After a 10 month layoff or so, Jay Leno is set to return to “The Tonight Show” after the Olympics, following his disastrous prime time television show. As expected in our ADD culture, the furor over the departure of Conan has already died down quite a bit, and things will likely return to normal over on “The Tonight Show.” The old folks who watch Jay don’t have enough life left to hold a grudge, and during Conan’s run, they probably kept wondering who that weird big-haired person was on their tubes while fretting about robots taking their medicine.
Leno has booked his first couple of weeks of guests, and though the names are big, they’re mostly folks that would appeal to Leno’s fanbase: I speak of Sarah Palin, of course (and after spending the last week in central Florida, I now understand the popularity of both Palin and Leno. I also got an eyeful of pro-life billboards and billboards encouraging Muslims to convert to Jesus. It’s a strange land, and not a place I hope to ever have to return to).
In addition to Palin, the other guests include the cast of “Jersey Shore,” Simon Cowell, Olympians Apolo Anton Ohno, Shaun White and Lindsey Vonn, Dakota Fanning, Brad Paisley, Avril Lavigne, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Kim Kardashian, and Jamie Foxx.
This is the best that Leno could do? He couldn’t even scrape up a Jerry Seinfeld? Or a huge marquee guest? My guess is that the really big names in talk shows — Tom Hanks, Will Ferrell, Robin Williams, or even Brian Williams — don’t really want to be associated with Leno, at least until the Conan debacle is forgotten, which is to say: April.
Morgan Freeman and Jason Reitman are also set to appear, and those actually burn a little. Turncoats. Apparently, Will Ferrell is the only person who has suggested that he will not appear on Leno. I like Ferrell a little more now.
And here’s a nice little addition compliments of branded: