The Jay Leno Show: Hugh Laurie, Lebron James
by Danny Gallagher, posted Sep 26th 2009 9:25PM
Usually television shows, especially comedies, should try to end a strong note and Jay Leno's Friday show did just that. Well, the last part did.
The interviews were much improved, including the dreaded "Ten@Ten" segment, the comedy worked for the most part and the show finally seems to be fitting around Jay the way a plastic shrink wrapper engulfs its product. Except there are quite a few air bubbles that need pounding.
For starters, the monologue is still not great. Those kinds of jokes are hard to write, but they still feel like the first ideas that jumped in the writers' head and if they aren't the first, then the monologue has much farther to go than I originally thought. To compensate for this, they throw in a whole megaton of jokes, going with quality over quantity in the hopes that someone of them get a big laugh and some do. Even the interview with Wendy, the fast food mascot celebrating her recent anniversary, got a few laughs if they were mostly all fast-food double-entendre. Carrot Top as Wendy's and Ronald McDonald's love child dragged a noticeable chuckle out of me, making it the first chuckle I've ever made at Carrot Top.
The "Cops and Doctors" TV drama parody sketch starring Trevor Moore of the Whitest Kids U Know had a clever idea but poor execution. That's probably because Moore and company work best when they aren't under the thumb of free TV's picky censors. I'm fairly sure Moore had the word "ass" instead of "butt" in the first draft of the script and it shows because it really wasn't all that funny or at least what I usually expect of him. Trevor, come back to late night when mainstream TV censors grow a pair.
The interviews were a lot better, which wouldn't be hard to do since the Pee Wee Herman debacle. Hugh Laurie had his DNA chemically altered to serve mankind as the greatest talk show guest. He's lively but never over the top, witty and urbane and just damn interesting. The sprinkles on the cupcake came from his jazz piano solo because he sounded pretty damn good. The man oozes talent pheromones that should be bottled and sold on the black market.
Even the usually weak "Ten@Ten" with Lebron James was good. The questions still seemed wooden and completely rote, but Lebron has a strong personality to make them work. It would have been nice if Jay had spent a little more time getting to know him. The man has a very interesting life and story to tell. Hell, if a 30 minute show like The Daily Show can do a good interview with the man, an hour long show shouldn't have any excuses.