Jay leno

is right as likability is such a big part of it. When interviewing the guests, which has been such a big part of the show, both Leno and Carson are/were disarmingly charming. You would think for example that sparks would fly between Leno and O’Rielly but they came off very well with lot’s of mutual respect showed by each. Yet, he would ask all the hard questions. You get the feeling that Leno actually likes and enjoys the company of his guests while good naturingly poking fun as good friends often do.
I would like to see Colbert get an audition for that same reason. Of course he would have to be more demensional and buy more cars.

rich, lives in cali, likes cars, friendly personality, whats not to like?

“both Leno and Carson are/were disarmingly charming”

The public persona that Carson displayed on the air was very different from that of the misanthropic, angry, alcoholic person who actually existed in Carson’s body. Even those who were close to him described him as being a totally different person once the stage lights went off.

Last year, Dick Cavett–who had been a writer for Carson, and who also hosted his own TV show–talked about his former boss. A documentary in which Cavett appeared, delves into Carson’s drinking problem, as well as what he called his ”vicious, mean streak. He could be verbally abusive.”


I don’t know what Jay Leno’s personality is like when he is not performing, but I have an inkling that it is more pleasing than Carson’s anti-social behaviors.

I don't know what Jay Leno's personality is like when he is not performing, but I have an inkling that it is more pleasing than Carson's anti-social behaviors.

I have a neighbor who grew up in Andover MA (about 15 minutes from where I live). He went to high-school with Jay. He’s seen Jay a once or twice since he took over the tonight show…Says he hasn’t changed much…and really is a nice guy. And he’s very very private.

My sister was Jay’s private nurse when he was recovering from his motorcycle accident. She really liked him and said he was one of the nicest patients she ever had. Several years later, she called him to ask for tickets to the show for her and my mother on mothers day. He called her back personally (she wasn’t home but he left a message on the answering machine, which of course she has kept) and sent her the tickets.

It’s interesting seeing what others think about this topic. If you’ll allow, I’ll chime in a bit more myself. Carson’s misanthropic off-show behaviour would probably be easier to understand to us non-celebrities if every time we went to Target or Safeway we were followed up and down the aisle by 15 people and asked for autographs at every stop. That would get old fast. There’s a big price to pay for being well-known, and Johnny Carson was probably the most well known person on the planet. There were probably only a few places in the world he could go in public where he wouldn’t be constantly harrassed. He probably felt he had no choice but to build a shell around him in order to protect his privacy. Otherwise he’d never experience a private moment.

I agree, Jay Leno’s asset is his likeable personality. And his likeability seems genuine. Even if it isn’t, so what?; we’re watching tv after all. It’s not professors describing their theories about topics in the controversial field of cold-fusion, where the professor’s integrity might be open to question. It 's late night light comedy. As long as the host appears to be consistently likeable on camera, that’s what matters to the viewers.

When Leno’s in re-runs I’ll tune over to watch Jimmy Kimmel’s monologue. The monologue is Kimmel’s forte’ in my opinion. Almost as good as Jay Leno’s. Usually I’m off to bed after the monologue, but the other night I stayed up and watched Kimmel interview Robert Downey Jr, who was there plugging his Iron Man III film. At one point Kimmel said to Downey Jr (something to this effect) “Robert, haven’t you made enough money from these Iron Man films yet? How many more are there going to be? Are you going to keep repeating these Iron Man sequels until you’ve kicked the life out of this character?” … followed by Kimmel laughing … and a grimace from Downey Jr.

To me, this comment by Kimmel was inappropriate, mean, over the top, and out of bounds. Downey Jr is a very competent actor and was there as an invited guest. A little kidding, ok, but that was too much. That’s the part about Jimmy Kimmel I don’t like, and why I’d rather watch Jay Leno than Kimmel.

I do think Kimmel has potential to be one of the greats in late night comedy, but only if he can curb this mean streak he sometimes displays.

“I would like to see Colbert get an audition for that same reason. Of course he would have to be more demensional …”

I’m sure he can create more characters if he wants to.