Jay Leno Show Green Sketch Recycles Conan's Los Angeles River Trek
It's not much of a secret that The Jay Leno Show's ratings have plateaued, but apparently -- and here comes a leftover Halloween scare -- its writing has as well. Thunder-crash! In last night's episode featuring Taylor Lautner, Jay sent out correspondent Brian Unger (formerly a Kilborn-era Daily Show correspondent) to ask Los Angeles pedestrians about how "green" they are. Hilarious straight from the start, as you can guess. But the head-scratchiest moment occurs when Unger mocks the cleanliness of the Los Angeles River, reusing a joke that Conan loosed within his first hours in California.
Here's Jay's full show from last night. Click to the final segment to see Brian Unger's sketch.
(Here's the clip from Conan's river-running Tonight Show episode.)
Conan's is funnier. In fact, this act of minor plagiarism is a microcosm of The Jay Leno Show's biggest problems -- not only is the show derivative, it also doesn't commit to its own bits. Unger's half-assing every syllable of that sketch, while Conan and Andy Richter approach the material with comic urgency. Coming up on The Jay Leno Show: Beth Littleford teaches kids about compost piles while dressed as a masturbating bear.