Watch Jay Leno Accept Harvard's Hasty Pudding Award by Being Mercilessly Roasted
If you are a member of Team Conan, Team Letterman, the "I Hate People Who Wear Head-to-Toe Denim" Facebook group or any other anti-Jay Leno party, rest easy knowing that Harvard's Hasty Pudding Theatricals didn't just name Jay Leno their 2011 Man of the Year. Those Ivy Leaguers in drag made The Tonight Show host work for his Golden Pot by subjecting him to cruel Conan jokes, a Shakespeare challenge, a dance-off, and even an appearance from David Letterman! Well, his impersonator, anyway. Details of the grisly roast -- and video of Leno lifelessly accepting his hard-earned award afterward -- ahead.
The ceremony on Friday began with a few light jabs from Hasty Pudding Theatrical members Nikolus A. Ray and Matthew E. Whitaker, who poked fun at Leno's geriatric audience and his feud with Harvard alum Conan O'Brien (who has not yet been awarded his own share of Hasty Pudding) with jokes like, "In order to give our man of the year time to rest we considered moving our 8 p.m. show back two hours later... [but] we do realize that no one wants to watch a show that starts at 10 p.m."
OK, Jay Leno Show jokes: Not that funny anymore. But the following dirty challenges that Harvard threw Leno's way are. In a wildly uncomfortable kind of way.
Leno first had to entertain talk-show host David Letterman, played by Ryan P. Halprin '12, by proving that his prowess for reciting monologues surpassed that of Hamlet's.
Leno recited lines from Shakespeare's famous play, while Hamlet countered with monologues from Leno's show.
"I think you're funnier than Hamlet." Halprin -- as Letterman -- said to Leno. "Reasons why -- your face. I just love laughing at your face."
Toward the end of the performance, Leno had to confront his late night rival, "O'Brien", who came out on stage dressed in a janitor's outfit with mop in hand.
For his third and final task, Leno had to confront three fellow talk-show hosts and "beat them at their own game."
Joan Rivers, played by Matthew J. DaSilva '12, forced Leno to put on a bra in the shape of a car's headlights.
Ellen DeGeneres, played by Kyle J. Dancewicz '11, challenged Leno to a dance-off to "Party in the USA." Leno strapped on a pair of bright blue pumps, donned a red curly wig, and gyrated to Miley Cyrus' famous tune.
Leno then competed against Oprah Winfrey in a celebrity name shout-out showdown. Charleton A. Lamb '11, who played Winfrey, replicated Winfrey's flamboyant shout-out style, but Leno emerged victorious. Lamb is an inactive Crimson editor.
If you feel humiliated and dejected from that description of the 20-minute roast, take a look at how Jay Leno looked after living through that hell in the press conference below. Was the Golden Pot worth it?
· Hasty Pudding Roasts Jay Leno [Harvard Crimson]