesting Santa should not be a white man anymore. Writer Aisha Harris suggested a penguin replace Santa Claus, so as to appeal to children of all races. “For all you kids watching at home,” Kelly said Wednesday. “Santa just is white, but this person is just arguing that maybe we should also have a black Santa. But Santa is what he is, and just so you know, we’re just debating this because someone wrote about it, kids.”
Then on tonight’s show, Kelly said: “Contrary to what my critics have posited, neither my statement, nor Harris’, I’m sure, was motivated by any racial fear or loathing. In fact, it was something far less sinister: a lifetime of exposure to the very same commercials, mall casting calls, and movies Harris references in her piece. Should that change? Well, that debate got lost because so many couldn’t get past the fact that I acknowledged, as Harris did, that the most commonly depicted image of Santa, does, in fact, have white skin.” She did acknowledge tonight that her assertion Wednesday that Jesus was a white man “is far from settled.” Kelly said, “The fact that an offhand jest I made during a segment about whether Santa should be replaced by a penguin has now become a national firestorm says two things: Race is still an incredibly volatile issue in this country, and Fox News, and yours truly, are big targets for many people.”
FNC’s Megyn Kelly To Jay Leno: “I Am A Straight News Anchor — I Am Not One Of The Opinion Hosts At Fox”: Video
“I always tell people if they think I am this conservative operative, ‘Ask Karl Rove if that’s true’,” Megyn Kelly told Jay Leno in making her first visit to …
Showtime today officially announced a third season pick-up for Inside Comedy, debuting Monday, February 3 at 11 PM ET, and will do its part to plug Jimmy Fallon’s takeover of NBC’s Tonight show later that month. Fallon is among those …