What’s Jay Leno’s New Show? Why, It’s Jay Leno’s Old Show

In May, Jay Leno was due to retire from TV and spend his days droning witlessly about cars and getting chin massages.

But that was never actually going to be the case. There’s such a dearth of middle-aged male millionaires who aren’t as funny as they think they are on TV right now that Jay Leno was never going to stay retired for long.

And now we know what Jay Leno’s next show will be – it’s his old show, basically – on the same network, in the same studio and broadcast 90 minutes earlier so even more people can get contaminated by watch it.

It’s fair to say that there are two types of people in the world – the type that finds Jay Leno funny and the type that’s medically allowed to operate heavy machinery.

However, you can’t deny Jay Leno’s popularity – whether it’s because he’s been the voice that lulls America to sleep with slightly rubbish jokes and interviews so bland that they may as well be conducted by a knitted frog in a hat for 15 years, or whether it’s because people love watching middle-aged men make blusteringly inappropriate gay jokes to minor actors, Jay Leno is inexplicably beloved by millions of weirdos.

And that causes a problem for NBC. Years ago Jay Leno decided that he was going to retire from The Tonight Show in 2009, so NBC quickly moved in and made sure that they signed up Conan O’Brien to take his place. But then as 2009 got closer, Jay Leno got ants in his pants and decided that maybe he wanted to stay, but he couldn’t stay, and all the other TV networks were like “Hey, come join us!” and Jay Leno started spinning around in a daze and took out six storefront windows with his giant chin because he was so disorientated. Figuratively.

But now the problem has finally been solved. Jay Leno has announced his new show, and it’ll come as good news to anyone who liked his old show. Because, well, it is his old show. But here’s the thing – it’s going to be broadcast at 10pm instead of 11:35pm. The New York Times reports:

The new show, which will begin next fall, is expected to be set in Mr. Leno?s longtime studio in Burbank, Calif. Mr. Leno is expected to retain many of the most popular elements of his ?Tonight Show,? including his monologue and bits like ?Headlines? and ?Jay Walking.? One ?Tonight Show? staff member said the new program would not be a variety show.

Theoretically this could be a winner for NBC. Jay Leno is a much-loved performer who’ll be exposed to an earlier timeslot – and therefore a much bigger audience – with his new show. This could mean he’d get the jump on all the big-name guests, leaving the late-night talkshows to blunder through interviews with reality TV stars and authors of books about amusing rock formations.

There are downsides to this gamble too, though – by putting his show on at 10pm five times a week, Jay Leno’s competition stops being David Letterman and starts being CSI and Without A Trace and other wildly popular police dramas that he’ll have trouble keeping up with.

Plus, putting Jay Leno on at 10pm means that NBC is giving over three hours of every day to three different versions of the exact same formula. Not only is 15 hours a week of chat massive overkill, but it’s going to make people resent poor Jimmy Fallon more than they already do, if that’s even possible.

Finally, though – and this is the biggest downside of all – how long will it be before America discovers that it only found Jay Leno funny when it was drowsy and on the verge of sleep? We’re going to hazard a guess here – it’ll be about 12 seconds.

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  1. says


    Johnny Carson would never have done this to Jay

    Second the only reason Leno is popular is because he has been the host for SO FREAKING LONG so thats all we know.

    Leno was never funny and will never be.

    He cant speak, He mumbles, and his interview skills are horrendous.

    He is boring, looks bored and its time to RID this guy from the Airwaves for GooooooD

    Jay be a man and just leave … how LOW of you to do this to CONAN.

  2. b w evans says

    conan yay, jay is bored. fallon is a flop, that craig guy and letterman are even worse.

  3. Lizzy says

    Conan is for the real young Loonies out there — he is just plain Silly and goofy most of the time. How can ADULTS watch him??!

  4. People's Choice says

    OK, Jay Leno is HILARIOUS if you are intelligent enough to understand the English language, (as many of you obviously aren’t) so go take your hater opinions elsewhere. And Jay did not do anything to Conan; try planning your retirement 15+ years in advance, and see how it works out for ya.



  5. minnie martin says

    I think Jay is great I watch him everynight and have always loved his show, I can’t wait to see his new show I’m sure he’ll so fine and I’s glad his taking his band with him to the new show, they are great together, like Johnny and Ed were. Good luch Jay, I wish you the best on your new show. Can’t say that about Conan, I just don’t think he’s funny at all-he is wiered, no personality, no class, nothing.

  6. joe says

    Conan is a joke , undeserving of the Late show host , he’s childish to the point of stupidity , I think his viewers mostly consist of teens , and special needs patients . his interview skills are terrible and most of his guests look uncomfortable with his immaturity , 11:30 will be spend on a different network in my household for sure .
    Leno , like Dave , is a Legend of late night . I’m just glad I don’t have to wait until 11:35 to watch him now .. thx NBC

  7. Steve says

    I did watch Conan when I was a teen and now I am 29 and I still watch Conan. I have never been a fan of Jay; his writers aren’t bad so sometimes his monologue jokes are good but his interviews are just plane boring. I think over the years people of all ages have been exposed to Conan and realized he isn’t just for the younger audience. My father who is 53 always thought that Conan was a goofball and that Jay was better. Then I made him watch Conan a few times and it didn’t take much time for him to come around and proclaim Conan funnier than Leno. Now don’t get me wrong I wouldn’t expect my Grandfather who is 83 years old to watch Conan. So I am sure the Tonight show will take some hits from the older demographic but that’s to be expected. I think people from anywhere from say 15 to 55 maybe 60 years old are those who will watch Conan. The others can turn on CBS.

  8. Me says

    You don’t know much about Jay Leno then. The guy has never stopped doing stand up. He does shows in Vegas all the time. Like all comedians who have been doing it as long as he has. He will work until he dies. “Droning on about cars and getting chin massages” shut up hipster. Whether you like him or not…. he’s OG. He deserves some respect In my view. At least do more research before you write about it. That’s the one thing I hate about the interwebz, all the ignorant people in the world also now think they’re writers.

    “droning witlessly” what the hell are you talking about? Do you know anything about cars? I do, and I happen to know that he knows A LOT about automobiles. You are so ignorant, it is sad.

    I’m 30 and Not a fanboy, I actually like Conan better. I had to post though. This is directed at the author.

  9. jrod says

    first get your facts strait. the tonight show was not handed over to conan because jay leno said he was retiring. conan had been following the leno for years and wanted his shot at the bigs. the nbc was worried he might jump ship ala letterman and wanted a peaceful transition this time. plus they felt conan had more appeal to the younger demographic. jay leno never said he was retiring. when he announced he was handing over the tonight show to conan he clearly stated he was staying in show business. it was only a question of what he would be doing. i thought all of this was commom knowledge so i’m not sure why someone who considers he has authority to comment on this would be unaware of these facts.

  10. DARLENE says

    i observe from your writing skills & lack of knowledge you are not one to judge. \
    from previous responses (which you dont really even deserve), how
    many people actually agree with YOUr comment/article?.
    you’re so far gone, you now can’t come back.

  11. zonin says

    Why doesn’t anyone mention the fact that Conan was a writer for one of the best TV shows of all time, “The Simpsons.” He actually tries to ENTERTAIN the audience with funny skits, and hilarious monologues..in my opinion.

    Leno’s most popular bit is STOLEN from Howard Stern’s “The Homeless Guy Game.”
    His sidekick Kevin, was probbaly the lamest guy I’ve ever seen on tv. Listening to his retarded laugh at every dorky Leno joke almost made me vomit. And I don’t even want to get into the whole John Melendez, “Stuttering John” debacle.

    Leno is a hack, and was even caught sitting in a closet at a Johnny Carson interview with NBC executives. What a LOSER!

    Conan forever

    Conan has the Chuck Norris Lever. BADASS

  12. IdiotDetector says

    wow. The opening 2 paragraphs were ALMOST funny.

    hermitage (is that his real name) shouldn’t be writing about comedy if he knows nothing about it.

    This droning tome put me to sleep. dumped the rest of it and intentionally misspelled his name so no poor harmless search engines could find this sorry excuse for a blog. ever

  13. luser says

    Do what to Conan? Conan is getting a way better time slot, an already established viewer base, and a massive budget. Are a retarded or just high?

  14. Sweet Cheeks says

    You obviously don’t like Jay Leno. I don’t find your rambling very interesting either. You yourself sound like a boring person full of self importance. I think Jay Leno rocks. Lots of people are simply jealous of him. Now put that in your book.

  15. Ben says

    OK, so I watched the last two nights of Jay’s new show, and while I like Jay just fine, it felt all wrong…something is off. It isn’t that he’s less funny, it’s that he needed to take this opportunity to do something NEW and FRESH, and instead, he’s just picked up where he left off, with new graphics and a new set behind him, and he’s on before the news instead of afterwards.

    It just didn’t work for me. The funniest part of the first two shows was when he made fun of Seinfeld’s voice cracking. That was hilarious. But it was 4 seconds out of 2 hours.

    I have better things to do with my time, and honestly more interesting things to watch. I was hoping Jay would switch things up and try something different.

    Oh well.