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April 23, 2014

Jay Leno Continues to Lose in the Court of Public Opinion

by Kona Gallagher, posted Apr 4th 2010 4:43PM

About a year ago, Jay Leno traveled to Michigan to do a show for unemployed auto workers. It got him some good PR, and I'm sure the folks in attendance enjoyed themselves. It was a pretty positive experience all around. Since then, very little has gone right for Leno PR-wise, and now, a year later, he's even screwing things up in the Wolverine State.

In March of '09, Jaws Jumbo Burgers, a burger joint in Farmington Hills, Michigan, made a "Thank You Jay Leno" burger as a way to thank the late night host for doing those free shows. They offered Leno an all-expense-paid trip back to Michigan to try the burger out, but they never heard back from him.

They sent him emails, hand delivered packages, took out an ad in a newspaper; still nothing. They even started a blog,documenting the process of trying to get Jay to acknowledge them, but it was still radio silence. So now Jaws Jumbo Burgers is about to defect to Team CoCo.

Jaws has said that if they don't hear from Jay Leno by April 15, that they're going to ditch the Leno burger and replace it with the "We Miss You Conan O'Brien" burger. They will then offer O'Brien an all-expense paid trip to Michigan in order to try the dish named after him.

Granted, this is blatant opportunism on the part of Jaws Jumbo Burgers. They want to get their name out there, so they've started a mission with the express purpose of attaching themselves to a big name in order to do just that.

I'm not saying that Leno actually owes these guys anything, but come on. Leno may have his desk back, but he still has a long way to go in order to get the majority of the public back in his court.

He's a busy dude, but he managed to find time to fly across the country to do a commercial with Letterman, so how hard would it really be to fly to Michigan and eat a damn burger? He would be a local hero there, he'd garner national attention, and folks may actually start seeing him again as the nice guy he keeps on purporting to be.

For a little effort on his part, he could have helped out a restaurant, a town, and himself. Instead, he decided to concede yet another battle to Team CoCo. Way to go, Jay.

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Ryan

I'm not a fan of Leno, but I don't think you are losing the Court of Public Opinion when you come back and win your time slot beating Letterman and getting better numbers the Conan did.

April 05 2010 at 12:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Joyce N.

It's so pathetic that TV Squad has taken it upon themselves to bad-mouth Leno on a regular basis. Even Conan has moved on. Get over it!

April 05 2010 at 11:10 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Joyce N.'s comment
Jim

Conan hasn't moved on. He's just busy counting the dollars in his buy-out.

I'll move on when Jay moves on ... to retirement.

April 05 2010 at 11:16 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
chipramsey

Maybe Jay is a vegetarian.

April 05 2010 at 9:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
LC

I am no fan of Leno and hate his part in the whole late night fiasco and am hoping Conan goes to Fox and kicks his ass in the ratings, but I can't take the burger joints side in this. They are miffed that he didn't respond to a thank you?

Imagine you do something nice for a neighbor, like buy them groceries and they send you a thank you card and invite you over for dinner. Would it make it right that they start bad mouthing you to other neighbors? They should have taken the high road and left things as is with their first act of thanks.

April 05 2010 at 12:50 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
bruce

Trevor: indeed. It really takes a special kind of asshole to retire and turn over your show to Conan - who has wanted the show his entire life, and then snatch it right back per the network's request. The only reason why Conan's Tonight Show wasn't getting good ratings (not like Leno's doing any better now that he's back) was because NBC has the worst shows on TV and that means no viable lead-in show at 10pm.

Leno is a cruel, cutthroat bastard. If he were the slightest bit funny I could probably overlook some of that, but the guy has never once made me laugh. He's a G-rated corporate shill who got where is is by doing everything possible to NEVER offend anyone. The Catholic Church will stop raping children before Jay Leno ever tells a joke that just might offend someone. Corporate sponsors love him - they never have to worry about their products being "tied" to an offensive joke. Leno doesn't care about anything or anyone - as long as he can have his huge collection of cars that he never drives, he'll continue to be a pathetic sellout of a jackass.

April 05 2010 at 12:30 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Shaun

Leno has no morals and no ethics. None. I don't care about this burger thing, but to completely ignore them shows again how arrogant Leno is.

I can't remember the last time Judas Leno got any good publicity. Everyone knows what a bum he is now.

April 04 2010 at 11:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
bruce

I hate Leno, but who the hell are these people to think they're somehow ENTITLED to a response from Jay Leno? Talk about a huge ego.

I think they really believe that if they name a greasy food product on their menu after a celebrity, they are entitled to have that celebrity fly cross-country to do a PR-stunt in their restaurant.

I named my toilet the "Obama Flush" - am I entitled to have the President come to my apartment and take a shit on my toilet? If I don't get a response, do I have a legitimate gripe against him? No, of course not. And only a sociopath would think differently.

It's just another example of how people involved with marketing and advertising are the most unethical, rotten, annoying people on the planet. As the great Bill Hicks once said, if you work in advertising, please go kill yourself. Put a gun in your mouth and pull the trigger. Oh how clever, he's going after the anti-advertising demographic, trying to snatch up those anti-advertising dollars! No. Just kill yourself. Please. Especially these guys, as the only thing worse than people involved with a marketing stunt is people involved with a marketing stunt with an overblown sense of entitlement. "How dare jay leno not fly out to bumfuck hicksville and eat the hamburger my store named after him!" Unbelievable. You couldn't pay me to eat at this place - even if they named a burger after me.

April 04 2010 at 10:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
nick

Whether or not there's 'bias' Leno is tarnished. His numbers are down from when he last hosted the Tonight Show and he's now neck and neck with the Late Show. NBC handled the situation extremely poorly. I don't believe Leno came out looking great after all was said and done. And you are right, I'm not going to like Leno just because he visited a burger place. I didn't like when he got the Tonight Show the first time, I didn't like when he took over 10pm, and I certainly didn't like when he returned to the Tonight show at the expense of getting rid of Conan.

As far as the burger place, I would take them up on their offer if they named a burger after me. Never been to Michigan.

April 04 2010 at 9:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
chrissthomas

The difference creep is will that story get national attention? If it does then yes he should go if he wants to keep his popularity. After about two of those the public will loose attention and he won't have to do them though I doubt two will even get the traction off the ground to garner the attention. This one is already out there so he should do it or have the story eek on to hurt him in the future.

April 04 2010 at 5:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to chrissthomas's comment
Dave

It isn't that this is "getting national attention". It's just another TV Squad post exhibiting their bias.

There are three links - one to something Leno did last year, one to a past, TV Squad post, and one to the small blog. Nothing to even make one think for a second that there's national attention.

Creep said it right. Leno would damned for going there, and damned (at least by this blog) for not.

The real truth about the "court of public opinion" here is probably far from what Kona Gallagher states. More likely it's "meh" all around. Neither of these two commanded a large audience, and it reallt seems to be that the majority of the public really doesn't give a damn.

April 04 2010 at 5:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Creep

I'm not really a fan of Leno, but to let a small burger joint manipulate you is a bad idea. If he goes for it, the next thing you know Shecky's Game Shack in Nowheresville is gonna pull the same thing. "Come to our place of business and promote us or we're gonna turn on you." He'll just look like a pathetic puppet desperate for acceptance by anyone. I do think he still has some damage control to do, but not at the whims of everyone that demands it.

April 04 2010 at 4:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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