Despite solid ratings and wide appeal to middle America, NBC is poised to replace Jay Leno as the host of the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon as Leno’s contract nears its end.
Leno was off the show for six months between 2009 to 2010 when Conan O’Brien briefly hosted the program, but as the news breaks that Leno will be replaced again some news outlets are calling him the “conservative’s” TV host. Politico reported on March 22 that the “Right bemoans possible Jay Leno exit,” and asks, “Could Jay Leno become a new conservative hero?”
Politico features a Tweet from Matt Drudge saying, “Left cheering Leno exit typical, he dared to entertain and offer jokes for the other 50% of country. Unacceptable in ‘New America’…”
Other conservatives have come to Leno’s support, too. From Fox News personalities like Greta Van Susteren and Greg Gutfeld to the conservative Townhall website.
There are some rumors that Fox has is offering him a home once he leaves NBC.
Even in his stand up work, Leno has always been known as a clean comic, one not prone to going “blue” or trafficking in easy jokes. But he has been more willing than any of his TV counterparts to mock Democrats and President Obama. Leno even recently got in trouble for poking fun at his “masters” at NBC.
Still, even as he’ll slap Obama and the Democrats, Leno is no conservative. For one, he’s been criticized for being too friendly to Obama at times as well as for buying into the absurd Republican war on women meme.
Whatever the objects of his barbs, Leno’s tenure at the Tonight Show has always returned solid ratings. Even now Leno consistently tops both David Letterman of CBS and Jimmy Kimmel of ABC in the late night comedy show ratings race.
On the other hand, Leno’s replacement, Jimmy Fallon, cannot be considered even handed at all in his treatment of the left and right. Fallon is a typical liberal who softens criticism of the left while sparing no mercy for anyone on the right.
As Breitbart’s Christian Toto recently reminded readers, “Fallon’s regular guy charm is legit, but so is his willingness to peddle conservative insults. His show’s use of the song ‘Lyin’ Ass Bitch‘ to greet Tea Party favorite Congresswoman Michele Bachmann remains one of nastiest moments in recent pop culture history.”
Fallon was soon forced to apologize for sandbagging Rep. Bachmann like that.
Previous to the election, Fallon gave Obama a spot on his show to participate in a pandering comedy bit–the so-called slow jamming the news skit. Fallon repeated the theme with NBC News’ Brian Williams in a “slow jam” that praised Obama and slammed Republicans. He also did a “slow jam” with First Lady Michelle Obama.
In fact, Fallon was so thrilled to be a shill for the Obamas, even gushed about it in an appearance on NBC’s morning show, Today.
In another incident Fallon performed a song criticizing fracking with pop culture icon Yoko Ono and her son with Beatle John Lennon, Sean.
As to Fallon, his ratings stack up rather nicely against CBS’s Craig Ferguson, whose show also airs in the 12:35 a.m. time slot.
In the end, NBC is ready to dump a host that gives equal comedy skewering to all sides of the political spectrum and appeals to a wide swath of the viewing public–as his ratings seem to prove–with just another late night comedian who primarily attacks conservatives and Republicans.
Is it a good move?