ABOUT LAST NIGHT (AN OPEN LETTER TO JAY LENO)

15 Sep

Dear Mr. Leno,

It has been building up for months. The dreaded anticipation. We knew it was coming but we kept denying it deep down inside. We didn’t want to believe it was true. And on Monday, September 14th, the day finally arrived. The end was here. Five hours of scripted TV was shamelessly axed so that you could poke the big chin of yours into the small of our back five nights a week.

And it happened so quick. So unceremoniously. You walked out from behind the blue curtain and step towards the audience and began an acutely lame monologue. You looked to your right, there was Kevin slung back in his chair, guitar across the lap, whispering sweet-nothings to you. It was deja vu, you were back at the old set of the Tonight Show but this time Conan wasn’t there to take the reins. No, he was off steaming in a corner because you ruined the best moment in his career.

But something was a little different (dare we say, fresh) about the show. The desk was gone! However, that moment was short-lived when we realized that you just  upholstered Oprah’s old chairs. And trust me, we weren’t the only ones disgusted by their “Monica Lewinsky”-blue fabric. Jerry Seinfeld was easily uncomfortable and said it best, “I’m trying to grasp what’s going on here.” And so were we!

Yes, he may have been referring to the lack of direction your new show was taking. But we were referencing the fact that only months ago, Jay, you retired. And not to mention, your show featured a roster of retired kin, Seinfeld and Jay-Z (with Kanye gearing up for it) being forced back into the limelight.

Yet these days, retirement is just a meaningless word. It’s more cool to be the “comeback kid” or in this case “the one who just doesn’t know when to quit.” And we’re not only talking about you, Jay, but all of them fogeys: Brett Farve, Jay-Z, Lance Armstrong, Whitney Houston and Kim Clijsters. Take a lesson from the ones who did it before you; it’s just a matter of time before you become washed up and laughed out of the room. And please, don’t cry about it either – we’ve seen enough grown men cry for a new segment on Lifetime.

Besides, Disney doesn’t make movies about the guys who were good at a sport and then weren’t because they were too old. They like underdogs with passion that are penchant for a good SCRIPT. But hey, they own ABC and if they want to fight Ben Silverman’s decision to return TV to the 1950’s then they’ll have to create their own 5-nights a week comedy/sketch show with an overweight, unfunny comedian. (I think Rosie O’Donnell is looking for a job.)

So if you’re going to retire, do it while you’re still young and while people still like you. Michael Phelps, Melanie Oudin and Taylor Swift, now’s your time. Announce your retirement on Thursday, enjoy a nice long weekend and make a comeback on Monday. Just be sure to do it during the 10 o’clock time slot so we don’t have to sit through another hour of Jay’s “comedy show.”

Regards,

-SLLAMBE

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