Past Opinion Articles

Article for the week of 6/6/09


Jay Leno: King of Late Night or Singing Telegrams?
By Puns McKenna

Recently, Jay Leno announced that he is stepping aside as the host of the Tonight Show in favor of younger more robust Conan O’Brien. The move surprised many of the late night show’s viewers, but we’ve all seemed to roll with it pretty well. The biggest surprise came when Mr. Leno disclosed his career change. Apparently, he has decided to become a singing telegram delivery person.

This turn of events is appalling to say the least. I mean, I’ve started having nightmares of some grizzled ex-late night talk show host coming to my front door to sing happy birthday. What’s really scary, though, is what his appearance would do to the elderly. We already know that his highest viewership was from the elderly demographic. Many of those folks already don’t sleep well at night. Do we really want them to have images of Leno the Clown, running through their already worry filled minds?

No dig against Leno, here. I want to make that very clear! I happen to like Jay Leno, and respect what he does. I just don’t think I can get behind him wanting to deliver singing telegrams. I mean, he has talent, but can he really sing all those different songs acapella without scaring the recipients? I’ve heard him sing. He ain’t no Sinatra, that’s for sure.

I suppose it could be a very lucrative career for him, he has a LOT of star quality still. I just think it will backfire. Star quality doesn’t exactly overcome the fact that a person isn’t that great of a singer; and loads of money may pave the way it still doesn’t polish a…a…a breadbasket!

So, I guess y’all are wondering why I chose to heckle & koch Leno. Well, it’s simple really. He’s a fun loving guy who chose to make a major life altering career change after mid-life. He’ll be sixty this year, kudos on the long life, and he’s jumping into lake blindfolded. Why blindfolded? Star or no star, he’s jumping into the work pool in the suckiest economy since the Great Depression. Now, if he’d just stay in the talk show entertainment arena, then he might have a chance. Heck! I bet he’d get himself a nice Prime Time slot if he played his cards right.

He reminds me of that song “Desperado” by the Eagles. He’s been out riding fences for so long now, I don’t think he remembers where the gate is. Boy, so long as he doesn’t play the queen of diamonds, she can’t beat him; and the queen of hearts may be his best friend, but the King of the Hill will win every time. Maybe the grass really is greener on the other side of the fence… just don’t try to smoke, huh?

He at least needs to take a shot at being a singing telegram, that way he can say he’s done it once and add it to his, comedy routine. Nothing like a good old “been there, done that” to fill out a dry routine, eh? Of course, this career move could have something to do with him running out of comedic bacon bits from his life. I’m pretty sure he’s told each joke at least once, probably multiple times. I guess we’ll never know, though. Afterall, all of the dinosaurs are extinct. Just some food for thought here…

The next time you get a Singing Telegram… it may be Jay Leno.


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