Armed with a $10 million marketing budget, NBC has been pulling out all the stops with their relentless plugging of the Jay Leno Show. With all the hoopla and fanfare and barrage of incessant advertisements on television, in movie theaters, on billboards and on city buses – you can’t get away from the juggernaut that is the marketing of the Jay Leno Show.
What is hard to understand, however, is NBC’s crush on this man who they insist will revolutionize television. Hasn’t he been doing this very thing since 1992? The morning of Leno’s big premiere, NBC’s Today Show was so full of Leno hype, Ann Curry was forced to interview pop culture gurus (whatever they are) and ask them whether Jay would “change the face of television.” Let’s put things into perspective. We’re talking about Jay Leno. He seems like a nice enough fella. But seriously NBC, get real; he’s not going to have us howling in our La-Z-Boys and he’s certainly not going to change the face of television.
With the marketing machine for the Jay Leno Show in overdrive, NBC producers wanted something big – something Jon and Kate big. Enter Kanye West. They just happened to have him as the first guest on their show and he would be attending the live Video Music Awards the night before. Thus, it seemed just a tad coincidental that West threw a shockingly outlandish tantrum during the VMAs. Oh the convenience of it all…
You can’t beat the viral monster of a Kanye freak out on live TV. Firstly, Jay’s ratings exceeded expectations, with a cool 18 million viewers (because those who didn’t like his brand of head-bobbing humor tuned in for the great Kanye apology). Taylor Swift, Beyonce and Kanye West all got huge publicity. It is remarkably convenient that Beyonce happened to win an award afterward and had the swell idea to call Taylor Swift up on stage to right the wrong, wrapping all of it up into a neat, tidy bow. Meanwhile, MTV enjoyed a VMA moment almost as memorable as Britney’s tragic 2007 “Gimmie More” performance.
And so even though the Jay Leno Show offered the same style of generic humor and lackluster monologues he’s always given us – sans the desk this time around – today we’re not at the water coolers analyzing Jay Leno’s comedic chops and whether or not he’s worthy of a prime time slot, but rather, we’re all talking about the Kanye West apology.
So after $10 million in advertising and one temper tantrum later, NBC got viewers sitting at the edge of their seats to hear Kanye say the following: “It was rude, period. So many celebrities, they never take the time off. I’ve never taken the time off to really — you know, just music after music and tour after tour. I’m just ashamed that my hurt caused someone else’s hurt. My dream of what awards shows are supposed to be, ’cause, and I don’t try to justify it because I was just in the wrong. That’s period. But I need to, after this, take some time off and just analyze how I’m going to make it through the rest of this life, how I’m going to improve.”
Leno has Tom Cruise on tonight. Will there be couch jumping? Will Tom rip off his mask during a moment of Scientology-inspired insanity and reveal the two alien heads that are surely beneath it? Will our handsome, quintessential American hero fall? Tune into the Jay Leno Show to find out.
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