Friday, January 24, 2014

He is leaving us soon and I am not sure if we are ready.  He in many ways has become to many the bedtime story for adults before they went to bed.  Like a close relative we have seen him age throughout the years. He is The Tonight Show host for the past 22 years, Jay Leno. Yes next week will be his last weekly nightly shown and we finally get to say Goodnight Jay.  As host to the legendary Tonight Show, he proved to be a worthy successor to Johnny Carson. Jay managed to maintain the show’s number status through the reign of three United States, the tragedy of 911, Presidents and guests from a 12 year old Lindsay Lohan to regular appearances by past and current Presidents.  Jay maintained the respect of all his guests.

I like the guy and don’t know why he is leaving the show.  I like my favorite bedtime story every weeknight.  Just because some NBC executive thinks they need a younger presence on late night TV doesn’t mean we all feel that way.  Let’s take a vote on this kind of stuff. Equip TVs with a ballot box and let’s vote off all the reality TV junk dominating all the channels. I loved the down to earth attitude he always kept even though he has become a multi-millionaire. Despite whatever reason he is being forced to leave his job, he has never been less than 100% grateful for his job. We should all be glad for our employment.

Jay admits his good fortune and says that he has, “the dumb luck of having the greatest, easiest job in show business.”  Leno is now 64 years old and has been married to his wife Mavis for almost 35 years and kept the same writing staff for 22 television seasons. His style is living proof that sometimes change is not necessarily a good thing. He even wears the same blue denim shirt and jeans everyday unless he is in a finely tailored suit at night.  I always admired how well his suits fit him since he represents the average guy body type. Jay will be just fine without the Tonight Show since for fun he still prefers to work the stand-up comedy circuit to going on vacation, performing nearly 160 times at comedy clubs each year.

They say you can take a middle class person out of the old neighborhood but you cannot take the middle class work ethic out of a person.  So, even though he probably has the most fun occupation of all, he still remembers his middle class roots if growing up in Andover, Massachusetts and his father who was a tireless insurance salesman work ethic. He said, “I can go to a comedy club, tell joke, s, make money, go home and not bother anybody.”  If only we could all have such simple lives.  I am sure after NBC gives him the boot he will still go through his routine unscathed and good for him.  When Conan O’Brian lost his late night show he cried to everyone like a little girl to everyone all 6 feet 7 of that red headed woodpecker.  Conan’s jokes were awful and just sounded like noise in my head anyway.

Ok, so who cares, he is just a talking head on TV but he is different in that he never glorify the super models and superstars like the general public does.  He treated everyone just like a regular person and many times did not find people like Paris Hilton all that interesting. We bonded. He does have ethics.  Some comedians are brutal and just tear people apart.  Jay knows when to stop the scrutiny.  May says, “There are always governors screwing up and politicians not paying taxes. I go after Democrats and Republicans. But there are rules. When you make fun of presidents, you can question their intelligence or their actions or their physical appearance but you don’t question their character or their patriotism. That is like going after the wives in the Mafia.  Well, good bye Jay Leno. I know that I will miss you.

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