Tag Archives: White House Correspondents’ Dinner

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Jimmy Fallon is hosting this year’s Emmy Awards?  Really?

Has Neil Patrick Harris died?  Is Hugh Jackman on walkabout in Australia?  Have Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin had a falling out?

I mean, Jimmy’s a great guy, and he’s done some funny pieces for his late night show (the “Lost” parody and “Robert is Bothered” to name a few).  But hosting the Emmys?  Have you seen his opening monologues?  The dude is a joke reader, not a comedian.

Last year we had the multi-talented, host extraordinaire Neil Patrick Harris.  This year, we get the stripped-down, laughs at his own jokes, ain’t-ready-for-this-by-no-stretch-of-the-imagination Jimmy Fallon.

The Leno effect strikes again.

That’s right — the Leno effect.  The play-it-safe, middle-of-the-road, celebration of mediocrity-over-humor that Jay Leno has perpetuated in this country.  The ‘less offensive is more desirable than creative’ choice.

We saw how well that worked out at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, now, didn’t we?  (I’ll shut up.)

Thank goodness the Golden Globes had the balls to book Ricky Gervais as its host for the second year in a row.  Of course, they are the Hollywood Foreign Press.  Perhaps they are immune…or have a vaccine.

Lucky aliens.

Funny or die

Congratulations, Team CoCo!

You were the clear winner at the White House Coorespondents’ Dinner last night.  (And Conan wasn’t even invited.)

Yep, even though Jay Leno had the honor of hosting the prestigious annual D.C. event, he proved — once again — that while he may be the safe choice, he certainly isn’t the funny one.

In fact, the critics agree that President Barack Obama had much better timing and material.

Adam Sorensen, reporting on the event for Time, said Leno “started at top speed, rushed his lines, seemed too tied to his notes (no Tonight Show teleprompter) and made little effort to connect with the crowd in any real sense.”  He even called his jokes “pedestrian.”

Ouch.

That’s especially tough criticism for a veteran stand-up comedian.  It’s not like Leno doesn’t have practice.  Seventeen years at “The Tonight Show.”  Five nights a week.

But the truth is, Leno isn’t known for being funny; he’s known for being mediocre.  And last night, he wasn’t facing a half-asleep, middle-American audience.  Some of the smartest people in the country were in that room…and they didn’t laugh at his usual swill.

That’s one death on stage I would have liked to see in person.