Jay Talking: Leno Says New Show Will Be About Jokes
Jay Leno says his new 10 o'clock show will feature fast cars, jokes, and Brian Williams — telling more jokes.
"If we go down in flames, we'll be laughing on the way," Leno said at Wednesday's Television Critics Association fall-TV tour. He said he isn't worried about people who say they won't watch his show.
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"Research says people are against pornography," he said. "That's why it's a $60 billion-dollar business."
NBC late-night head Rick Ludwin said NBC will give at least a year to The Jay Leno Show, even if prime-time ratings slide.
"It's definitely going to be at least a year and we hope many years beyond that," he said.
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Leno said Williams, the NBC news anchor, agreed to come on The Jay Leno Show for comedy bits, something he's also done on Saturday Night Live. In another blurring of news and comedy, the show will feature Daily Show-like correspondents — including D.L Hughley and Daily Show vet Rachael Harris.
Though the show will have talk and variety elements, "it won't be a talk show and it won't be a variety show with hats and wigs," he said.
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Instead, Leno said, the hour will have a looser format that will allow for celebrity and musical guests, comedy performances and more interactive segments. One idea he's batting around is to have celebrities race green cars around a miniature track.
Leno also shared several personal tidbits with reporters:
-He's been running four miles a day and has lost 12 pounds since The Tonight Show.
-He's never had an alcoholic drink — partly because he was always the designated driver growing up. "Since I was the car guy I was always driving people," he said. "Drinking and drugs, it just doesn't interest me. It never has."
-He also explained why he's much more confident now than he was at the start of his career: "I'm rich now."