Mark Evanier preferred Leno’s tribute Letterman’s. This is the first time in a decade I’ve watched Leno and was probably the last time ever. I used to love his standup but now find him unwatchable. I think his Tonight Show is a sad shell of what Carson’s was.
Jay’s elegiac monologue was to go out and talk about Johnny, and Dave’s monologue was to do a bunch of jokes that Johnny had written for him in his last days. I can tell you which I found a better tribute. I also noticed that the Leno show was mostly about the outer surface Carson and Letterman’s was about the inner. I thought Peter Lasally was far better spoken and more interesting and a better honor than the Bob Newhart and Don Rickles combo (no disrepect to them.) Granted, Leno’s show only had one day to pull it all together while the vacation schecule meant that Letterman’s show had a week. Still, this reinforced what I’ve always thought, that Letterman rather than Leno is a better spiritual heir to Johnny’s mantle.
3 thoughts on “Remembering Johnny”
Jay seems to use rudeness as a driver for a lot of his humor. He’s rude to his guests, his monologues depend on rudeness, and I don’t find it funny. Don’t get me wrong – Dave can be rude and childish too, but he seems to be a lot more sensitive to his guests, and much more intelligent about his whole show. Oh, and that grinder-girl is cute, too. The only thing I ever find redeeming about Jay is that he occasionally has Blue Man Group on his show. 🙂
To me, the prevalence of Jaywalking is representative of the show’s decline. Like you say, that segment is all about making fun of people’s stupidity, at laughing at them because they’re so much more stupid than us (we hope.) Dave is about laughing at things because we are smart (we hope.) Leno has just gotten so relentlessly lowbrow that I can’t take it. Even just the promos on NBC shows piss me off, much less actually watching the show.
Mark Evanier’s review was actually correct. It can be deduced that since in his last week’s of life, Johnny was sending material to Letterman and not to Leno. The NBC brass were the only ones to want Leno, while Johnny himself always pushed for Letterman.
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