A “Leno Joke” is a term used by comedy writers for the first joke you think of and throw out…that Jay Leno will do that night. Leno is many things, but a joke stealer? No. His jokes are not difficult. They’re obvious jokes. His stage act is slightly edgier (think more dick jokes) but really he’s a white bread – middle-of-the-road – middle-of-the-country comedian. And he has an army of writers and people called “faxers” who write the jokes he uses. He pays for all of them. He has final approval of all the jokes he tells.
Enter Andy Levy, a guy you’ve never heard of, on Red Eye, a show no one (including Leno) has ever seen. Red Eye is an after hours gab fest on the Mecca of comedy and wit, the Fox News Channel.
On Saturday night’s Red Eye, a wee-hours Fox News show hosted by Greg Gutfeld, ombudsman Andy Levy pointed out that Leno had made a joke on Thursday night that used virtually the same set-up and punchline as one Levy said on the air earlier in the week. Both bits were pegged to the news in California that a court ruling would require the state to free thousands of inmates from its prisons, leading both joke tellers to mention how this was great news for the Oakland Raiders! Hey, now!
“Wow, Andy, I can’t believe you traveled to the future, stole that joke from Jay, then traveled back to tell it on Red Eye,” Gutfeld said. Levy, more amused than bitter, countered with, “I’m actually now getting word that Carlos Mencia came up with this joke next Tuesday.”
We have a better explanation: It’s an easy – funnier in the ’90s – joke. Really? The Raiders? A story about California prisoners being released benefiting a California football team named after criminals? That’s really SO CLEVER only Andy Levy (who?) could have ever thought of it? And then to CLAIM ownership of the easiest – not to mention LAMEST – joke of the week at 2am on Fox News?! Really?!
Have some dignity.
We were merciless to Leno for what he did to Conan O’Brien. Like we said, Leno is many things, a contract breaker – a hack joke teller – but a hack joke STEALER?! Nope.
Are there anymore well-worn observations Levy would like to take credit for? Maybe how men and women are different? Or how airline food is gross? Perhaps he can point out how silly white people look while dancing? He’s such a pioneer!