Archive for Jay Leno

Good Luck to a Good Guy

Posted in High Definitions & Low Expectations with tags , , on September 14, 2009 by davegerry
Twenty years ago

Twenty years ago

At the risk of appearing like one of those treacly, self-absorbed, sycophantic slobber-pups who nightly regale us in television magazine shows let me wish Jay Leno good luck with the launch of his new 10pm show on NBC tonight.

I met him in the Winter of 1988/89 , a few years before he took over the reigns of The Tonight Show.

This photo was taken backstage at Vancouver’s Orpheum theatre where I was lucky enough to do the on stage introduction.

He was extremely gracious and quickly agreed to a little taped improv for a local magazine show of our own. I also thought he showed a remarkable degree of patience.  Jay Leno is about as genuine an entertainer as you can get. I think it simply radiates through the screen.

My wife, Angie, who was standing just out of photo frame holding a pile of jackets, remembers him shaking her hand and saying, ‘And you must be the coat girl’. By the way, that’s the late, great cameraman Grant Wyatt peeking out between us.

Do you think my sweater was busy enough?

My guess is the new Jay Leno Show will fly. It’s a big gamble for NBC because that kind of show in that time slot has never been done before but it could be the perfect vehicle for viewers who want a healthy dose of animated chat and a few good laughs before heading off for a more civilized bed time.

If you love learning about the thrust and parry of American network television I urge you to read New York Times writer Bill Carter’s 1996 book, The Late Shift: Letterman, Leno and the Network Battle for the Night. You won’t quite believe what happened with Johnny Carson decided to finally hang it up. It’s a good, juicy read.