Tag: Jim Norton

“The Jay Leno Show’s” saving grace: correspondents

While “The Jay Leno Show” performed well in its second night, Tuesday’s broadcast varied a bit in format. In the show’s premiere, Leno was on camera the entire time (excluding the music act), unlike the later years of his “Tonight Show.” Given Leno’s established presence, viewers will tune in regardless. However, Leno’s well aware that producing five hours of comedy on a weekly basis is taxing, especially at this point in his career. Leno, who’s been in the business for decades, can’t and doesn’t need to get any more popular. Safe comedy simply works in America and we’ll just see how it pans out at 10 PM on weeknights. As long as Leno does his monologue and a high-profile interview, he’ll have his core audience there every night with him. Still, an hour is a long time in television and rather than cram his imposing figure into every segment, Leno’s decided to spotlight comedians he admires or who have garnered the attention of his talent scouts. Last night, comedian Jim Norton made his first appearance on the show in a segment called “Uninvited Guest.” We should see more time devoted to these “correspondents” in the near future — it’s the only reason guys like me will give the show a chance.

Comedy Central Roast of Bob Saget

This should have been explosive. Bob Saget, who made nine figures pimping some of the blandest television ever created, is in fact one of the filthiest comics on the planet. Comedy Central lines up nothing but comedians – and Cloris Leachman, who steals the show – to roast him, which means there are theoretically no dead spots in the lineup, right? Wrong. The comedians on the dais are the weakest batch that Comedy Central has ever assembled for a roast, to the point where Carrot Top’s bit during Flavor Flav’s roast looks better and better in retrospect. Jon Lovitz tanked, Brian Posehn just isn’t wired to roast, and Norm McDonald, arguably the funniest guy on the dais, deliberately tanked his routine, going old-school clean to counter Saget’s inherent foulness. Lastly, the grand roastmaster Lisa Lampanelli is not present, and she is sorely missed. John Stamos actually does a great job as host, and Saget’s rebuttal is second only to Leachman (to Brian Posehn: “Man, look at you. Did any lesbians survive the fire?”). Still, this had the potential to be much funnier than it is. Pity.

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