Morning Vid: TV Critics Bid Jay Leno Show Good Riddance

Laying it on thick after an underwhelming last show

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To little fanfare, the Jay Leno Show aired its final episode on Tuesday night. The prime time host will move back to 11:35 p.m. and retake his throne at the Tonight Show. By most accounts, the episode was a mirthless affair, which Leno seemed to willingly acknowledge. "It seems like just yesterday I was telling NBC this wouldn't work" Leno quipped. TV critics heartily agree. Entertainment Weekly reporter Ken Tucker's headline read: "The last 'Jay Leno Show': I watched it, so you didn't have to."

  • Boring Host, writes Matthew Gilbert of The Boston Globe: "Last night, Jay Leno said farewell to his short-lived “Jay Leno Show’’ with all the momentousness of a guy taking out the trash.He tied up the bag and carried it to the curb, leaving it there for the ever-rushing stream of pop culture to carry it far, far away. He almost seemed to be squeezing his nostrils with his free hand." The WSJ adds: "Here’s how disposable the last 'Jay Leno Show' was: even Jay Leno seemed glad to see it go."

  • Boring Guests, writes The Wall Street Journal staff: "Leno’s last show featured Ashton Kutcher, Gabourey Sidibe and Bob Costas. That means Leno’s Super Bowl ad had more interesting guests than he had on his final program."
  • Boring Half Hour, writes Ken Tucker at Entertainment Weekly: "The only semi-spontaneous moment seemed to occur at the very start, when a man in a black leather jacket lingered in front of Leno as he did his usual opening meet-’n'-greet with audience members, and said something in Leno’s ear. Who knows what he said? It may have been funnier than the hour that followed."
  • Wholly Uninspired, writes Robert Lloyd at The LA Times: "Leno is a fundamentally conservative entertainer who relies heavily on his writers and researchers; he can tell a joke, can be funny in a scripted bit, and can capably interview any celebrity who already knows what he or she is going to say. He is a solid enough host, practically speaking, but he is also an inert one, unable to inhabit the moment in any exciting way. He barely bothers to ad lib."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.