Jay Leno’s Monologue
[Cheers and applause for the dark-haired,lantern-jawed stand-up comedian who, with hisshort-sleeved jacket, vaguely resembles Frankenstein’smonster.]
Don Pardo V/O: Ladies and gentlemen, JayLeno!
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! Settledown! … Good to see, everybody, welcome to the show.Saw a frightening statistic in the paper, this isunbelievable. What do you think the most widely readmagazine in America is? Take a guess.
Genuine Audience Member: “Us”!
Jay Leno: No, not “Us.”
Another Audience Member: “Reader’sDigest”!
Jay Leno: Used to be “Reader’s Digest”! Now,it’s “TV Guide”! “TV Guide” is now consideredreading in America! … When did this happen? Ithink it happened the same day ketchup became avegetable in this country! … “Are you comin’to bed, dear?” “Oh, in a couple of hours, honey. Ijust want to see who’s on ‘Cross Wits’ for the rest ofthe week. … Put my book marker on Thursday so as notto lose my place.” … I like the new ad campaign:”You need ‘TV Guide’ because TV’s getting morecomplicated every day.” … Boy, you know thereare people out there saying, “We’d like towatch ‘The Dukes of Hazzard’ — we just don’thave the educational background. … If onlythere was a supplement we could follow along with.”…
I watch my favorite show every day — “People’sCourt”? … [applause for “The People’s Court”] Nowthis – this is like “Attack of the Pinheads,” thisprogram, innit? “He took my pen!” “I did not!” “Hetook my pen!” “You shut up!” I think you should givethe death sentence to some of these people. …You know– and I feel sorry for Judge Wapner. He musttake so much grief from the other judges. I mean, hey– judges are a pretty pompous group. Whenever ya geta bunch of judges in a room, they’ll always try toimpress one another with the important cases they’vehandled. “Well, I remember the essence of the Mirandadecision was essentially that the rights of theindividual should triumph over the needs of– Why,here comes Judge Wapner now! … Hey, Wapner!How’d you make out with that Case of thePuppy-Stained Carpet?!” …
Game shows? You know, there was a time in this countryto be on a game show, you actually had to knowsomethin’, y’know? … Now, they bring back stuff like”The New Dating Game,” “The New Newlywed Game.” Ishould explain how this works. See, although theliteracy rate in this country is low, the networks areworried that it’s not quite low enough. … So, bybringing back shows like “The Dating Game” what theyhope to do is mate genetically inferior people … inthe realization that they will reproduce mutantoffspring … thus ensuring the next generation ofcontestants for these game shows. Yeah. … It’s allin a new book– [applause] All in a new book called”Frontiers of Science” by Bob Eubanks and Dr. WilliamShockley. …
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 sleazeballinsurance policies … to the elderly and these poorveterans? “Are you fifty to eighty and thinking aboutlife insurance?” Come on! What eighty-year-old guy isjust thinking about life insurance? … “Youknow, honey, our children are in their sixtiesnow … Well, God forbid if we ever had thatmotorcycle accident, geez, I … just want to knowthose kids are taken care of.” And the benefits! Ifyou’re hospitalized, they pay you fifty dollars a daycash! Fifty dollars! How you gonna spend that kindof dough in the hospital, huh? … “Wanna put anextra stitch in my head, Doc? I’m gettin’ fifty a day,okay?! … Here’s an extra two bucks. You split thatwith the head surgeon.” … Hey, that’s not all.They’ll pay you fifty dollars every day you’rehospitalized — [snaps fingers] — regardless oflength of stay. Hey, let’s be honest. As soon as thishospital finds out you’re only gettin’ fifty bucks aday — [smacks hand with fist] — you’re not gonna behospitalized too much longer, all right, pal? …You’ll be in a roll-away bed in the parking lot by thetime they figure that one out. …
Any coffee achievers in the room? [brieflyplays air guitar] … Oh, these are the worst. Now,they’re trying to get kids to drink coffee. They showrock star David Bowie drinking coffee. Come on! ToDavid Bowie, a cup o’ coffee is merely asedative at this point. … [applause] Well,that’s the big thing now, innit? Try to get some bigtime celebrity to be a spokesman. Like a Bill Cosbyfor Jell-O, Cliff Robertson for AT&T, those are prettygood. But some of them are embarrassing. I keep seeingthis one: “Here’s Martha Raye — actress, denturewearer.” … Really? Is this really anaccomplishment? Denture wearing? I mean– … Is sheproud to have this on her resume? … “Let’s see, MissRaye, you’ve done theater, film — Oh-oh, I see you’rea denture wearer! … I had no idea your credentialswere quite so extensive, Miss Raye.” … “Here’s CarlSagan — astronomer, philosopher, hemorrhoidsufferer!” … I think he’s doin’ a hell of a jobthere. [applause]
Oh, I always get annoyed when I see celebrities try totake advantage of the character they play on TV. Who’sthis guy, Chris somethin’, does an ad for Vicks? “I’mnot a doctor — [raises a hand] — although I play oneon TV.” … Not a doctor?! Hey, pal, I’ve seen yourshow! You’re not even an actor! … [cheers andapplause] Thank you.
Anybody buy any new Time-Life Books? “The GreatGunfighters”! “World War Two, the Hitler Era” — thisis all part of the new Time-Life atrocity series. …My favorite is “The Great Gunfighters”: “Read aboutJohn – John Wesley Harding, so mean he once shot a manjust for snorin’.” Is this really responsiblejournalism on the part of “Time”? … What are thesepeople gonna write about the 1980s a hundred yearsfrom now? “Read about John Hinckley, Jr., an hombre soornery — he once shot a president, [folksy voice]just so he could meet a pretty gal.” …[applause]
And Hinckley – Hinckley’s getting married. You allknow about this? It was in “People” Magazine so itmust be true. … Hinckley met a woman at the prisonwhere he’s incarcerated. Kind of your classic lovestory there. … She’s a convicted murderer. And, ofcourse, Hinckley’s an attempted murderer. You know, Ihope this doesn’t cause problems in their marriage.Sometimes a lot of guys can’t handle it when the wifeis more successful. … [applause]
Manson denied parole again last week. Boy, this mustcome as quite a shock, huh? Gee … I mean, does theboard even have to meet to even decide thisone? … 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, whatdoes a guy like Manson even say to his cell matebefore he meets with the parole board? [prissilyfusses with his necktie] “Gee, what do you think, Bob?The blue tie? … Too busy?” [puts his pinky in hismouth] … Manson was injured recently in prison. Youread about this? True story. A fellow inmate threwgasoline on him and set him on fire during areligious argument. … Here’s a couple ofmajor theologians for ya. … [applause] Gee, I – Iwonder what part of the Scriptures they were havingtrouble with when one threw gasoline on the otherone’s face and set him on fire?! “Still think it’sMatthew 10?!” [mimes throwing bucket of gas] “Heeeey!”[covers face with hands] …
Hey, listen, we got a great show! The Neville Brothersand Mike the Dog! And me! Stick around![Cheers and applause. The SNL Band kicks in with whatsounds like the bass riff from Henry Mancini’s “Themefrom Peter Gunn” as we go tocommercial.]