The Tonight Show with Jay Leno

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NBC (ended 2014)

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The Tonight Show with Jay Leno Fan Reviews (77)

8.0
out of 10
Average
1,719 votes
  • The host with the most, but of what?

    4.5
    2009, like 1993 before it, will go down as a transitional and somewhat tumultuous year in late night television. In late February, Conan O'Brien stepped down as host of Late Night and passed the reins to doe-eyed talk show neophyte Jimmy Fallon, and three months later Jay Leno left the Tonight Show to make way for Conan. This domino effect spills over into prime time, where Leno will launch a new-but-more-or-less-the-same one-hour chatfest in September. This was not something that happened overnight, but rather a heavily orchestrated event strategized by the executives of NBC. Apparently, when you've been the #4 network for five years running, you're not as afraid to throw crap at a wall and see what sticks. Leno's new show is a rare attempt at prime-time block programming, a do-or-die move that The Peacock hopes will turn around their fortunes as well as retain one of the network's longtime cash-cows. Nonetheless, is Jay Leno all that he's cracked up to be?

    With all due apologies to his fans, I must nitpick Leno's apparent status as a living legend. A proven TV star and a team player, yes, though far from a legend. First of all, he wasn't an innovator like David Letterman, nor does he have a distinctive style like Conan O'Brien. Jay borrowed heavily from Steve Allen's ringmaster approach to hosting TTS, with a dashes of Rodney Dangerfield and Johnny Carson thrown in for good measure. Secondly, Leno catered heavily toward middle America and let his pandering chip away at his comedic credibility in the process. I fully understand that Wade the Nebraskan pig farmer could use a good laugh just as much as the average college graduate, yet Leno's paltry turnout at the Emmy Awards speaks levels of his reluctance to get creative. Compared to Letterman, Leno's audience skews toward the 50-plus, the lily-white, and the bourgeoisie. At his worst, Leno is as flavorful as vanilla and as hip as prune juice. There's no question that Jay is a nice guy, nor do I doubt that he has a large circle of friends and well-wishers, but some of his recent accolades are over the top.

    I don't feel that there's any need to elaborate on Leno's so-so (and often patronizing) interviewing skills, so I'll focus on the comedy. "Jaywalking," Leno's self-appointed signature bit, was little more than an excuse for twenty-something California hipsters to deliberately flub simple questions, fully knowing that Jay was interrogating them and they could nab their 15 minutes of fame. "Headlines," arguably his second-most beloved comedy segment, is a thinly-veiled variation on "Small Town News," a bit that David Letterman created on Late Night in the '80s and revived 20+ years later.

    Although both of those bits had their moments, I grind my axe at his nightly monologue. Sure, the opening remarks are a hoary old prerequisite for any talk show host worth their salt, but Leno's might be the most egregiously banal. For 17 years, the Leno Jokebot 3000 has spat out one obvious joke after another, aimed squarely at a select list of targets: Bill Clinton, Monica Lewinsky, Dr. Jack Kervorkian, Michael Jackson, and George W. Bush. Kevin Eubanks, Leno's doting bandleader since the mid-90s, guffaws the loudest and hardest at these inoffensive one-liners, almost as if his paycheck depends upon it. In short, Leno's monologue has always been a curious sight to behold, intermittently entertaining yet drenched in obsequiousness.

    This brings me to my final point: did NBC make a mistake in selecting Leno over Letterman to replace Johnny Carson? The short answer is yes and no. While The Peacock would certainly have a few more Emmys on their shelves, Dave's latent irreverance and my-way-or-the-highway approach would've clashed with potential advertisers (not a total exaggeration). Leno was the safe choice, a guy who could bend over backwards for the network higher-ups and put on a show without being a prima-donna. Letterman may be your TV pal; however, Leno is your goofy uncle, the clean-cut Working Joe, the guy that cracks wise in the church parking lot, the everyman that you can't help but like and admire. Jay Leno is a creation of middle America, and if it works for them, I guess I can't bewail that.
  • There's really no Question, Leno is all-time king of late night.

    9.0
    Jay Leno is easily the best talk show host. He's a straight-up comedian. Conan and Letterman often often make a joke out of how lame their own act is. Basically, their joke, is how funny it is, anybody thinks their funny. Letterman thinks pulling his tie is funny. Conan think running up to the camera is funny. Conan thinks a Texas Walker is funny (for the 100th time).

    Leno is a the pre-eminent stand-up comedian. Most, not all, of his jokes are funny. Most importantly, he keeps coming up with new jokes. He doesn't keep the same old running gag. He will be greatly missed when he retires.

  • Excellent.

    10
    Jay Leno is the perfect person to take the infamous Johnny Carson's place, though he isn't as great as Carsinio, he will make it as far as he wants. The Jay Leno show is hillarious with Headlines, Jaywalk Hall of Fame, Teenage Wasteland, and what ever else he does. The Tonight Show is the greatest.
  • It may have a stuctured format but there is still great variety in each segment and the quality is very high.

    9.2
    A lot of people I know think that Leno is inane and unfunny but I love his jokes. Sure, some are very obvious, but they often still make me smile. Occasionally he'll come out with a killer line, too.

    More importantly, I like the way that he incorporates most of the important goings on in the world and puts his own humorous spin on them.

    Living in England, I am shocked at how much he able to get away with. Surely he is skating on thin ice with some of his libelous gags?

    Mind you, that's another of my favourite things about the show: the way he will totally mock someone e.g. Martha Stewart, then have them as a guest the following week.

    Almost all of the skits are good, save for the dire "Battle of the Jaywalk All Stars". My personal favourite is the interview with George W. Bush. The impersonator is uncannily like Dubya.

    Kevin Eubanks is a top bloke and most of the guests they have on are entertaining. I think people should realise how difficult it is to make a show entertaining only an almost daily basis, and this is perfect late-night viewing.
  • Getting old...

    7.9
    Ok, Jay's funny but he seems to be less so with every passing year. I remember watching the tonight show a few years back and I almost laughed my pants off but not so much the case in recent years. Sure there are always a ton of funny segments like Headlines and Jay Walking but I just can't help but feel that's it's getting repetitive. I don't know about you but it feels like Jay is sliding downhill fast! Maybe it's just me or maybe I'm just growing old of him but how many times can you tell an American fat joke and still make it funny?
  • I don't get why you would watch an act as hackneyed and boring as Leno's when Letterman is on at the same time. This show lacks any true creative spark.

    5.0
    Either you are with Leno or Letterman. I tend to fall into the Letterman camp. I used to watch Leno though.

    I found his sketches to be REALLY cheesy. I mean, some of that is expected for a late night show. But Leno's lack of acting skill is just too much to handle. And Kevin Eubanks doesn't seem to have much personality for a band leader/sidekick--just kind of sits there and laughs at all of Leno's lame jokes.

    The comedy of this program feels routine to me. Nothing new or interesting. Letterman (at least back in his prime) and O'Brien for that matter feel like they're doing more to push the envelope and try new things. I've never seen Leno expiriment like that.

    If you like Leno, you'll like this show. But do yourself a favor and see what else is out there. With cable now, there's much better stuff to fill your time even at 11:30 at night.
  • We are all going to see John Caparulo

    10
    John Caparulo is playing watseka theatre watseka illinois on st patricks day saturday march 17, 2012. Cap is sooooooo funny. Are you going too...
  • The Tonight Show with Jay Leno

    10
    I have watched the Tonight show since the days of Johnny Carson. When Johnny decided to retire I thought I would never watch the show again. However, it did not take long for Jay to take Johnny\\\'s place in my hall of fame. Jay is the consumate commedian and talk show host. I am amazed how he can make fun of someone and then a week later have him or her on the show. Jay\\\'s ability to improvise is just amazing. Add Kevin Eubanks to the formula and you have a great team. This show is so laid back it is very easy watching. Even when I am not interested in the guests Jay has on (his one weakness, repeat guests) I am still interested in the hillarity that goes on on the show. I am especially fond of the \\\"headlines\\\" segments which in my opinion are the funniest part of the show. I hear a rumor that Jay is going to retire in three years and Conan O\\\'Brian is going to replace him. I hope this does not happen as there is no way Conan can replace a legend like Jay. (Conan doesn\\\'t have enough chin!!)
  • "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" is classic. There is no other late-night host I like better than Jay; though Conan and Ferguson are close. Letterman is just boring; oh wait, intelligent and witty, my bad.

    10
    The first word that comes to mind when I think of Jay Leno - besides funny - is underappreciated. This man is a classic entertainer and yet he gets more crap than any other mainstream TV personality in the world. I just do not understand why people hate him so much. Letterman gets all the respect in the world, yet every time I\'ve watched his show I\'ve been bored to tears. All these people compare Leno to their god, Johnny Carson, as if he\'s supposed to try to emulate his predeccessor. It\'s ridiculous. Look, Leno makes me laugh, Letterman does not - so I watch Leno. Stop criticizing him like a cynical jerk and just watch who you want to watch. I feel sorry for the man. He\'s got the best job in television and he does it very well, yet people just attack him so viciously because they prefer Letterman. Screw them. I will miss Jay Leno when he\'s gone, and so will millions of others.

    www.sorryaboutleroy.com (read the article about David Letterman)
  • BEST night talk show EVER!

    10
    Jay Leno absolutely ROCKS! He is hilarious, his show is well organized and funny! It is just the best nightly talk show! He totally beats out David Letterman! And Conan? He Is Not Even Funny! Jay Leno always has the best guests (well mostly always). One of my personal favorite episodes was just recently with Connie Chung. I really got to see her personality thatnks to Jay! Who knew she was so funny and likeable! Which is another great thing about Jay! With his interviews, he really lets you get to know hollywood's TRUE personalities! He lets us see the phonies from the greats. His show is a 5 ***** star show!
  • He rocks at 11:35!

    10
    I watch the Tonight Show with Jay Leno every day. Usually the monologue is cheesy and full of fluff, but oh well. My favorite sketches are the real ones, like Headlines and 99 Cent Store. It's funny seeing how dumb some people can be sometimes. He's better than David Letterman. Great guests, good interaction. I can't wait for Conan to come.
  • Hilarious!

    10
    Jay Leno is such a funny guy! I love his monologues and the "Headlines" segment. The episode where he did the "All Michael Jackson Monologe" was very funny. This show is 100% CLASSIC! I hope this show goes on for a long time.



    ***If I become a celebrity, I hope I'll be a guest on his show . . . . . . . . Ha! Like that'll ever happen!***
  • Late Night King Reins Supreme

    9.5
    I've always been a secret fan of Jay but unfortunately I never get to see his show due to the fact we don't get NBC in New Zealand, which is unfortunate because we should be able to watch it on here.



    He's funny and quite a down-to-earth guy, true he's no Carson but he's pretty damn close if you ask me.
  • Jay Leno hosts the tonight show as part of NBC which is the leader in late-night TV. Jay Leno started out as a guest host for Johnny Carson, who latter made him the pernament guest host. After Johnny Carson Retired Jay Leno won the possision against Dav

    9.5
    I see a lot of the reviews saying, why do people watch this as oppose to David Letterman? Well first off, why do you think Jay Leno was picked ahead of Letterman? Well he does a lot better job of course. Jay Leno also has better guests then David Letterman who normally has guests after they have been on the Tonight Show. David Letterman has way to many commercials as well. Once I was waiting for like ten minutes for the next guest. He had some segment that lasted like two seconds about having someone kicked out of the ed sullivan show, and then there was another commercial. When it came back on, he said we will be right back with our next guest and there was another commercial. It was really annoying, because I have watched the Tonight Show more and I have never seen anything like that happen. Jay Leno also has great segments such as Headlines, and Jay-walking. Headlines feature newspaper articles and catalogs that feature errors that corospond with the arlticle itself. They can be quite funny.
  • What the hell

    8.5
    Love this and Jay Leno until all that happened with Conan.
  • Good but not as good as Conan

    7.0
    I like Leno but sometimes the skits arent very funny. I dont like the ones like "[insert name here] goes to [insert name here]". I like Jib Jab, Headlines, 99 Cent items, Ebay and the fake items. The Monolouge is slightly better than Conans [but Conan isnt on as long for it] and joking about the band always being stoned is funny[Much like Conan does to his band]. But he isnt a good interviewer. I like Leno and I will keep watching it and I cant wait till 2009 when Coney takes over.
  • Jay Leno is an ok show with a few good bits, but there is better Shows on at the same time

    6.2
    This used to be one of my favorite shows to watch, but after a while th jokes get repetetive. The show starts with a boring monologue, where there are a few good jokes that he repeats over and over, and sometimes in different ways. the stuff he does after the monologue is rarely funny, some of his best are headlines on monday, and jaywalking, then theres guests and musical guests which can be sometimes interesting.
  • Mediocre programming at best.

    6.0
    I'll admit, I used to watch "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" frequently in the past (early teen years), but then I began to realize how dull it truly is. I don't watch it anymore for the most part because Leno's jokes just plain aren't funny. They have the same kind of structure and punchlines, and the man's presence annoys me. On occasion, I'll tune it to see a certain guest or two, but even that sometimes isn't worth staying up for. As of recently, I've found myself watching the show several times a week, maybe out of boredom, but I guess this show's still okay. It's reasonably adequate late night filler.
  • Jay Leno - Vacationer in Chief.

    4.0
    I thought Johnny took a lot of vacations. Jay is the chief. At least Johnny would have a sub. Having old shows as a substitute is ridiculous. Dumb jokes that are dated just do not work.

    As much as I can not take Letterman, it is better than jokes that are no longer relevant.
  • Leno is the only joke on the tonight show

    1.0
    if you have a brain injury or have no sense of humor or just the sense of humor of someone in their 70s then this is the show for you. Retire Leno you've done enough damage
  • The Tonight Show with Jay Leno is a talk-show hosted by Jay Leno.

    10
    I just love this show! I started watching The Tonight in January 2007. When its Monday, I love how Jay picks the most hilarious headlines. He is one of my favorite talk-show hosts. I think I'll be watching The Tonight Show for a long time. In my opinion, Jay chooses awesome guests to come on his show. I think John Melendez, the show announcer does a great job. Also, Kevin Eubanks and the Tonight Show Band are a very fit band for the Tonight Show. I give this show an applause, thumbs up, and a perfect 10. You will always find this show on my favorite shows list.
  • THAT'S RIGHT, I GAVE LENO THE BIG 10

    10
    Amazing. Superb. Out. Of. This. World.
    I'm a Leno fan, are you? Course you are, everyone is. Unlike other less than perfect shows - can anyone say The Jon Stewart show - Leno actually has a great aray of guests, all the time, nothing boring or snore worthy, at least never for me. It's great that Leno acually airs internationally at relatively the same time as it airs in it's hometown USA. While it not airing elsewhere in record time doesn't affect me because I'm happily watching in Beverly Hills, I appreciate it. I just love Leno, he does a great job, he's funny, he's not overdone - cough Conan - and he paid a visit to Ellen DeGeneres on stage when she was sick; Can you say awwwwwww? Rofl Rofl. But really, Leno's the man!
  • Bada Bababa I'm Loving it!

    10
    He's fat. He's funny. He has a friendly future. He is a phenomenon and a legend to late nighters. I myself a common night owl love his show. I love how he has special guests. They are really fun to see possibly my favorite singer on there my friendly teased. That kind of stuff is funny. It is fun to know about themselves by being playfully critisized. (Or however you spell it) I wish he was on in the day too because sometimes I am too tired to watch his show in the night or I fall asleep in it.
  • the show is mainly about comedy, some news, interviews with celebbrities and more.

    10
    the show is hilarious. i first got to know it from my dad as he would watch it every night so i got a chance to watch it once in a while and my favourite joke is the wheel of constipation.but here have been many interviews with actors, comedians and more but one of my favourite parts about some episodes are jay walking and one i forgot the title but who needs to...... altnoughi don't offten watch it i always have a good laugh.
  • This show is the funniest show on earth I mean it. It was wonderful that Jay had Phyllis Dillar on the show last night.I love the Phoney Photo Booth segments their so out of this world funny it is so hysterical.I miss the Fruitcake lady she was funny.

    10
    Why does Keven wear long sleeves all the time?. It is possible that it is very cold in their?. If their was a contest between Conan vs. Jay, I would pick Jay Leno. I give the tonight show with Jay Leno two thumbs up. And if Jay Leno is reading this : Keep up the good work Jay.
  • Fantastic!!! Jay is amazing!

    10
    I love this show soooo much!!! Besides the show I like Jay Leno!!! He is amazing! I like to watch this show because of the stars and news! I love when guest is some my fav movie star or singer!!! I remember when guest was Matthew Perry!!! I was completely crazy at that moment, I couldn't belive!!! Ps: I was crazy, 'cause matthew is my fav actor!!! This show is absolutely fabulous!!!
  • I like Leno, because unlike most other talk show hosts he doesn't do his jokes based on agenda.

    10
    Leno has done alright, he obviously is no Johnny Carson, but I'm sure he would say that too. I like him better than the left wing guys like Letterman & Conan, because he makes fun of anything and everything. He sometimes carries jokes on too long, but for the most part his show is reallly good. Kevin Eubanks is funny too, and does a good job, even John Melendez, who I never liked when he was on Howard Stern, isn't bad on the show. He will be missed when he retires, because he did a good job in his short term as the tonight show host.
  • One word. FUNNY AS HELL! Wait a minute..

    10
    Mygawd. though i barely watch it, i absolutly love it! This guy, is so hilariouse! Especially when he shows those newspaper and advertisments that sound funny and have funny mistakes. But even in the other part of the show, he is one of the funniest guys you can laugh with!

    Heck, i even went to one of his shows when he came down here in Miami, but the tickets were a bit high, but for a man that can be so funny, it would be worth it.
  • Late night variety. The best there is.

    10
    My nights are not complete without Jay Leno. The Tonight Show is definitely the king of late night shows. With the variety formula seen in LateShow and Latenight monologue, guest and musical guest, the tonight show never gets old. You get the funny monologue and entertaining interviews with hollywood actors, sometimes they have a good band playing at the end. Jay Leno is definitely a big part of my day. People watch the news on a daily basis. I don\'t, but I watch Jay Leno daily, and it will be that way until he leaves the show. The Tonight Show is both entertaining and an essential part of my day.
  • Letterman who? Leno owns late night.

    10
    Unlike Conan and Letterman, Leno is actually funny! The conversations he has with his guest are always interesting and never lame like Conans. The best part of Leno is the monday night "headlines". Headlines has been ripped off time and time again by other shows but it was done on Leno first. The comedy and interviews in general are much better quality then other shows. With Leno most of his guest seem to be enjoying themselfs and I think this is because Leno takes time to know all his quest and remains friends with a lot of them off camera. I will be sad when this show comes to a end because it is an enjoyable end to my day.
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