A titan of late night returned, exiled to a long summer break, as a lead-in to the man who replaced him. Late night king Jay Leno returned to the airways this week, debuting the new Jay Leno Show on Monday night. Leno’s exit from the Tonight Show wasn’t a surprise but it was relatively controversial. NBC gave Leno’s show, who constantly won the ratings battle over CBS rival David Letterman, to Conan O’Brien in June of 2009. It was a move that had been announced back in 2004, when Conan O’Brien was given a new contract. Even though Leno was a success, NBC couldn’t bare losing O’Brien and promised him the Tonight Show. Once it came time for NBC to live up to their promise they couldn’t bare losing Leno, so they offered him his own lead-in show in prime time.
Leno is very popular, especially among the Baby Boomer generation, which meant the debut of his new was highly anticipated. The hype increased from an aggressive marketing campaign. It hit a crescendo when one of theshow’s first guests, Kanye West, famously interrupted Taylor Swift’s VMA speech the night before. Hordes of people tuned in to see what Kanye would say, in which he offered an apology whose sincereness has been debated.
Are you a fan of Jay Leno? Are you thrilled he has returned to the not-so-late-night comedy scene? Show your support with a Jay Leno t-shirt. We designed a shit for those that end the days watching Leno, letting the comedian lead them into a comfortable night’s rest. You can get the shirt here.