Jay Leno At The Tonight Show

Last Friday, my old roommate and I attended a taping of “The Tonight Show” in the afternoon.   We were fortunate and, at times saw Jay Leno from about 6 feet away at times due to where we were seated.

Leading up to getting seated, I didn’t realize that there was a very slight chance we might not have gotten in due to the fine print of our tickets not being guaranteed.   We got there to get in line at NBC’s studio around 2:30pm and were seated by probably 3:30pm.  Jay came out and did about 10 minutes intro to the show and overview of the taping.  Then the announcer did around 20 minutes of filler with ‘audience talents’ whereby he gave away tonight show items.  Then at 4:00pm the taping started and they did each segment.  Tracy Ullman in place of Jenna Fischer last-minute for the main guest was not that great – I thought at one point that ol’ Tracy was high or something.  She did settle down… eventually – although Jay looked annoyed.

The rest of the show went by quite fast, with Jason Taylor of the Miami Dolphins having a nice segment talking about ‘Dancing with the Stars’ and then some Irish-like band for the musically guest.  They didn’t do much for me.

The funniest thing on the show was probably a faux democratic debate.  The Hillary impersonator looked shockingly realistic in person; my seat was such that I could see the people waiting off-stage before their segment and when she strode into view I actually thought for a second ‘What the heck is Hillary Clinton doing here?’

My old roommate and I both agreed that Jay’s best bits were when he was ad-libbing off-camera.  Basically stuff that is never aired.  The biggest laugh of the whole night probably came when he did some photos with audience members during the pre-show introduction and these very-little-dressed women got up on stage and he made a remark about all the cleavage.  Then he asked where they were from and (as luck would have it) they innocently said ‘Cleveland’… the whole place erupted.

After the show we spent some time at Johnny Carson Park across from the NBC Studios lot.  My old roommate got his photo taken with a Johnny monument thing, since, well, Johnny is his idol.

We then headed up to Griffith Park Observatory around sunset.  I tried to get my old roommate to buy a space suit in the planetarium area, but he did not.

Finally, we went to “The Indian Restaurant” in ‘Little India’ for dinner and my old roommate had what he described as being amongst ‘the top 3 chicken meals of his life.’

D.S. Christensen
Latest posts by D.S. Christensen (see all)