There’s something rather interesting when it comes to the way in which Jay Leno celebrated 20 years on “The Tonight Show” Friday night — he really didn’t celebrate it much at all.
Maybe it’s because of everything that happened back when he got the show over David Letterman, or the incident with Conan O’Brien left a bad taste in even his own mouth — but regardless, Leno only mentioned the achievement in passing during his opening monologue Friday night:
“Twenty years ago today, we did our very first show … In that time we’ve seen a lot of stars come and go from the program – including me!”
It’s really very easy to be cynical about Leno’s performance, mostly because he doesn’t draw the headlines that a Jon Stewart, a Letterman, or a Jimmy Fallon does. His show is calculated, traditional, and often even predictable — however, these are the sort of criticisms that you also see handed to a show like “Two and a Half Men.” Success speaks for itself, and Leno’s show remains the most-watched late-night program on all of TV, regardless of whether or not you like the guy.
Do you think Leno’s achievement is really a big deal, or do you admire Letterman more for having more late-night experience overall?