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Jay Leno Thinks Late-Night TV Is Too Depressing Today
Back in Jay Leno’s day, the world was a simpler place. “Bush was dumb and Clinton was horn,y and it was human problems,” the former Tonight Show host tells The Hollywood Reporter. Ahh yes, those were the days, when Leno could just coast through a nightly monologue by simply asking the crowd if they’ve heard of this Dick Cheney guy.
Things are different in 2018, though. Late-night is different in 2018. And Leno thinks The Tonight Show, The Late Show—all of them—are a little too depressing.
Now it’s all anti-women, anti-LGBT, anti-Muslim, anti-Mexican, anti-Salvadoran; it’s such a negative thing. God bless all the late-night hosts, they make it funny, but ultimately, it’s depressing. You don’t really watch late-night TV to get away from reality anymore; now it’s more in your face. You laugh but then you go to bed going, “Oh man, the world is really pretty rough.” And it’s not, it’s one man that causes all these problems!
To Leno’s credit, he’s got a pretty positive outlook on this whole Donald Trump thing. “I think it’s ultimately a good thing,” he says, “sometimes you have to hit people in the head with a two-by-four to make them aware.” Which might be the most down-the-middle Leno take ever.
It also seems like he doesn’t really watch Stephen Colbert’s Late Show. Leno acknowledges that he likes Colbert, but when asked what late night shows he’s tuning into, Leno says:
I’m a joke guy; I don’t really watch the celebrity interviews because I’ve interviewed all those people already. I watch Seth Meyers, Fallon, Kimmel. I do try to watch them all. I like to hear their jokes. That’s the hardest thing to do—write a joke—and it’s really hard when you have to write basically the same joke every night. I don’t mean that in an insulting way.
Hmmm. Anyway, Leno has a very not-depressing show about cars on CNBC now.