Leno Bombs with Casey Anthony Joke
July 06, 2011
Say what!? While most late night hosts were still on vacation, Jay "I never take time off" Leno tried his comedy hand at some trending topics … and "The Tonight Show" audience was having none of it. And I bet Conan is LOVING IT!
In last night’s monologue, Leno did a bit (that tanked) about that morning’s shocking not guilty verdict in the Casey Anthony trial. He said to the crowd, "It was so hot today, people were as delirious and incoherent as a Florida jury…."
Then the good ole fashioned yukster gave the audience another dose of drab humor, "This [verdict] means President Obama’s economic team is only the second most clueless group of people in America."
And the joke was met with … silence. Absolute and complete silence. Even the crickets were too uncomfortable to chirp. But of course, Mr. Funnypants thought there was a technical problem with his mic, so what did he do? He did what a comic who doesn’t get laughs the first time around should pretty much never do – REPEAT THE JOKE! Maybe in Jay’s mind it’s like: Hey, maybe you dummies didn’t get it the first time, so I'll say it again … because this sh*t is HILARIOUS!
Hey Jay, we got the joke – we just didn’t think that it was that funny. As a stand-up comedian myself (granted I tend to do my sets in empty dive bars to "crowds" of five), I love the concept that a comic is so overconfident that he thinks the only reason no one laughs is because no one heard it and not because the joke just wasn't any good. No matter how many writers you employ Jay, sometimes stuff isn’t funny. Although for the second go around, the audience did return Jay’s repeated joke with a hearty laugh, so I can only assume the applause sign was turned on – oh, the magic of Hollywood! As far as I am concerned, every time Jay bombs, a little angel on Team Coco gets its wings.
The beauty of comedy is that there are no guarantees. A joke could kill one night and just lay as dead as a doornail the next – you just never know. It is the tricky gauntlet that comics walk every time they walk on stage. Comedy is at its absolute best when it takes you by surprise. All I know is that last night, Jay Leno, the biggest name in comedy, bombed with "The Tonight Show" audience and I, Meg Swertlow, had several (okay fine ... maybe only two) self-proclaimed pre-op transsexuals bubbling over with giggles and gender confusion during my set last night at an oh-so-seedy West Hollywood nightclub. So which comic came out victorious in the comedy duel of the century? Bazillionaire Jay Leno or lil' ole me? I'm going with me.