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Saturday, April 20
The Indiana Daily Student


Leno's roast wasn't funny, just uncomfortable

It’s not a secret among my friends, family and really even people who don’t know me all that well that I’m a big Jimmy Fallon fan.


In fact, I’ve been waiting all year for an opportunity to devote a column to what I think is the world’s most adorable human being, never finding a good enough reason other than, well, that.

All mild obsessions aside, I think most late night viewers and comedy fans would agree that there isn’t anyone as kind-hearted and genuine as Fallon. It’s what makes him special and what has raised viewership 16 percent since he took over “The Tonight Show.”

It’s also the reason that I am furious with Jay Leno.

This past Friday was Leno’s first “Tonight Show” appearance since handing over the reigns to Fallon in February.

I had waited all week in anticipation for this. I set my DVR, alarm and checked my watch a millions times to make sure I didn’t miss a second of what would be a culmination of two legendary television personalities.

I also was especially excited since I had just recently seen Leno live at the IU Auditorium in October and really enjoyed the performance.

Admittedly, I’m more of a Letterman fan, but the man’s a late night legend.

So when Jay Leno came out to do a bit of standup before his interview with Fallon, I was irritated when it became plainly obvious that he put no effort into the comedic routine at all.

How, you may ask, do I know this?

It was word for word what he delivered at the IU performance a mere three weeks prior.

I don’t care who you are, it’s a spot on “The Tonight Show.” You couldn’t have added even a hint of new material or even switched up the order of ?delivery?

Not to mention the fact that it was extremely crass, crude and uncomfortable, even for late night television.

But honestly that’s beside the point.

My true irritation and disgust with Leno stems from the entirety of his interview with Fallon.

Obviously Leno is a comedian. Roasting is part of the gig.

But when it became obvious that every conversation topic, brief pause or response from Fallon was going to be used as an opportunity to belittle and demean Fallon or remind the audience of Leno’s original holding of Fallon’s current position, I was so disappointed.

This could have been a really cool moment of rounding out the transition of host renouncing, an area in which Leno needed some good PR. But instead, here was Leno preying on Fallon’s weak and soft personality and desire to please.

Even as Fallon went on to interview later guests in the show, Leno was more than confident in belittling him and encouraging the Roots and the audience to poke at Fallon as well.

And although Fallon handled it well in the beginning, he clearly began to lose confidence and focus during his interview with Lucy Liu while shifting his glance constantly to Leno, just waiting for him to take another unnecessary jab.

It was childish, it was disappointing, and it was a significant waste of a Friday “Tonight Show” that we unfort unately won’t ever get back.

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