Did Kanye's Apology Save Himself or The Jay Leno Show's Ratings?


The Jay Leno Show sailed its maiden voyage last night, navigating the forecasted Obama jokes, bland pre-taped sketches and Leno's reliably affable personality. Surprisingly, it wasn't the threesome between Leno, a tuxedo-ed Jerry Seinfeld and Oprah (via video) that salvaged The Tonight Show's primetime resurrection (complete with homophobic Cheaters sketch!) from complete unwatchability but an intimate sit-down with Kanye West, a day after his wildly unpopular VMA stunt. To see see who fared better - the autopiloted host or the Taylor Swift assailant - follow us after the jump.

The popular sentiments in today's Leno reviews are that: 1) Leno is still as dull as ever, an impressive feat considering he had quite a few months to prepare any humorous bits for the long-awaited and much-advertised premiere. And 2) Leno was lucky to have booked Kanye West on his first show. As we guessed yesterday, Kanye sat down with Jay for a "totally unplanned" segment. In possibly Jay's most intimate interaction to date, he dove straight for the emotional jugular: "Let me ask you something, I was fortunate enough to meet your mom and talk with your mom...what do you think she would have said about this?"

The interaction unfolded like an awkward first therapy session - Jay's arms were crossed, Kanye stared at the floor, Jay grazed Kanye's knee in support. Finally the rap singer delivered one of the most incomprehensible apologies of all time:

"So many celebrities, they never take the time off. [...] I've never taken the time off to really -- you know, just music after music and tour after tour. I'm just ashamed that my hurt caused someone else's hurt. My dream of what awards shows are supposed to be, 'cause, and I don't try to justify it because I was just in the wrong. That's period. But I need to, after this, take some time off and just analyze how I'm going to make it through the rest of this life, how I'm going to improve."

What could have been a probing 20/20 style interview was instead cut off by Jay who, never one for making his guests uncomfortable, said "So, are you ready to perform?"

West's cold apology on last night's show was probably not enough to earn the forgiveness of Swift's tween fan base, but it was buzz-worthy enough to boost Leno's ratings. The episode was watched by 17.7 million viewers, a 50% larger audience than Leno's Tonight Show finale last May.

Now, will people keep watching?


  • JudgeFudge says:

    Yup, Kanye got called into the principal's office alright. He shouldn't have pulled the goof at the class talent show with the prom queen.

  • Dave says:

    Why do you think Oprah appeared on the show? Her ratings have been in the dumps too.

  • Colander says:

    Kanye and his reaction to his mom's death reminds of Courtney Love when Kurt died.
    She basically toured and recorded and became insane, and it became easy to hate her.

  • The Pope says:

    Is Kanye West related to Sarah Palin?

  • SunnydaZe says:

    "My dream of what awards shows are supposed to be"
    He dreams of an award show where all the awards are decided by Kanye West, all awards are accepted by Kanye West, all the speeches are made by Kanye West, all the musical performances are by Kanye West, all of the clothes are designed by Kanye West, all of the commercials star Kanye West, the local news following the show is read by Kanye West, and the after show commentary is given by Joan Rivers... and Kanye West.

  • KILLAK says:

    I'm not a Kanye fan or a Taylor Swift fan. I know how we all can punish musicians who act out. DON'T BUY THEIR PRODUCTS.

  • Dimo says:

    Kanye is a true talent. Who else can take a situation where they are clearly in the wrong, and make it look like they are the victim?

  • Colander says:

    I know plenty of talented guys then.

  • sweetbiscuit says:

    I divorced one of them.

  • Emperor Joshua Norton says:

    Hell, I thought my family had the market cornered on this behavior!

  • Lowbrow says:

    Wow, you just have no idea Kanye. Jay was this close to reaching behind his chair and reminding his Grandpop's hickory switch why it's been passed down from one Leno to the next.