Videogum

The Jay Leno Show: Terrible Until The Very End

I’m not sure what I expected last night, nor quite why I tuned in to Jay Leno’s final broadcast of the nightmarishly miserable 10PM failure, The Jay Leno Show. The show began terribly, and it only got worse from there, so it was highly unlikely that he’d pull out any hail mary miracles in the final episode to defend what he had done to America’s eyes for the past five months. But it is a testament to just how bad this thing was that I could actually be shocked and surprised anew at its awfulness. Like, I didn’t expect much, but I should have expected even less. The fact that this is the guy (and let’s be honest, basically the show) that NBC has staked its late night future in at the expense of any possible alternative late night future, is baffling. He is not even worth the matches needed to burn bridges.

Anyway, the final episode of The Jay Leno Show. Yikes. First things first, he came out swinging with a monologue joke about how the show was supposed to last for two years, but his sentence was reduced to five months for good behavior. Get it? Because Jay Leno SHOULD GO TO JAIL. And it kept going from there:

Without doing a running commentary of each and every miserable monologue “joke,” it is worth noting that this was theoretically the final episode of a series even if Jay is returning to late night in March, and he could not have phoned it in harder. Dude broke it.

Like, you’re kind of supposed to be making a case for why you came out on top in this whole thing, and why America needs you, or whatever, and the best you can come up with is a joke like, “I don’t think Washington has seen a snow job like this since that last stimulus package.” BONK. There we go. And while I admittedly have not seen that many episodes of this show, because I value my general mental well-being, last night saw the return of a classic segment:

WHAT? ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME? It was actually just grainy Flipcam footage of a dude throwing a ping pong ball into a Solo cup. The End! Like, I really need everyone to be on the same page with what happened, because I actually found it genuinely shocking: Jay Leno said “and now let’s take a look at the Beer Pong Shot of the Week,” and then they showed a guy making a beer pong shot, and then it went back to Jay and he said “that was the Beer Pong Shot of the Week. Back after these messages.” That made it into the series finale. “Come on, Jay, you can’t leave the fans of the show without one more installment of Beer Pong Shot of the Week.” What, no final lap around the Sad Track with Dr. Phil riding shotgun? I would have thought that that would have been the worst, but this was the worst. Genuinely unbelievable. My jaw was like:

Of course, Jay Leno did an “irreverent” look back at the five months of the show’s history, and of course, it was sad, lame, and entirely awful:

Naturally there was not a single memorable moment from the entire show just as there is not a single memorable moment from the entire history of Jay Leno’s hosting of the Tonight Show, because Jay Leno is a mediocre unfunny clown who feels that comedy should be like an inoffensive, half-finished word puzzle at the back of a children’s magazine. “Oh, I get how this works, and this does not challenge me in the lease. It doesn’t even make me think!” But, like, if you don’t have any memorable moments, you could at least make not-the-worst jokes? Just kidding, no you can’t. And that Donald Trump thing at the end actually makes me MAD. Enough with the pretending that you got fired, Jay Leno. It is literally sickening. We are living through one of the worst economic climates in generations with people actually struggling to find work and hold onto their homes, and you have a multi-billion dollar corporation that has staked all of its chips on you, for better or for worse, and still you are pretending like you are a down-on-your-luck Skid Row resident who never thought it would all go up in a puff of smoke. GO FUCK YOURSELF, FOR REAL.

Then he interviewed Ashton Kutcher, because perfect, who first made a joke about who the entire Late Night Situation was just an elaborate episode of PUNK’D, and the audience was like, “what is PUNK’D?” Then Ashton made fun of how mad Conan got when he realized he was PUNK’D. LOL? Ashton Kutcher, you guys! Still got it! Then he told a HILARIOUS story about how he lost a few grand by betting on the Super Bowl, which he was at. HE SAYS THE THINGS WE ARE ALL THINKING. Then Jay Leno and him traded old football stories, and by traded old football stories, I mean that Kurt Warner came out and threw footballs to Ashton Kutcher while the crew dumped fake snow on him. Somewhere, an audience in 1938 found it hilarious.

Oh, and Jay Leno definitely asked Kurt Warner if he had second thoughts about retiring, because Jay Leno knows that the only thing that is classier than refusing to retire is constantly giving other people a hard time on national television about retiring in order to make yourself feel better.

Is there a way to hire Jay Leno for PRESIDENT?

The rest of the show was just sort of, you know, boring and who cares. I mean, the first part of the show was also boring and who cares, but there was nothing to get mad about in the second half of the show. He interviewed the lady from Precious, and he had Bob Costas on the [email protected] (do you think it would be possible to trademark suicide?) which aired promptly at 10:50, because of course it did. Everything about this show was just thought out within an inch of its life, clearly. Sadly, Jay Leno didn’t do a final lap around his Stupid As Shit Race Track That I Never Could And Still Can’t Believe Was A Real Thing. There was not even a real send-off at the end. He just said goodbye to Bob Costas and that was it. Which fair enough. Even Jay Leno recognizes that it is best to let garbage go softly into the night. Good riddance to bad this show.

Jay Leno returns to the Tonight Show March 1st.