I’m a little late in commenting on NBC’s Jay Leno Tonight Show promo (it aired during their Olympics coverage but not ours, which is a small price to pay for getting more actual Olympics coverage). It’s every bit as smug as everyone says it is, calculated to reinforce all the negative stereotypes about the host.
The idea of doing it as a Dallas-style dream sequence would have made him seem much more sympathetic; it’s hardly an original thing to parody, but at least it wouldn’t make Leno seem like a parody of himself. It’s like the network watched all the Leno spoofs and said, “yes, Jay is a smirking, oblivious guy who cares only about his expensive cars and has literally learned nothing from this experience” (since the promo is similar to the one that brought him to 10 o’clock). Either they don’t want to disprove the stereotypes or they’re actively playing to the segment of the audience — a sizable segment, of course — that missed Leno and wants him back where they think he belongs.
And if they were going to spend all that money to get the song, I’d at least have liked them to add some new lyrics for the occasion. Something like:
Leno took the show that briefly had been Conan’s,
Just so he could save his staff.
Baby-boomer dads and Tucson Arizonans
Once again can learn to laugh.
Get back, get back, get back to where your schtick belonged.
Get back, you hack, though Conan thinks that he was wronged.
Get back, Leno.
Leno bombed at ten, and quickly got rewarded,
Just like guys who ran the banks.
Everything he’s done is kind of crass and sordid,
And Bill Carter sends his thanks.
Get back, get back, get back to where the viewers thronged.
Get back to crack a joke that’s creaky and prolonged.
Get back, Leno.