I have a comedy crime to confess: I used to watch “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.” And I liked it.
Before you take away my comedy-snob card, I should say that I was a teenager who didn’t know any better. But I’m finally ready to admit it: I once thought Leno was funny.
I used to stay up on school nights to watch Leno read funny headlines from newspapers. I can remember enjoying Jaywalking, his man-on-the-street bit. And I laughed at his monologue jokes about Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. I looked forward to Fridays, in part because I could stay awake for an entire episode.
Yet, as Leno prepares to wrap his second stint as host of the NBC talk show this Thursday, I don’t feel anything. I’m not going to watch his final episode, nor will I put much thought into his next move.
Leno influenced my taste in comedy at a young age, even if I can’t quite figure how he did. I was too young then to think critically about comedy. I just laughed at anything I found funny — it didn’t matter if it was highbrow or lowbrow, silly or smart.
Like it or not, Leno will always be a part of my humor history.