85k: Jay Leno / The Neville Brothers

Jay Leno's Monologue

.....Jay Leno

Don Pardo V/O: Ladies and gentlemen, Jay Leno!

[Cheers and applause for the dark-haired, lantern-jawed stand-up comedian who, with his short-sleeved jacket, vaguely resembles Frankenstein's monster.]

Jay Leno: All right! Thank you, thank you, thank you! All right! [Cheers and applause continue.] All right, we didn't come here to have fun! Settle down! ... Good to see, everybody, welcome to the show. Saw a frightening statistic in the paper, this is unbelievable. What do you think the most widely read magazine in America is? Take a guess.

Genuine Audience Member: "Us"!

Jay Leno: No, not "Us."

Another Audience Member: "Reader's Digest"!

Jay Leno: Used to be "Reader's Digest"! Now, it's "TV Guide"! "TV Guide" is now considered reading in America! ... When did this happen? I think it happened the same day ketchup became a vegetable in this country! ... "Are you comin' to bed, dear?" "Oh, in a couple of hours, honey. I just want to see who's on 'Cross Wits' for the rest of the week. ... Put my book marker on Thursday so as not to lose my place." ... I like the new ad campaign: "You need 'TV Guide' because TV's getting more complicated every day." ... Boy, you know there are people out there saying, "We'd like to watch 'The Dukes of Hazzard' -- we just don't have the educational background. ... If only there was a supplement we could follow along with." ...

I watch my favorite show every day -- "People's Court"? ... [applause for "The People's Court"] Now this - this is like "Attack of the Pinheads," this program, innit? "He took my pen!" "I did not!" "He took my pen!" "You shut up!" I think you should give the death sentence to some of these people. ... You know-- and I feel sorry for Judge Wapner. He must take so much grief from the other judges. I mean, hey -- judges are a pretty pompous group. Whenever ya get a bunch of judges in a room, they'll always try to impress one another with the important cases they've handled. "Well, I remember the essence of the Miranda decision was essentially that the rights of the individual should triumph over the needs of-- Why, here comes Judge Wapner now! ... Hey, Wapner! How'd you make out with that Case of the Puppy-Stained Carpet?!" ...

Game shows? You know, there was a time in this country to be on a game show, you actually had to know somethin', y'know? ... Now, they bring back stuff like "The New Dating Game," "The New Newlywed Game." I should explain how this works. See, although the literacy rate in this country is low, the networks are worried that it's not quite low enough. ... So, by bringing back shows like "The Dating Game" what they hope to do is mate genetically inferior people ... in the realization that they will reproduce mutant offspring ... thus ensuring the next generation of contestants for these game shows. Yeah. ... It's all in a new book-- [applause] All in a new book called "Frontiers of Science" by Bob Eubanks and Dr. William Shockley. ...

Now, here's something. I don't know. You know, honestly, I like George Kennedy. I like Danny Thomas. Why do they have to try and sell these sleazeball insurance policies ... to the elderly and these poor veterans? "Are you fifty to eighty and thinking about life insurance?" Come on! What eighty-year-old guy is just thinking about life insurance? ... "You know, honey, our children are in their sixties now ... Well, God forbid if we ever had that motorcycle accident, geez, I ... just want to know those kids are taken care of." And the benefits! If you're hospitalized, they pay you fifty dollars a day cash! Fifty dollars! How you gonna spend that kind of dough in the hospital, huh? ... "Wanna put an extra stitch in my head, Doc? I'm gettin' fifty a day, okay?! ... Here's an extra two bucks. You split that with the head surgeon." ... Hey, that's not all. They'll pay you fifty dollars every day you're hospitalized -- [snaps fingers] -- regardless of length of stay. Hey, let's be honest. As soon as this hospital finds out you're only gettin' fifty bucks a day -- [smacks hand with fist] -- you're not gonna be hospitalized too much longer, all right, pal? ... You'll be in a roll-away bed in the parking lot by the time they figure that one out. ...

Any coffee achievers in the room? [briefly plays air guitar] ... Oh, these are the worst. Now, they're trying to get kids to drink coffee. They show rock star David Bowie drinking coffee. Come on! To David Bowie, a cup o' coffee is merely a sedative at this point. ... [applause] Well, that's the big thing now, innit? Try to get some big time celebrity to be a spokesman. Like a Bill Cosby for Jell-O, Cliff Robertson for AT&T, those are pretty good. But some of them are embarrassing. I keep seeing this one: "Here's Martha Raye -- actress, denture wearer." ... Really? Is this really an accomplishment? Denture wearing? I mean-- ... Is she proud to have this on her resume? ... "Let's see, Miss Raye, you've done theater, film -- Oh-oh, I see you're a denture wearer! ... I had no idea your credentials were quite so extensive, Miss Raye." ... "Here's Carl Sagan -- astronomer, philosopher, hemorrhoid sufferer!" ... I think he's doin' a hell of a job there. [applause]

Oh, I always get annoyed when I see celebrities try to take advantage of the character they play on TV. Who's this guy, Chris somethin', does an ad for Vicks? "I'm not a doctor -- [raises a hand] -- although I play one on TV." ... Not a doctor?! Hey, pal, I've seen your show! You're not even an actor! ... [cheers and applause] Thank you.

Anybody buy any new Time-Life Books? "The Great Gunfighters"! "World War Two, the Hitler Era" -- this is all part of the new Time-Life atrocity series. ... My favorite is "The Great Gunfighters": "Read about John - John Wesley Harding, so mean he once shot a man just for snorin'." Is this really responsible journalism on the part of "Time"? ... What are these people gonna write about the 1980s a hundred years from now? "Read about John Hinckley, Jr., an hombre so ornery -- he once shot a president, [folksy voice] just so he could meet a pretty gal." ... [applause]

And Hinckley - Hinckley's getting married. You all know about this? It was in "People" Magazine so it must be true. ... Hinckley met a woman at the prison where he's incarcerated. Kind of your classic love story there. ... She's a convicted murderer. And, of course, Hinckley's an attempted murderer. You know, I hope this doesn't cause problems in their marriage. Sometimes a lot of guys can't handle it when the wife is more successful. ... [applause]

Manson denied parole again last week. Boy, this must come as quite a shock, huh? Gee ... I mean, does the board even have to meet to even decide this one? ... Couldn't they pretty much phone this one in? ... I mean, does Manson think he has a chance? Huh? Does he try to get a parole? I mean, what does a guy like Manson even say to his cell mate before he meets with the parole board? [prissily fusses with his necktie] "Gee, what do you think, Bob? The blue tie? ... Too busy?" [puts his pinky in his mouth] ... Manson was injured recently in prison. You read about this? True story. A fellow inmate threw gasoline on him and set him on fire during a religious argument. ... Here's a couple of major theologians for ya. ... [applause] Gee, I - I wonder what part of the Scriptures they were having trouble with when one threw gasoline on the other one's face and set him on fire?! "Still think it's Matthew 10?!" [mimes throwing bucket of gas] "Heeeey!" [covers face with hands] ...

Hey, listen, we got a great show! The Neville Brothers and Mike the Dog! And me! Stick around!

[Cheers and applause. The SNL Band kicks in with what sounds like the bass riff from Henry Mancini's "Theme from Peter Gunn" as we go to commercial.]

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