The Jay Leno Show: Jenna Fischer
by Danny Gallagher, posted Oct 3rd 2009 3:18AM
I had a really hard time finding an image to include with this article. I went through every newspaper article that had "The Jay Leno Show" in the body of its text. I did searches on Google Images until Google got sick of me clogging their bandwidth. Even my editor Jane Boursaw couldn't use her super press connection powers to find one stinking shot of Jay blowing his nose in between sets from Friday's show.
Perhaps that's because Friday's late night appetizer on NBC wasn't really all that eventful. Don't take that to mean that it was totally dull, drab or boring, just a typical show for Jay and company.
And given some of the past episodes that sucked out loud, there's nothing wrong with being typical. Compared to the Pee Wee Herman debacle, it's a Devil's Tower sized step up.
Right off the bat, Jay opens with a joke about David Letterman's extortion scheme that could have just been the "elephant in the room" bit that swept the whole thing under the rug. Instead, they actually found a very clever and funny way of addressing it without slapping the wrong guy in the face or making their late night compadre the butt of the joke. It also felt very unusual for Jay's monologues, since it was a physical bit involving the band's drummer, which made it that much funnier. The "Who Cares What They Think" roundtable debate put a new spin on a tired skit of comedians and talking heads talking until our eyes bleed, and the "Photo Booth" bit was also entertaining and amusing because hidden camera humor seems a little foreign for Jay's schtick.
The Jenna Fischer interview was a little less colorful and that's probably because it wasn't geared towards me. I enjoyed the early Office episodes but haven't been keeping up enough to draw enough interest on the big wedding episode. Plus, anytime a celebrity, particularly a beautiful female celebrity, talks about their own upcoming nuptials, I immediately stop paying attention to whatever they are saying. I'm not gonna waste my worm on a fish that's no longer in the sea.
That being said, the Green Car Challenge is starting to wear a little thin and not just because the babe behind the wheel has popped her last clutch. It really didn't generate as much excitement for me as the first few stars took to the track. That's probably because there doesn't seem to be any great rivalry among the people competing in them. The bit is a weak clone of Top Gear's "Star in a Reasonably Priced Car," a segment that works on all levels because it fits the body of the show and the people competing in them, like the rivalry between American Idol's Simon Cowell and musician Jay Kay biting their teeth to get as high as they can on the leaderboard. They should be foaming at the mouth to get in the car to take practice laps and biting holes in their lips around every corner. It's still early in the show's infancy and has made the rounds yet to make it competitive, but someone better get excited about this thing soon or the audience won't.