There was one segment he did that I thought was extremely funny, called "Ghosting in America." But that was a couple of comedians from Australia, Hamish and Andy. YouTube won't let me embed the clip from Leno's show, so here they are on an Australian show:
Jim Norton's a funny comedian, but his "Uninvited Guest" segment seemed a bit flat. I really can't remember anything about the other comedians' segments. There's also a bit in which celebrities drive a hybrid car around a track for a minute or two. That's as exciting as it sounds.
One thing I've noticed about Jay Leno is that, during his monologue, he tells a lot of jokes about things in the news. I think they call that "being topical," or "topical humor." That's all well and good, but on at least one occasion last week, Leno seemed to tell a joke about something that hadn't happened- at least, something I couldn't find any information about online.
I've already deleted the episode from the TiVo so I can't go back and transcribe it, but if you're really curious you might be able to find it on the show's website. The joke concerned Paula Abdul setting up a webcam so that her dogs could watch her all the time, or something like that. I thought that Poodle Bitch might be interested in reading about that, so I googled it. I wasted a good ten minutes of my life digging around trying to find any reference to that story anywhere online. I went to wesmirch, dlisted, Just Jared, The Superficial, etc, etc, and I couldn't find anything about it.
Did Leno make it up just so that he could tell the joke?
Then, for last night's (Friday, September 25th) episode (with the great Hugh Laurie), Leno went all the way to Australia for a joke about coffee enemas (why does he seem to have so much interest in Australia, by the way?). Since I still have it on the TiVo, here's the full transcript:
"I hadn't heard about this, but it was in the paper today-- Australian health officials are warning people around the world, be on the lookout for unlicensed doctors prescribing bad coffee enemas... they use coffee in enemas... You thought health care was expensive before, wait'll Starbucks is involved-- wha-- wha-- through the roof; please..."
Naturally, I thought this would be a good thing to write about for my blog celebrating the classic horror/science fiction/crime/humor novel Arsole Fantüme, Gentleman Immoralist. It took me a couple of minutes (and I really thought this was going to turn out to be another of Leno's "in the news but not really" jokes), but I finally found this article:
BOGUS doctors offering "quack" therapy will face jail and massive fines under new laws proposed by Health Minister John Hill.
Mr Hill today announced the State Government would adopt the recommendations of a parliamentary committee examined therapies being offered by unregistered doctors.
These included offering to cure cancer through the use of "organic coffee enemas" and another practitioner who claimed to be able to cure cancer through "vaginal blowing".
Now, having read the story, of course my focus has changed. It's not about the obscurity- it's not about the fact it's from Australia. Leno took a story in which coffee enemas and something called vaginal blowing are referenced, and he went with the coffee enema angle instead of the vaginal blowing.
I am sorry, but that is comedy malpractice. If the choice is between enemas-- no matter what the material of the enemas-- and something called vaginal blowing, you go with the vaginal blowing.
Did one of his writers have a bad Starbucks experience that morning?
Read Leno's joke again. It's not exactly bad, but it's not what I'd call brilliant, either. His delivery helps. Leno employs a lot of writers (I assume); none of them could think of a way to make the joke about vaginal blowing?
The term is funny all by itself. Vaginal blowing.
"Have you heard about this? I read it in the newspaper today-- health officials in Australia are warning people about unlicensed doctors performing unnecessary vaginal blowing. This is true, it was in the paper today... See? That's how you can tell men and women apart. Men don't think twice about paying for stuff like that; but women get suspicious. No price is too high! Wha-- wha-- through the roof!"
"According to my wife, there's no such thing as unnecessary vaginal blowing! Wha? Am I right?"
"Officials became suspicious when the people claiming to be doctors were actually offering to pay the patients."
Or, if you insist on bringing Starbucks into it:
"Apparently, someone became suspicious when these 'doctors' were performing their blowing procedures in the bathroom at Starbucks."
And that's just off the top of my head. (His delivery would help.) I could probably come up with about ten more jokes, which I would be happy to do for a modest fee.
UPDATE: Tuesday September 29 @ 8:02 AM PST: Last night, Leno went back to the "coffee enema" well during his monologue, making another joke about the Australian health authorities warning about "bad coffee enemas." First, he asked if there was such a thing as a "good coffee enema," then he said, "The best part of waking up is Foger's in your butt," a reference to a very old commercial jingle. Funny stuff.