LOS ANGELES: If leaving the storied position of The Tonight Present host mandates retirement, Jay Leno ignored the memo.
Since his longtime late-night gig led to 2014, Leno has saved up a brisk tempo. He pops up often on TV initiatives from fellow comedians Jerry Seinfeld, Larry Wilmore, Tim Allen, Dennis Miller and others.
His ardour for something with wheels and an engine is on show in Jay Lenos Storage, returning Sept. 22 on CNBC. And he’s bought a brand new sport present, a syndicated reboot of You Guess Your Life, debuting Monday (test native listings for instances, stations).
All the things previous The Tonight Present’ was gravy, Leno stated. So the very fact I’ve something going is enjoyable.
You Guess Your Life first aired from 1950 to 1961 with famed comic Groucho Marx, adopted by a short-lived 1992 remake with Invoice Cosby. Within the new model, Leno shares host duties with Kevin Eubanks, the previous Tonight band chief who’d gleefully rib the comic when a joke fell flat.
Individuals appear to love that camaraderie, as a result of we’re associates and we all know one another, Leno stated.
Considered one of Leno’s temp jobs, a visitor choose on America’s Obtained Expertise in 2019, had severe repercussions. He was condemned for making an unaired joke about Koreans primarily based on a racist stereotype, and later apologized.
In an interview with The Related Press, Leno mentioned following within the game-show footsteps of a comedy nice, what makes for a great contestant and the dangers of topical humor. Remarks have been calmly edited for readability and brevity.
AP: Why add the sport present to your plate?
A: It looks like the time is ripe for this type of present. Its actually mild and its enjoyable and has no politics concerned. And its very numerous. Now we have folks from each stroll of life: Black, white, folks from Nigeria, India. However theres by no means any foolish stereotype nonsense, its simply folks coming collectively and making an attempt to win some cash. And its actually been plenty of enjoyable. We shoot six episodes a day they usually simply fly alongside as a result of its all advert lib. I dont see the contestants earlier than the present. Theres no PR particular person going, Don’t point out my purchasers cocaine bust or divorce. You dont get any of that.
AP: Contestants are extra media savvy than they have been in Groucho Marx’s day, and extra more likely to play to the digicam. How does that have an effect on the present?
Leno: While you do a present in L.A., the most affordable, most effective technique to do it’s to get folks inside 10 miles of the studio, (and) in the event that they’re not in present enterprise they’ve some connection to it. For the final 12 months we despatched out feelers to Florida, Louisiana, throughout, and we fly folks in. We select those that appear like characters. And you actually see once they come right here, theyre like, Its my first time in L.A. and oh my God. Theres an pleasure and a nervousness you dont get from the individuals who stumble upon Brad Pitt day by day on the deli.
AP: You have been a child when You Guess Your Life aired. Was watching Marx inspirational for you as a comic?
Leno: He was at all times my favourite Marx brother as a result of I by no means was a placed on a humorous hat, throw a pie type of comic. I at all times appreciated folks with verbal expertise: Bob Newhart, Johnny Carson. I appreciated individuals who appeared regular however stated humorous issues, versus placing on costumes. I loved the Marx Brothers films, however I appreciated Groucho as a result of he was the sensible man.
AP: Do you miss internet hosting a late-night present and the discussion board it gave you for comedy?
Leno: It was nice enjoyable. I loved doing the monologue, that’s my favourite half. And I take pleasure in all people that’s on there now. I watch the monologues, and I dont watch interviews an excessive amount of, as a result of I talked to that man (the superstar). However I actually (respect) how onerous it’s to do a distinct model of the identical joke each night time. As a result of lets be trustworthy, the information doesnt change a complete lot from everyday. It adjustments from week to week. After which you need to watch all the opposite reveals, be sure to dont have the identical joke as Conan or Samantha Bee or whoever it is perhaps.
AP: You stated that comedy doesn’t change, however the targets do. While you look again at jokes that drew criticism, do you say these have been the instances or do you wince?
Leno: When folks have been within the information, you probably did jokes in regards to the information. I can provide you a great instance. When Amy Winehouse, who was on The Tonight Present, was singing that tune about I wont go to rehab,’ there have been plenty of jokes about that. Then she died after which folks have been, Jay Leno did a joke. However I did it together with her blessing, she was there (on Tonight) once I did it. However, , you solely dwell within the time you reside in.
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