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Desc:Bill Hicks summarizes why nobody gives a shit back in 1993.
Category:Humor, Classic TV Clips
Tags:bill hicks, tonight show, jay leno, Joey Lawrence
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Comment count is 29
MacGyver Style Bomb - 2014-02-07
I'm kinda disappointed that this didn't actually happen.
Gmork - 2014-02-07

Prickly Pete - 2014-02-07
Tangent: Jay Leno is an annoying, no talent hack. Conan is hilarious, innovative, has a voice, and charisma. Having said that, Leno is really the one who got screwed over that whole thing. People forget the part where Conan voluntarily left and Leno was forced out. Professionally, ethically, and creatively I think it was a bad idea for Leno to accept the show back so fuck him anyway, but Conan plays the victim card a little too much for not having been the victim in that scenario. Discuss. Or don't, idc.
Hooker - 2014-02-07
"Conan voluntarily left" glosses things over. The Tonight Show would have stayed his strictly because he was contracted to it, but its timeslot would have moved back and Jay Leno would have moved into the timeslot. Conan's alternative, and the alternative everyone at NBC wanted him to take, was a buyout of his contract. Conan also said he went into a period of serious depression after leaving The Tonight Show, which is not uncommon after a period of working in a job where your bosses all hate you but need you to quit because you haven't done anything fireable.

It's weird that we know so much about the squabbles of millionaires like this, but there it is.

Hooker - 2014-02-07
Also worth noting is that if you think Leno is a "talentless hack," a description I would disagree with, you're _really_ going to hate his replacement.

SteamPoweredKleenex - 2014-02-07
From what I've seen, Leno used to be a fair-to-decent standup comedian. Then, when he got the Tonight Show gig, he lost any edge he appeared to have once had. That's not just my opinion, as many of his contemporaries said the same thing. He became "safe," making jokes about "those clowns in Congress" and thousands of Monica Lewinsky one-liners, etc.

About the closest he came to being relevant was a short guest appearance on a one-off South Park short.

Sexy Duck Cop - 2014-02-07
For how much people laud pre-Tonight Show Leno's genius, we need to remember two things:

One, Jay Leno spent 22 years being the hackiest comedian on television.

Two, there is more hard evidence for Creationism than there is of Jay Leno being an edgy, innovative funnyman.

joelkazoo - 2014-02-07
I was pissed about them letting Conan go from The Tonight Show, until someone explained to me that nobody ever paid me 20 million bucks to NOT do my job, and they're right!

That said, I'm still totally Team Coco, Jay Leno is a hack and won't be missed, and Bill Hicks was awesome.

Hooker - 2014-02-08
I would just like to point out at this point that, through no action of mine, my position has gone from "Jay Leno is not a talentless hack" to the profoundly more bombastic "Jay Leno is an edgy genius."

Oscar Wildcat - 2014-02-08
I have always thought the Leno to be the standard unit of measure for mediocrity. It's like the Farad though, impossibly large and for normal situations nano or pico Lenos are sufficient.

Sexy Duck Cop - 2014-02-08
Hooker: I was referring to you specifically, but given the most common defense of Leno is "He used to be brilliant but watered himself down for the Tonight Show," I combined my response to you with my broader criticism of people's attitudes towards Leno.

Also PoeTV has the worst comment system since Qaddafi's mandatory Jamahiriya Weekly Round-Up.

SteamPoweredKleenex - 2014-02-08
When did I say he was brilliant? I said he was fair-to-decent, which is what I figure a lot of comedians shot for if they wanted to be on TV. Yes, you could be George Carlin and do really amazing comedy that featured a lot of interesting material, but cable TV hadn't been invented yet and the only place for that kind of adult humor was on record albums and cassette tapes.

Leno was an obvious choice for a TV host. That's not saying he's a genius by any stretch of the imagination. To get to that point, however, it took quite a bit of work and level of craft. "Craft" can be defined as anything from being Michelangelo to Thomas Kinkade, and it shouldn't take too many guesses to see where that spectrum has the marker labeled "Jay Leno."

He is to comedy what Kenny G is to music: Safe and liked by older people, which was/is most of the Tonight Show's audience.

cognitivedissonance - 2014-02-07
The late night talk show is such a relic of a time when television had middlebrow aspirations. Steve Allen actually had on the thinkers of the day, and contributed to the national dialogue. Nowadays it has the form of the middlebrow talk show, but none of the substance. It's strange.
SteamPoweredKleenex - 2014-02-07
Hear, hear. Carson was a master interviewer and had guests on that were just interesting or funny people. Now, most late night talk is just a pre-written skit, especially ones with comedians. I've heard whole stand-up routines from YouTube pass as "interviews." Nothing's spontaneous or meaningful beyond "promote the guest's movie/book/whatever."

Craig Ferguson seems to be a bit different. He devoted a whole hour to interviewing Stephen Fry, for example.

baleen - 2014-02-07
Late night shows were created when the word "show" itself conjured up the tradition of vaudeville and variety hours. It's just an old horse that will not die.

BorrowedSolution - 2014-02-07
baleen - 2014-02-07

BorrowedSolution - 2014-02-07

Sexy Duck Cop - 2014-02-07
You must be one of those guys who sees a celebrity on the street and yells HASTA LA VISTA BABY from 20 feet away.

infinite zest - 2014-02-07
I've heard a lot of Hicks but I don't think I've heard this before.
Sexy Duck Cop - 2014-02-07
The best comedians don't tell jokes, but angrily lecture you on their personal political views. This is why Bill Hicks and George Carlin are so funny: Every routine is 10% comedy, 90% them whining about how much better the world would be if they were in charge despite their complete lack of interest in anything besides alcohol.
baleen - 2014-02-07
I'm not a fan of Hicks in general and I put Carlin in much bigger and greater company. Carlin covered all aspects of comedy where Hicks, as you say, was chiefly a leftist rant peddler.
However, this was funny and topical.

Sexy Duck Cop - 2014-02-07
Whatever good will Carlin had attained from his Seven Dirty Words bit was completely obliterated by his The Advertisers And The Corporations Are Controlling You bit. It felt like a Dexter-level jumpage of shark. There are few things I find more irritating than people over the age of 15 discovering capitalism and pretending they have some extraordinary insight into what sheep we are.

That said, the extra two stars are from the timing and anything that ends with Jay Leno's gruesome suicide.

EvilHomer - 2014-02-08
Yeah, Jay Leno is pretty awful. I never really watched talk shows that much, not even the good ones, so my usual coping mechanism was to ignore him and forget he exists.

But then Leno tried monopolizing BattleBots with his horrible MarySue robot, Chin-Killa, and that is something I can neither ignore nor forgive.

Nominal - 2014-02-08
I met an older person who was trying to impress everyone about how cultured they were by declaring that they enjoyed "foreign films" because "foreign films have more to offer my tastes than American ones".

They then immediately segued into how they were sad that it was Jay's last show because they've always loved him.
Grandmaster Funk - 2014-02-08
Ah yes, the marvels of Foreign cinema. Follywood, if you will.

SteamPoweredKleenex - 2014-02-08
Substitute "anime" for "foreign films," and you've got the same mindset from the next generation of people to avoid.

James Woods - 2014-02-08
My friend animated this. You should check out his theme songs.
Robin Kestrel - 2014-02-08
The most horrifying thing about this for me is that it's been 22 YEARS.

That just does not seem possible in my mind, but the math checks out.
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