Jay Walking

The interesting thing about Fallon is that he is an improviser , which is collaborative by it’s very nature. He celebrates the greatness of others in order to survive. Jay Leno ran a pretty tight ship where there was seemingly very little rapport, no Ed McMahon. I read once that he would gig after his tonight show shows in Las Vegas on the same day and would have done his act so much the same way that he would “sleep” through it. I know that feeling where you do everything the same way so much that it becomes kind of meditative.i try to avoid that in my life but It is true of lots of different things in life. It would seem Leno snuffed out the variability and random moments in the same way. He found a formula and just repeated it over and over. It wasn’t high brow it was in fact condescending. While he pretended he was a man of the people and blue collar…he specialized in “jay walking” where he showed you his audience on the street. They were the lowest of the low and he knew it. In stead of leading society like Craig or Dave or even Jimmy Fallon did, Jay capitalized on that forgotten blue collar element and took that to the bank. When I was on Letterman, (in the crowd, for those keeping score), I noticed his glow. He would talk to the audience like a warm up comedian and would usually reference an audience member with an inside joke. It has the effect of making the show seems much more alive and makes the live audience react that much more. It proves that he was listening. Leno fakes handshakes in a completely manipulated maneuver. Letterman was perfect for talk shows as a host because he was willing to walk that line between the script and the moment. Leno was always prepared for all contingencies like a gunslinger but one you never missed when he was shot himself. Who doesn’t quote Dave’s moments after 911 or Craig Ferguson on his feelings about addiction. I will miss Dave. What will we remember Jay for? Jay walking?


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