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October 25, 2014

The Jay Leno Show: Halle Berry

by Jason Hughes, posted Sep 18th 2009 1:00AM
Halle BerryI'm starting to get a feel for what these "comedy correspondents" are for. They'll be a recurring rotation of comedians on-hand to submit video shorts and provide comedy bits on the show. Basically, it's NBC coming through at least a bit on this being a "comedy" show instead of just a retooled talk show.

Unlike The Daily Show correspondents, Jay's correspondents are treated like guests rather than as a part of the show. Maybe, as time goes on and we see them over and over again, this will change. Perhaps they could even develop their own unique voice that we'll find ourselves looking forward to.

Tonight, D.L. Hughley went to speak to government representatives in California to talk about the sad state of the state's economy. From there, he wound up putting on a bake sale to save the state. So it was a bit like what would happen on The Daily Show after all.

In my mind, when I think of a comedy show, I'm reminded of The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour and The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour. That means that no matter who the guest is, it's up to the host's job to make their presence on the show funny. Tonight's guest was the beautiful Halle Berry, and there was some funny banter between the two. More specifically, they showed funny but embarrassing clips from their past.

I think I was kind of hoping he'd be roping them into awkwardly hilarious sketches. Pull them off of the interview couch and involve them more in the comedy. But I guess it's not that type of comedy show. I like seeing celebrities out of their element doing goofy things. That's why we like them on Saturday Night Live. I don't need a full-out sketch, but I guess I was hoping for more than a traditional interview from The Jay Leno Show.

I will applaud Jay offering stand-up comics, like tonight's Tom Papa, a prime-time network spotlight to do their schtick. I think my wife was too distracted by his mismatched tie and suit to appreciate his humor. Other than being offensive to the elderly, he had a lot of funny lines, which means there was ... comedy on the show! He even got a pretty long set, while the Halle Berry interview was rather short. Maybe they do know this is supposed to be a comedy show.

I didn't expect it to happen, but if tonight is any indication, The Jay Leno Show is quickly finding a healthy balance for its bits. I thought the sequence of segments made perfect sense, nothing went on too long. The musical guest offered a solid performance again, as well.

Sadly, the weakest parts of the show for me are Jay's ending segments, right before he punts it to the news. I know they think these are their strongest surviving bits from The Tonight Show, but they're wrong. These need to be something the audience will absolutely want to stick around for. Dumb 911 calls? I'd stick around to see Halle Berry or Eric Clapton, or even a good stand-up. They just don't feel like worthy show-closing segments.

Watch episodes and clips of The Jay Leno Show and other shows over at SlashControl.

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