Monday (Aug. 20) was the first “Tonight Show” since news broke that NBC had laid off 20 members of the show’s staff. Which meant that it was also the first chance host Jay Leno had to talk about the cuts. He wasted no time doing so in his monologue.
“Welcome to ‘The Tonight Show’ — or, as Comcast calls us, ‘The Expendables,'” Leno began. “As you may have heard, our parent company has downsized ‘The Tonight Show.’ We’ve been consistently No. 1 in the ratings, and if you know anything about our network, that kind of thing is frowned upon.”
Leno, who also took a fairly hefty pay cut in the downsizing, spent the first minute or so of Monday’s monologue on the subject, also joking about the show being taken over by Bain Capital and waking up with a peacock head in his bed. “The good news is, it’s still free to get into ‘The Tonight Show’ … the bad news is, it’s a hundred bucks to get out,” he says.
Leno is not very happy about the cuts, and his target is obviously NBC’s upper management. But it’s hard not to wonder if the people who lost their jobs like that Leno is taking management to task or if it’s, to borrow an old Johnny Carson phrase, too soon.
Take a look at Leno’s monologue from Monday and let us know what you think.