NEWS > ENTERTAINMENT > BOSTONIANS FORCED TO WATCH NEW JAY LENO SHOW AFTER ALL
BOSTONIANS FORCED TO WATCH NEW JAY LENO SHOW AFTER ALL
April 4 2009
Hollywood, CA – Jay Leno’s success has been for many a bit of confusing situation. His oversized jaw, polite comedic observations, and awkward interview style have betrayed the common logic of success in the late night comic field. Unlike his competitor’s David Letterman’s wry wit, or his successor’s grace and intelligence, Leno has blown away expectations by being the dominate ratings grabber in the late night wars. Now with his exit imminent and the arrival of his new prime time show Leno has expanded his reach and influence, much to the disappointment of many people.
The announcement by Boston’s NBC affiliate WHDH that they would not air Leno’s new show in the 10:00 pm slot brought anger from the network but relief to many in the area. Long burdened with the ignominy of being Leno’s hometown, his departure brought relief to many in the city and hope that they would no longer have to live with the very long shadow cast by the comedian’s chin. That hope though collapsed with the announcement by NBC that the new show would air in the Boston area with or without the affiliates help.
“Boston has always had mixed feelings about Leno. While many in the area are proud that a local boy made good, how he did it makes them a little uneasy. Every time he makes that awkward laugh or stumbles over his words people throughout the city squirm just a little bit,” said Scrape TV Entertainment analyst Tracey Temple. “It’s
not lack of pride exactly, just a little awkward embarrassment. That feeling would have gone away had Leno decided to stay off the air and they would have been left with only the rose coloured glasses of history. Now though they are going to be faced with that chin 5 days a week for who knows how long.”
The false hope for Bostonians was created by WHDH owner Edward Ansin who decided to place local news in the 10 pm slot instead of the new Leno show. His decision rankled the bosses at NBC partly due to its violation of the affiliate agreement and partly due to its uncomfortable associations with another rebellion held in Boston 235 years ago.
“The 10:00 slot has been in decline for years and the reality is many stations would benefit economically from airing alternative programming but they simply don’t have that option. The agreement binds the affiliate to the network no matter what their programming choices even if it hurts them. When it comes to a major show like this one will be the last thing the network needs is a rebellious colony,” continued Temple. “The Boston Tea Party was the beginning of the end for British influence throughout the colonies and that is exactly what NBC is trying to avoid. If
this affiliate falls, then Providence follows, then Hartford, then New York, and before you know it NBC ceases to exist all for want of a chin in primetime.”
Other famous Bostonians include former Presidents John Adam, John Quincy Adams, John F. Kennedy, and George H. Bush, Benjamin Franklin, John Hancock, Paul Revere, Aerosmith, Donna Summer, Edgar Allen Poe, Leonard Nimoy, Mark Wahlberg, Samuel Morse, and Matt Damon, all of which would be preferable primetime personalities than Leno.
“Boston is a tough town and Leno just doesn’t fit that. Some of the most important Americans were born in and around that city, and so was Jay Leno. That just doesn’t jibe for a lot of people in the city, or at least not the ones with pride which to be fair is extremely limited,” continued Temple. “Most people were content with Leno leaving. After all they got another local in the late night slot and while he swaps a chin for hair, at least his awkwardness is charming rather than pudgy and just plain uncomfortable. Unfortunately for the people of the city though, they are going to be reminded of that night in and night out for a long, long time thanks to NBC.”
Faced with the reality of a future with Leno many in Boston are drowning their sorrows as they usually do, in ridiculous amounts of alcohol.
Samantha Dryden, Entertainment Correspondent