Get Back, Leno -

Get Back, Leno


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.
Tell jokes.

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Get Back, Leno

  1. "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,

    … typical hyperbole from that Weinman crank.

    • Weinman is a crank, the worst in the dominion,
      Bashing Leno all the time.
      What he wrote today was either his opinion
      Or a stretch to make a rhyme.

      • Going over the top, while sometimes good,
        Can also be tasteless smear.
        Ribbing is fine, that's well understood,
        But not trashing a guy's whole career.

  2. Given the style of talking points that dominates the US media these days, I would have thought the promo would talk about how he 'successfully conquered prime time' and he was 'heroically returning to 11:35pm', with of course the required quotes from reporters you've never heard of along the lines of 'Jay triumphs again!' from the well respected website We Love Hollywood!

  3. i love have stupid a contradiction the NBC advert line ("NBC…more colorful") is juxtaposed against what they are advertising. yup NBC, bring back the more middle aged/older, less funny, more conservative host to replace the more youngish animated and interesting guy is definitely the more colorful.

  4. Leno himself had a good take on that:

    Leno was asked if he wasn't crushed by all the bad press and he said to the fellow who asked him this, "Hey, tell you what. I'll give you my paycheck and I'll call you a moron. See if you can handle it."

  5. As someone who never much watched the Tonight Show or Late Night, I find this ad pretty insulting to anyone who preferred Conan. It's like the cavalry is coming in to save the day when Conan couldn't hack it. When the reality is that Leno completely failed in prime time. I kinda want to slap whoever approved this ad, especially whoever sold the rights to Get Back for it (no idea anymore who owns the Beatles rights these days…)

  6. I loved your lyrics, Jaime. Well done.

    Also, it's a shame they didn't go the Dallas route. That could've made for a pretty awesome promo.

  7. What would it take to have Conan appear on the Late Show during Leno's relaunch week?

  8. You gotta admit there's a certain irony in that the most positive ad for Leno preparing for his return to the Tonight Show was the 15-second spot concocted by David Letterman that ran on CBS during the Super Bowl.