Back to the future (of Late Night)

Jay Leno returned to “The Tonight Show” on Monday and immediately reclaimed the ratings battle, easily pulling in more viewers than David Letterman.

All is forgiven, it seems, for Jay killing Conan O’Brien’s “Tonight Show” career.

It could’ve been curiosity on viewers’ parts to see how Leno responded returning to his old digs under such cut-throat circumstances.

It certainly remains to be seen whether he can keep it going, but Leno is one-upping Letterman again tonight.

Fox News diva Sarah Palin will be Jay’s guest.

Poor Dave has to counterpunch with Mitt Romney.

That would be like going to a Vegas show in the 1960s and the announcer saying, “Ladies and gentleman, a special treat for you tonight —- presenting Frank Sinatra ….. junior.”

Yep, that’s right —– Dave’s got the Mormon and Jay’s got the moron.

And what’s with Palin showing up in — gasp! —- Hollyweird? It’s 63 degrees and cloudy today —- it’s not like hell froze over.

If Palin is as tough as she professes to be —- and her devoted Palinestas, especially Fox Noose —- want to rewrite her biography to say, she would go on Letterman’s show and take him on.

Maybe she does belong in Hollywood after all —- Tinseltown has been known to pad a biography or two.

And a narcissist like Palin in a town crawling with narcissists seems logical. She could move there and maybe some day say she can see her star on the walk of fame from her house.

In any event, she is tailor-made for Leno. He’s Fox Noose tested —- meaning that both Limbaugh and Beck have been on his show when he had the 10 p.m. slot. We all know how well they helped his ratings in primetime.

And what’s Palin doing slumming in late night anyway? Isn’t it primetime for her or the country be darned?

Leno is such a butt-kisser and would do anything (and has done) for ratings, one wouldn’t put it past him to go along with the Palin interview as long as it’s scripted. (True, Palin doesn’t read from a teleprompter, but everything she says in controlled interviews and events are scripted for her.)

It’s a coup for Leno —- but he can’t ask Palin the famous Hugh Grant question “What were you thinking? In her case, it would be more like, “Have you ever been accused of thinking?”

If Leno had any stones (and if men stay long enough in the show business in Hollywood they lose their stones in order that women can grow a pair) he’d get Palin to be a part of his patented Jaywalking segment. That’s when Jay interviews ignorant people on the streets of L.A. and asks them basic questions like “How many states are there?” or “How many senators does America have in Washington?”

Palin would fit right in. One could almost imagine Jay lobbing relatively easy Jaywalking questions to Diva Destruction. It might go something like this:

Jay: “Ready to play, Gov. Quitter?”

Palin: “Oh, sure, why the heck not. Fire away, Jay.”

Jay: “OK, who started a famous speech with “Four score and seven years ago?’ “

Palin: “Golly, that’s a tough one. Hope to heck they get easier. Hmm, let’s see… Oh, I know —- John McCain, when he was talking about how long it’s been since he first came to the Senate.”

Jay: “Ah, no. That’s funny. But wrong. I’ll give you a hint, the line is from his Gettysburg Address.”

Palin: “Oh, sure. Now I remember. It was Saul Gettysberg.”

Jay: “Saul Gettysberg?”

Palin: “You bet’cha! Saul was this famous rabbi from Alaska at the turn of the century in the 1950s. He gave this great speech during the Hookah high Jewish holidays. I remember we had to recite it in school.”

Jay: “You didn’t happen to go to Mel Brooks High School by chance, did you? Anyway, let’s try another one. This one you should know. Finish this line, ‘Mr. Gobachev…..’ “

Palin: “Ya. I do know this one…. ‘Mr. Gorbachoff…. I really enjoy mixing grapefruit juice with your vodka!’ “

Jay: “Again, funny. But no. Here’s an easy one: Who’s the lady who designed the first American flag?”

Palin: “Betsy Crocker!”

Jay: “Close enough. Let’s try something from more recent American history. Who said “Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice?’ “

Palin: “Ahh ….. Rambo?”

Jay: “Suddenly I’m feeling like Groucho Marx when he hosted ‘You Bet Your Life.’ I want to ask who’s buried in Grant’s tomb?”

Palin: “These questions are tough —- let’s talk about something I know best.”

Jay: “That would be you.”

Palin: “I’ve got all the right answers on that subject….”

Jay: “You’re the perfect talk show guest.”

Palin: “Unlike being a full-time great American, TV is a job I won’t do for nothin.’ “

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One Response to Back to the future (of Late Night)

  1. paul C in PA says:

    MJP,

    Look up narcissist and get back to us. Please don’t forget Rush’s audience and Beck’s ratings…wouldn’t want you to get in trouble with the boss.

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