Jay Leno

Jay Leno told Jimmy Fallon to make his monologue longer. Jimmy would be a fool to listen.

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Jay Leno, Right-Wing Hack

The Tonight Show host's jokes about the shutdown are laughably bad

The government shutdown is obviously a ripe target for comedians, but who knew that Jay Leno would use the opportunity to make a bunch of jokes that were both unfunny and imbued with right-wing populism? (The former was perhaps predictable.) The gist of his monologues this week was essentially as follows: both parties are to blame for the shutdown, Washington is a horrible swamp, politicians are terrible, and oh, by the way, the government doesn't do anything anyway, and thus this whole shtudown thing is not so bad.

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Why do we still care about the timeline of late-night TV programming?

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When Jackie Kennedy led a television crew through the White House in February 1962, millions of Americans were riveted to the screen. This Wednesday, when Michelle Obama appears on The Colbert Report, it will be a much less exciting, and more commonplace event. It’s starting to seem like the First Lady has been everywhere on our televisions lately, celebrating her “Joining Forces” initiative to help military families or promoting her “Let’s Move!” campaign to combat childhood obesity.

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Conan the Solipsist

“Welcome to my second annual first show,” said Conan O’Brien in the recent premiere of his new late-night talk show on TBS. Also: “People asked me why I named the show ‘Conan.’ I did it so I’d be harder to replace.” His first episode opened with a video of an unemployed O’Brien being hounded by a haggard wife and 14 kids, then gunned down by Godfather-style NBC hitmen. And, as the weeks progressed, the self-pity has persisted.

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Crapshoot

Where is it most painful to be a highly visible incumbent politician at this particular moment in U.S. history? Perhaps it’s California, where current economic and budgetary discontents are compounding a growing public fury over chronically dysfunctional state government and an imprisoning constitution.

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The Chin Abides

At long last our national nightmare is over: Jay Leno is headed back to his spot atop “The Tonight Show,” and Conan O’Brien—more adorably known these days as Coco—has left the building with his gazillion-dollar consolation prize, quite possibly to set up shop at Fox. Who would have imagined the battle between two filthy-rich late-night gabbers could command so much public attention, overshadowing even our obsessions with Jon Gosselin’s love life and Tiger Woods’s compulsion to play hide-the-putter with cocktail waitresses?

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&c

--Google's confrontation of China isn't as virtuous as you think --USC slaps the NCAA in the face and dares them to respond --Jimmy Kimmel performs an entire show imitating Jay Leno

Playing The Part

Fred, Fred, Fred. If you and your team want to quash the widespread grumbling about your being a spoiled, lazy candidate basing a White House run on little more than your Hollywood celebrity, why do you keep behaving like one? After months of good ol' Fred's jerking voters around with his Hillybilly Hamlet act (should I? could I? dare I not?), now comes word that he has finally finished testing the waters and will take the plunge this week. But instead of making up for lost time by heading to New Hampshire to mix things up with fellow Republicans in Wednesday's debate, what is Fred doing?

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