Comedian Jay Leno wasted no time warming up the audience last night at Garvin's, launching immediately into a brassy attack on the Reagans: "Nancy Reagan's idea of the Third World is J.C. Penney." Leno is best known for his regular appearances with John Davidson and Johnny Carson, so it was no surprise when he dug into old television shows for his best material.
Leno's nasal delivery, which resembled Andy Roooney's, expanded to a colorful palette of characters as he worked through subject matter including the Phil Donahue show, photo stores ("How come they can transmit pictures 80,000 miles through space, and you walk across the street to Fotomat and they can't find yours?"), male strip shows, Steven Spielberg movies, video games, and even local deejay Howard Stern. A flair for off-beat description marks Leno's relaxed storytelling.
Perhaps Leno owes part of his instant rapport with the audience to warm-up comedienne Adrienne Tolsch, who worked it hard in her too-brief set. Tolsch, an emcee at New York's Catch a Rising Star Comedy Club, made an instant connection with her staccato delivery and original observations on a tired subject--the relationship between the sexes. Leno and Tolsch will be at Garvin's tonight and tomorrow night.